Does Sex make Sales?
It has been said that sex is actually the first industry to explore, publish and profit from any new technology ( e.g., Still images, moving images, motion picture, videos, DVD’s, the internet, mobile content.) and it is a highly profitable business.
So the answer is yes, sex sells. With this in mind many have tried to use the same marketing idea to make sales via their own brand image but didn’t realise that sex only makes sales for the sex industry (sex actually has its own “industry”).
The truth is that Sex is a brand in itself and doesn’t really sell anything apart from itself. With this in mind how can your brand marketing present an image that’s just as effective and attractive to your potential clients?
There are two routes to the success for your brand image:
- The professional image
- The sexy image
The first is the most obvious. Overall it solves many problems for your image as a business:
- It communicates easily who your are
- It shows expertise
- It’s trustworthy
- Show’s credibilty
A professional image for a florist maybe different to an executive recruitment company but it delivers the same message of trust and credibility. The only drawback is that it can be boring.
The second one is a tricky one because everyone has a different interpretation of the term sexy.
- Some will consider humor as sexy?
- Some will think of a shiny red car as sexy?
- Some find big muscles as sexy?
- Some find intelligence sexy?
It’s not anyone’s fault it’s our own interpretations of language, image and culture. It’s been said that no two people in the world can see one single colour in the same way because different colours each have a different meaning to all of us. Likewise so does the term sexy. You may find something sexy whilst others don’t.
When it comes to sexing up a business image, you don’t want to give the wrong impression and come off as offensive or uncredible. You must also appeal to your target audience so the best way to achieve an attractive but effective business image is to merge the two categories together,
Professional + Sexy = Classy.
When it comes down to it a classy brand image is defined by originality and uniqueness, whatever slant is taken (humorous, retro, exclusive, reliable, slick, traditional etc). It’s a fine balance of being relevant and attractive without overdoing each part. A Professional brand image is always good but can suffer from monotony whilst sexy is dangerously attractive, it gives the wrong impression. The term “less is more” comes to mind.
Achieving the right balance of elements is the key to success and the most important factor comes from the execution of the design. Making an executive recruitment agency or florist look classy is actually not an easy thing to do. One may suffer from boredom whilst the other suffers from too many bright colours. It’s essential to get it right for a successful result.
Two from the “sexy” list above are characteristics whilst 2 are visual elements and like a business you need to portray both to build on your brand values and visual representation. The goal of the design is to project the brand values, keep the image classy and in tune with the target audience. There’s also the point of clever design. As a designer myself, I’ve seen work which many would brush off but to my eyes it was just incredibly clever design, so clever that it was professional, sexy, no wait it was just classy.
Remember that you’re a business providing a reliable professional service and that should be the heart of your image. Don’t use sex to make your brand more attractive because it won’t sell. Refine it and make it classy instead. Make it a brand image that your target audience will want to work with just by looking at the logo.