When a potential customer views your business there are three major steps in their reaction, all of which all happen pretty quick.
The first stage of any reaction is that lightning quick one as someone experiences your brand. This is that first instant impression that your branding is giving up and is where all these small elements like fonts, images and colour all come into play. It is an often repeated fact that supposedly women take just 3 minutes when meeting someone to decide if they like someone on a date, and this is similar to this. In an age where it is almost certain someone will at least take a cursory glance at your website before buying from you, having a brand that lines up and creates a strong opening impression is key.
The next stage of their reaction takes a little longer and is based on what they were looking for somewhat. So this stage of their reaction is based on whether you do what they thought you did. Now you would think this would be a relatively straight forward step, but that is sadly not the case. I am flabbergasted at how difficult it is to tell what some companies do. This is the result of cheesy slogans, over complicated layouts and jargon. If your branding/website/marketing doesn’t match up relatively quickly to what that person is searching for they will surely look elsewhere.
Once they have a idea about what sort of company you are and what you did, the last part of a person’s reaction is largely out of your hand. An experiential reaction is formed as its name suggests by that person’s own experiences. So let’s say you are marketing yourself as a friendly and cheap holiday business, and the person has had bad experiences with budget airlines then no matter what your brand does it will inevitably suffer. There are certainly steps you can take to counteract this, in this example a page of testimonials or a helpline might put them at ease, but this is obviously difficult to do on a 1 to 1 basis.
As I have often said there are so many elements in making anyone buy from you that you simply have no control over, you can only do your best to create marketing material which is easy to grasp and signifies what your business is about.