When thinking of “brand image”, you might think of the special fonts, color schemes, and logos that identify a company. Or maybe “brand image” conjures up thoughts of Instagram influencers, “millennial pink,” and staged, perfectly-polished photos.
You certainly aren’t alone there.
But, the truth is far more extensive than either of these interpretations. Brand image is the entire gamut of experiences and associations consumers come to expect when dealing with your company. It is the way a company chooses to portray itself to its past, present and potential customers and business associates.
So many companies get tunnel vision when it comes to perfecting their product or service behind the scenes, and forget to consider the experience of their customer.
A Well-Established Brand Image Can Help Your Business
1. Make A Good Impression
A good impression is an essential part of a mutually satisfying relationship between your business and potential clients. Books have been written on the subject; good impressions are an accumulation of small details that flow seamlessly together. The way your employees are dressed, the business cards you use and cleanliness of your store will all be associated with your brand and form the greater part of a general opinion we call brand image.
2. Engender Brand Recognition
You can probably recognize a can of Coca-Cola, a Chanel handbag or an Apple device from across the room without even thinking about it. But the simple recognition is the result of a well-planned strategy that detailed the quality of products and services, the speed of business and the professionalism of the company as a whole. Then there was the all-important consistency and regular maintenance that allowed the brand to be ubiquitously recognized.
3. Look Professional
A cohesive, reliable, and understandable brand image can go a long way toward helping your company appear established and professional. If dealing with your business is confusing, or stressful, or makes your customer have to think too much, they won’t do business with you again. By building a cohesive brand image, your clients know what to expect from square one.
4. Build Credibility And Equity
As the cornerstone of your relations with customers, your brand image is also essential for building trust and credibility with your clients. If you have an especially good habit of dealing generously and fairly with your customers, the word is going to spread. The more these positive interactions become associated with your logos, color schemes, products and services, the higher the quality of your brand image.
This is where it is important to ensure that every aspect of your business is aligned to a single style, personality and level of professionalism. From the business cards and flyers you will distribute at a trade fair to the way your employees dress and interact, the message must be clear and consistent.
How To Build Brand Image:
The most effective way to begin planning your brand image is to decide the identity of your brand and what it symbolizes. This will help you better understand the position of your brand within the market and how you can best connect with the hearts and minds of your clients.
1. Determine Your Mission, Vision, And Values
The mission and vision of your brand are important because they ensure that everything your company does and what delivers is an expression of these vital brand elements. Inconsistency can reduce the efficacy of your brand image so it is essential that the mission and vision of your brand is well defined.
The benefits of this will include a higher attraction to your target audience. Your employees will be mission-oriented and this can attract higher quality talent. You will also find that your capacity to attract and retain loyal customers and employees will be much improved.
2. Create A Brand Positioning Statement
A brand positioning statement is the most tactical tool of an effective brand image. This short one-or two-sentence thought can be the way you communicate to your customers what sets you apart from the rest. Arm yourself with a razor sharp edge over the competition by researching your greatest competitors and consider all the ways you are. Look for their greatest weaknesses and communicate to your clients your strengths in this area make you a better option.
3. Find Your Brand Voice
You will find that customers have developed a taste for brands with character and personality just like a person. This is reflected in the tone, flavor and feel that flows seamlessly through all aspects of your company but especially at the contact points with your target audience. Come up with a list of 10 positive attributes of your company. Create another list of specific things that your company is NOT. This will give you a clearer picture of your company and how it will appear in the minds of your clients.
4. Identify Your Key Audiences Using Persona Research
You will also want to consider your clients and target demographic when crafting the message you intend to send with your brand image. Psychographic data will play an important part of getting a clearer image of your target audience. You will then need to then produce 3 to five different representations of your potential customers. By studying and analyzing who these people are you will have a better idea of what an effective brand image would look like.
When your clients and customers come to you to make a deal it is important to understand that they’re not simply purchasing goods or services — they are buying an experience. They are essentially trading their hard-earned wages for an experience. What does your client experience say about your company?