The name of your industry frames expectations

A typical business cardWhat business are you in? For instance are you in “accountancy” or “financial advice”? Do you work in “personal health” or “fitness”? Does you company offer “training” or “workshops”? It might not sound that important, but new research shows that the overall industry that we attach ourselves to can have profound effects on what people think of us.

The study found, for instance, that when an online betting shop says it is offering “gambling” we have a much more negative view of it than when the shop says it offers “gaming”. Essentially, what is happening is called “framing” whereby a single word can put people’s minds into seeing things from a particular perspective. That means if you offer “business growth” as a consultant, but in reality you are an accountant, you might find that using the word “accountancy” could be more negative or more positive than using the word “consultancy”.

It means you need to know what associations your target market has with the industry or profession you say you come from. If you found that there is a general negative feeling towards your industry or profession you might need to reconsider what you align yourself with. For instance, it might be better for someone to say they are in the “health” business than in the “fitness” arena, in just the same way that “gaming” is more beneficial than “gambling”.

However, we should not make assumptions about the immediate associations people have with the word that describes our sector, Only research will tell you whether or not you are labelling your business appropriately.

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Graham Jones
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+
Graham Jones

@grahamjones

Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist, professional speaker and author of 32 books who helps businesses understand the online behaviour of their customers
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