When standing before necessity of designing new image (for product, for our new role or whatever that will be assessed by it’s appearance) right off the bat we have to choose our target. As you can imagine the more broad target the more bland communication. From the other side – very strong image could be very effective in just a narrow part of population.
In olden times we had practically no choice – for conversion needs we had to work in those “bland” areas of broadest target possible. We also needed very disciplined crew or person “under the shine of lights” to execute the image design. Someone capable of dressing smart and connecting with business associates as well as putting some Vans and checkered shirt to sell hip Swedish glasses to ultimate clients that love skateboarding. In other words we had to get two images and more importantly someone to deliver those images, to get one idea done. Thanks to the Internet (I guess) today we can connect with the whole world, so in this bigger pool we can target our appearance design like crazy. About 5 % in local community isn’t much in terms of final revenue. But let’s say 2 % of Internets? Woot? 😀
Let me put it in way of simple math – connecting with 1000 people willing to pay you 100 bucks a year for your products, value you created, makes a respectable income of 100k. Obviously you had come costs of bringing that usability to them, but again, with precise targeting at least your marketing cost could be cut to just spending some time and energy in planning phase.
Obvious Polish Guy is obvious a meme would say. Now in terms of “how?” – don’t listen to your “reason” on image creation – take a calculated risk. Create some wordplay, a cloud of ideas naming first things that come up to your mind about yourself. Go to your friends and family and ask if you convey those things (or rather if they intuitively “are digging” you the way you want to). Remember that for your targeted circle it is crucial to stay consistent in your image. In other words do not try and mask your potential “weaknesses”, it is hard to get rid of them once and for all, so from time to time your appearance will be “disturbed” (and there is a vulnerability factor you cannot dismiss, which is itself a great topic/concept for a post). Few subtle tweaks in most cases of “crazy targeting” needed to “wrest out” those layers of image that will be easy to connect with for other “geeks” are all you need.
Create a halo effect – wear your image so people from circle you target to could easily ticket you as “one of the lads”. Let stereotypes work in your advantage and gently break them to show your individuality. Let’s say then that you sell hip Swedish glasses and have to meet some sad business people, ok? My view would be this: wear perfectly fitted suit in deep navy color, of course.. but without a tie… and to red Converses. Tell them exactly that you target like crazy, get the credit or whatever you need, suggest that after work they should go to this place with great t-shirts, after 6 pm they are not bound by dress code (right?) and then sell them glasses as well 😉 Oh, and don’t forget to spread the word about That Polish Guy!
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– Przemek Kucia aka That Polish Guy Who Likes His Tie With Some Fresh Sneakers (o.O rly, but yeah – it’s a checkered tie, perfect to slim fitted shirts ;))