Presentation Matters, Inside and Outside of the Kitchen

presentation matters marketing tip

The very attractively presented Stetson Salad. Photo courtesy of the Village Tavern in North Wales, Pa.

“Presentation is everything.” This idiom hails from the restaurant industry, where it is well known that the way food appears on the plate has a big impact on sales. This is because consumers have expectations for how food should look in order to taste good. In fact, numerous research studies have confirmed a positive correlation between consumer perceptions of appearance and quality. In lay terms this means that the better something looks to a consumer, the more likely they are to believe it will meet their expectations.* Similarly, perceptions of brand appearance also have an impact on consumer purchasing behavior. Since aesthetics are critical to perception, and perception is critical to sales, then it follows that great care should be given to how marketing content is presented visually to ensure that it continually makes a positive impression on the targeted consumer.

Whatever the product or service being offered, its visual presentation can have a significant impact on your target market’s perception of its quality–and ultimately influence sales. From your brochures, to trade show displays, website design, email messages, direct mail, videos, to PowerPoint decks, all of your marketing should strive to enhance your customer’s value perception.

If you are uncertain of the perceived quality of your products or services, try polling your current customers for feedback. Surveying customers has never been easier, given the proliferation of affordable, web-based surveying applications. We like Survey Monkey. If you lack the time and resources to conduct a formal survey, here are a four quick tips for polishing-up your presentation across every visual medium:

  1. Simplify–Remove visual clutter by eliminating unnecessary words, images, fonts and formatting. Less can truly be more in this regard
  2. Invest–Invest in professional photography and creative design services to better showcase your products and services
  3. Be Consistent–Use consistent copy and design elements across multiple marketing channels to reinforce your messages
  4. Proofread Carefully–Nothing is more damaging to your credibility than errors in your content. To avoid costly mistakes, have a third party proofread your materials whenever possible, checking not only for proper spelling and grammar, but for accuracy and regulatory compliance, as well

There are any number of different methods you can employ to improve the effectiveness of your marketing content, but by following these basic guidelines, you can greatly enhance the visual presentation of your materials–which will have the ripple effect of enhancing consumer perception of quality and improving sales.

For additional information, I recommend reading this issue of the Journal of Product Innovation Management, which delves into the relationship between marketing, product design, and packaging.

*For more on the science behind this topic, read this study conducted in 2012 in the U.K. on the relationship between perceptions of taste and color in orange juice.