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Appearances, branding, toilets and getting rid of the 'yes, but...' factor

By Sam Turner December 24, 2015 Design Growth marketing

ClientsFirst are based in serviced offices, which means that we don’t have overall control of the decor around the building; the corridors, toilets, stairs and such. Nevertheless, in a bid to sharpen the place up a bit, we’ve just finished working with our landlords to have the toilets renovated.

Bear with me, I promise this blog is going somewhere…

A few months ago we came across this piece called 'Your brand is a toilet' by a fellow agency.

The logic in the article is perfectly sound and in fact reflects an analogy we use often to do with cars.

Your website and your branding is like a car (or in the above case, a toilet). If you are a professional services organisation then your website might not directly win you business (nor your toilet, nor your car). But it does directly contribute to how you are perceived by your staff, clients and prospects. Let’s say you win a new client but when he comes to meet you, you pick him up in an old MG Metro. The impression you create, even if the new client likes every other part of your service, is likely to be a poor one.

It’s the same with your branding, your website and yes, your toilet. On their own, a poor one of any of those things is unlikely to win or lose you business. But they will impact how you’re perceived.

And that can lose you business.

This is something we talk about as the ‘yes, but…’ factor.

The ‘yes, but…’ factor refers to the things that hold you back. Let’s say you’re a firm of architects. You’ve got a great portfolio, but because you’re a really busy architectural firm, you’re based in crummy offices, say, the old house of the MD. When people recommend you they say things like ‘yes, they’re absolutely great, their designs are amazing, but their own offices are quite poor, just ignore them’, or ‘yes, I’d recommend them, but try to ignore the design of their own office, I don’t think it was done by them’.

‘Yes, but…’ can lose you business. The more ‘yes, buts…’ you have (like your car, your brand, your website, your toilets), the more chance you have that the perception of your firm is negatively altered and a client, prospect or staff member makes the decision to walk away.

With that in mind, and as you think about your marketing priorities for this year, try to make 2016 the year you tackle some of your ‘buts’. The more you can eliminate, the greater the appeal of your brand and your firm and the less chance you lose out.

We’re even taking our own medicine here. Just come and take a look at our toilets!


Sam Turner pictureBy Sam Turner. Sam is ClientsFirst's Online Marketing Strategist and writes here on topics including; inbound and content marketing, social media, design and e-marketing. He likes all of those things as well as travel, golf and frequent cups of tea. You can find him on , Twitter & LinkedIn.


Sam Turner

Sam Turner

Sam has responsibility for ClientsFirst’s inbound and content marketing, as well as helping clients to execute their own marketing campaigns and produce engaging copy. He has a background in blogging, copywriting and social media and is always on the lookout for a story or an emerging social technology. A keen traveller, when not in front of a computer keyboard, Sam can be found planning his next trip away or, closer to home, back in front of a keyboard writing something covering film and TV.

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