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Rocky Tilney

San Jose, CA, United States

Designer (Graphic Design)

Member since August 31, 2007

  • 3 Simple Steps to Improving your Business Image

    Communication, Communication Design


    In my business, I come across many images that need some work. In other words, they don’t exude confidence or even competence. Sometimes I make this snap judgement when someone passes me a business card or I stumble across a website. I realize that this isn’t a fair way to judge the quality of a business, but I’m sure I share this default technique for many, many others.

    If you think your business is being unfairly judged because its image is inconsistent, consider the following 3 ideas:

    Walk Like a Politician

    No, I don’t mean walking the Appalachian trail (or saying you did but you really went down to South America to spend time with your mistress—alas, I digress). I’m referring to being rigid on the issue of your brand image. This includes print material, web, social media, and in-person/voice. This is probably the one easiest things for your business to take action on if you plan.

    When you are at a networking event or business function, think about the way you talk about your business. Is it consistent with how your website is written? What about the flyer you just passed out and your business cards; do they also “speak” with the same voice?

    Here’s your 10 minute action plan:

    -Review all of your materials (print, web, social media) and make sure they “speak” your core message. If not, make a note to adjust them accordingly. This includes bios on LinkedIn, Facebook, Yelp, and any other site you may be listed in (there are probably more than you realize, so do a Google search on your name). -If you don’t have a talking points plan, write one and review it before every networking event and meeting. This will help keep you on point with your core message.

    Red Bull Gives you Wings (and a massive headache when mixed with well-vodka, ugh!)

    Your business image needs wings to give it lift. It doesn’t matter how many social media sites you’re a member of, if your not contributing to your communities or actively building them (flapping your wings), then your missing out on that lift.

    Building a social network online is the same as building one in-person. When you want more business or want to become more well regarded in your business community, you join an organization like a Chamber of Commerce or other professional group and become active. These organizations build your network of potential customers, increase your social position (hopefully) in your business community, and provide you with additional leadership opportunities.

    When you join an online social network, you should maintain similar goals.

    Here’s your 10 minute action plan:

    Make a list of all the social network sites you’re a part of and not just the obvious ones. Industry trade sites and professional forums should all be part of your mix.

    Make a weekly participation schedule to contribute to these sites (yes, answering questions, giving helpful advice to peers, and even asking questions is networking!) You’re building professional capital here. Make a list of websites that have excellent (and only excellent) content for your industry and bookmark them. If you are using Twitter (duh, of course you are) to communicate, then these bookmarks will give you a well to draw from. Don’t be the person that has nothing interesting to tweet about so they link to a site that sells tie-dyed pillow cases—it’s irrelevant (unless you are in the pillow case or dye business).

    If Tropicana Can’t Change Your Mind, Who Can?

    Did you notice the disastrous packaging redo that Tropicana went through recently? Well, It just so happens that some suit decided to hire a firm to…ah, forget it, you can read about it here. The short version is this: they made a huge ($$$) image error in their new package design. The once famous illustration of the dew-drenched orange impaled with a straw was now replaced with typeface straight out of the Haas’sche Schriftgiesserei and a discount stock-photo-esque glass of OJ (looks like Tang to me). The new packaging seemed better suited for Ikea then a grocery store and customers really let them have it.

    PepsiCo’s blunder is important to all businesses big and small. Your image is more valuable than you are aware. The brilliant thing that Pepsi did do, but apparently was not aware of, was design an image that was truly iconic and resonated with its customers. People form an emotional attachment with their brands as indicated by the number of “outraged” Tropicana fans.

    Where do you fit into this and how do you protect your brand image?

    Here’s your 10 minute action plan:

    If you don’t have a professional brand icon (logo), get one. Ask around for a good designer or hire me. Make sure your designer develops a style and usage guide. Used consistently and correctly it will work in your favor. If you have a professional logo, do a quick audit of your materials to ensure that it is being used consistently across all media. If you notice discrepancies in colors or fonts, make note of them and get it fixed. Lastly, make sure you have continuity from print to online. Your web site, business cards, brochures, ads, etc…should all have a consistent look and feel. I know, it’s an obvious point, but I’ve seen some real Duesy’s out there.

    I hope this helps. I’d love to hear about how Tropicana changed your mind?

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Design - Life - Business - Creativity

Contact Rocky Tilney
The Life2 Project

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design