How much does brand image matter nowadays? If you're considering starting a new business or even rebranding your existing company, you'll probably want to get a good handle on branding before taking action.
Brand image refers to the overall impression created by a company or brand. How does it affect customers? What should you focus on in order to create a positive brand image?
A brand image has great influence on a consumer’s choice regarding their purchases. This means consumers choose to patronize certain brands over others because they believe those brands to possess certain characteristics or attributes. For instance, people prefer buying clothing from Abercrombie & Fitch because they associate the brand with trendy fashion and desirable aesthetic qualities. People also look at Apple products, such as iPhones and iPads, because of their high quality. They purchase these things because they think that they represent value and reliability.
To build a powerful brand image, it is important to consider two main aspects:
1. The attributes of the brand
2. The emotions associated with the brand
A brand is defined by its name or logo and the way customers perceive it. People spend 2x more time looking at brands than they did just ten years ago. Your logo, tag line, colors and other visual elements influence shoppers' decisions.
Your brand communicates who you are as well as what you’re selling. And whether or not your marketing strategy is successful depends largely on how effective your brand identity is.
Brand Image vs. Brand Identity
- Develop your brand internally
- Who do you want to be?
- Active in nature
- Forward-looking: continually trying to create and establish the desired identity of your brand
- Develop your brand externally
- How do consumers feel about you?
- Passive in nature
- Backward-looking: your identity based on consumers’ changing perceptions of you over time changes the review in a positive way.
Brand Image vs. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is frequently confused with brand image. Brand awareness is a concern about how customers can think of a brand when they begin a product or service search. It’s all about the brand and how prominent a brand is in a customer's mind, and therefore relates more to memory and recall.
Brand image, however, concerns the brand associations and perceptions built-up over time which creates a picture of the brand overall.
Why is Brand Image So Important?
Every Company strives to build a strong brand image as it helps in fulfilling its business goals –
1. Brand Image Makes An Impression
As you know, making a good first impression is important, especially in business. Consumers will create an impression of your business and brand based on a variety of factors, for example how your employees are dressed, your website, your business cards, and many more. These small details are points of contact you have with potential customers.
2. Brand Image Creates Recognition
It’s not just about the logo or slogan; your brand image has many elements and brand associations like speed, reliability, and quality which will give customers satisfaction. If you don’t put the effort into maintaining a consistent brand image throughout every interaction a consumer has with your brand, you’ll find it very difficult to develop an easily recognizable one.
As a service company, part of your brand image involves your relationships with customers. This is important because your company culture and values get involved in it. Encourage your employees to build relationships with your customers and their campaigns as if they were their own.
3. Build credibility
A good brand image can help a company build credibility within its industry. It requires earning the respect of consumers and competitors through quality, consistency and honesty.
4. Build a professional image
A brand's image can also help you to show yourself as professional and organized. If a brand's image is clean, consistent and organized, customers might think the brand is very professional. Along with credibility, professionalism may help customers trust the brand and create expectations for service and products.
How to Build a Brand Image?
Here are the seven steps on how to build a brand image
1. Identify Your Target Audiences:
The first step is to identify your target audience consisting of a mix of external and internal groups, including customers, partnerships with influencers, industry analysts, and employees. It’s important to be very specific when defining your customers.
You need clarity about the groups you are targeting to develop a successful marketing strategy that will speak up directly to their unique requirements and concerns.
2. Determine Business Goals:
Building a brand image without knowing your short-term and long-term business aims and objectives is ineffective and a waste of valuable resources.
3. Define Your Brand Personality:
Once you have determined your key audiences and business goals, you can start to build out your brand personality. Your personality should create an image for customers and most important differentiators and product benefits. Since your brand personality defines your brand image, it’s important to keep it simple and relevant which will represent your brand.
4. Public Relations:
PR spreads your key messages and brand-related news. Positioning your business PR can improve your brand image and raise awareness of the brand business.
Content plays an important role in digital marketing activity. To elevate your brand profile, you must deliver content that will create a clear image of what your brand wants to deliver, blog posts to the target audience.
6. Social Media:
Social media is an extremely useful and important tool for sharing information relevant to your industry and interacting with your target customers. A social media presence can increase website traffic and enhance your image.
7. Search Engine Optimization:
This tactic improves your business website ranking on popular search engines like Google. To make an impact you need to rank well for specific keywords to increase the traffic to your brand website.
Brand image is important for any business in the market. When consumers buy a product or service, they aren't just buying a product or service; they're buying what your brand stands for. That's why it's so important to design your brand image to convey exactly what you want it to say and great the personality of your business.
How to develop a strong brand identity?
A brand identity is what your brand says about itself, what your values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when they interact with your company, how they recognize your brand. Essentially, your brand identity is the personality of your brand.
In simple words, you can say brand identity is the visible elements of a brand, such as colour, design, and logo that identify and distinguish the brand in customers' minds. Consistent marketing and messaging lead to consistent brand identity and great sales.
Here are the four steps to develop a strong brand identity.
Research: You can’t create a brand identity without knowing your target customers if you don’t understand your customers to begin with. So, you have to identify customers' likes and dislikes, hobbies, and values.
Brand story: Define your brand identity with a brand story. This isn’t necessarily your origin story, although it will have components of why you started your business and how it is going.
Visual identity: Now you need the visual elements that define your brand differently from others. These include your logo, co palette, typography etc.
Mission and values: What your brand stands for is an important part of your brand identity. Think about your goals, guiding principles, and culture to identify your mission and values.
Three Examples Of Strong Brand Identity
Coca-Cola prints its logo on a uniquely shaped bottle & that bright happy red colour in the logo if you think about it; there is no other brand in the market which has the same red scheme. This tells customers they're not getting an imitation this is the real Coca-Cola drink.
2. Hustle & Hope Greeting Cards
Hustle & Hope Greeting Cards all the paper products use modern, colourful designs that pop off the page and slogans that go beyond good wishing.
Asana uses a lot of white space for focus with bursts of colour to "inject energy" into the working environment & no other brand has the same colour scheme as asana. The three dots in the logo are arranged together, signifying balance and collaboration.
5 steps to build your brand from scratch
- Research your target audience and your competitors in the market.
Pick your focus and personality brand personality.
Choose a unique name for your brand.
Write a slogan or tagline which can attract an audience to your brand.
Choose or Design your logo for your brand.
What Gives Rise To Brand Image?
Good branding gives rise to brand image. Every industry has a set of unique values that they use to distinguish themselves from competitors. These values become part of your company’s identity and help you build strong relationships with customers. When these values are clear, your company gains credibility among consumers who recognize them as something worth buying.
The first thing that gives rise to brand image is the product itself. If we look at the Apple logo, for example, we immediately know what kind of company they are. People also associate brands with the way the brand markets themselves. So, when Nike markets their shoes by using athletes, like Michael Jordan, that automatically makes us think about the quality of the product.
A company has a brand image when its customers think they know what to expect from them. The best way to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction is to provide excellent service and build strong relationships. This creates trust which leads to loyalty and word-of-mouth publicity.
According to the book "The New Rules Of Marketing And PR", branding is built around three things: 1. The promise 2. Value proposition 3. Emotional connection. Every company should strive for these qualities when building their brand.
A brand image is built over time through consistent exposure, which creates awareness for a company's products or services. The process of building trust begins when customers interact with the brand's website, emails, phone calls, etc., as well as hearing about the brand from others. When consumers identify brands they like, they become loyal fans who purchase a range of products and services from the same brand.
So how do brands create positive images? One way is to offer great customer service and listen to feedback. Another way is to be honest and transparent about what makes them unique.
The brand image relates to how the audience views your brand, your offering, and what you stand for. Brand image is very important in developing strong branding and creating positive customer experiences are significant ways you can indirectly build your brand image. Brand Image is how the audience thinks of a brand. It can be defined as the perception of the brand in the minds of the audience.
FAQ's on Brand Image:
Brand image is the customer's perception of your brand based on their interactions.
Show who your company is and why you're different to the competition.
The core identity represents the essence of the brand and contains the associations that are most likely to remain constant over time.
The more prevalent and unique a brand is, the more recognition and loyalty it earns.