One of the things I love most about working in the diving industry is that my 3 piece suit hasn’t seen the light of day for some time, save for the odd wedding and funeral. But does that mean that you can dress however you’d like? Professional image is important and there is a huge weight of Psychology studies which limit first impressions to the microsecond. This means that despite how informal the workplace, how you and your business are perceived has an impact. This tenth of second reaction effects someone’s judgment on your competency, trustworthiness, and professionalism. Once someone has formed that First impression it is very difficult to change their mind. Those Companies that provide both a professional image and another fundamental aspect of your business, quality service, not only attract buy also retain customers.
In my role as Regional Manager, I am constantly on the road, at dive sites, working with professionals which in turn means I get to see numerous dive centres and businesses around the globe. There is a marked difference in those that present their business in a professional way and others, who sometimes leave me wondering who’s a customer or the employee.
I am not suggesting that you impose a uniform but moreover if you have not already done so start to think about your corporate identity. If shabby chic, hipster, city worker or chain store is the image you are going for then make sure that you make it part of your overall business image, by this I mean the way your shop, website, marketing present itself down to the clothing you and your team wears.
As a business owner, it is important to take some time to sit down and identify your Brand. What is it that makes you different, there are a lot of dive businesses out there, but what is yours to you? Once you know that you can start to build your own Brand. Brand identity primary means the way you communicate your corporate identity by your branding. Yes, I did mean corporate identity in diving, you are a professional at the end of the day and there is no shame in earning money by doing something, even if you love doing it.
I am willing to bet you already have a Logo but what about a slogan and mission statement? Once you get it right your brand becomes synonymous with the product, regardless of the company that makes it. PADI, for example, is the way the world learns to dive for a reason. Many companies are known from just their logos and some of the most successful companies are identifiable from just a colour scheme or collection of sounds.
One thing I like to see is when a team stands out at often crowded dive sites. When your team is visible there is no doubt for your customers on who they can approach for help. If you or your team is not clear then perhaps someone else’s is and that company inadvertently pick up your customers.
As PADI has regional managers (RM) who are here to help we can work with you on your branding, website and professional image. If you feel that you have already put the effort in why not ask for a Professional Image Evaluation from your RM.
PADI has also teamed up with Fourth Element to help with gaining some form of identity for both your business and your customers. For help with a Bespoke Clothing Enquiry click on this link and enter your details http://fourthelement.com/padi/.
If you feel you would like to start from the beginning then get in touch as PADI is here to help. perhaps it could be something as simple as your Logo needs some revamping, there is a host of services out there and as RMs we can help point you in some directions.