Marketing and branding are both confusing topics, especially when small business owner feels that they are struggling just to break even. However, a brand identity has the potential to be your greatest asset, inspiring customers to give your company a try and keep coming back repeatedly.
Understanding exactly what makes a great brand and a brand identity and how it is different from the similar but not identical issue of the brand image will help you build a more cohesive brand.
What is a Brand Image?
A brand image is simply what people think of your business, in the shortest and sweetest possible language. There is nothing complicated about it; it is merely the picture that comes to your customer’s minds when a friend asks them whether they enjoy doing business with you. Underestimating this image can be disastrous, but it is not the sum total of your brand.
Brand identity, on the other hand, is a more complex issue. Think of your brand as a person. While it’s important to know the brand’s gender, age, and demographic information, this is not the most important part of who they are. When you get to know someone, you learn about their beliefs, political stances, hobbies, and favorites.
These characteristics add up to who that person really is. These characteristics are what make you interested in the person on an ongoing basis and make you want to be around them—or not. Your business’s brand identity can be designed to produce the same result.
An example of a brand image carried over to the package design of one of our clients. (Read more)
It should be noted that people are good at pointing out fakes. If someone who claims to be healthy eats at McDonald’s every day, their coworkers and friends notice the incongruence. By the same lines, no one can claim to be a fashionista while running around in stained sweatpants.
The same way people pick up these and other cues and then use them to gauge a person’s sincerity, your customers are watching to see if their brand experience matches up with your brand image. If these two don’t align, your brand identity is likely to get lost in the confusion.
On the other hand, when your brand image and your brand identity are completely aligned, you are set up for immense success. While no person and no business is universally loved, many people will feel drawn to your business and want to engage in an ongoing relationship with your brand. This kind of behavior, called brand loyalty, can make all the difference between success and failure.
How can you make sure your brand identity and your brand image are both aligned and attractive to your target audience?
Most companies who have found success in this area have done so by getting help from professionals. You would never fix your own plumbing or re-sole your own shoes; branding is far more important than both of these and far more complicated as well.
Talk to a branding expert today about how you can set your small business up for success by building a professional brand that your customers can believe in.
How To Create A Brand Image
In many products and services, there are multiple amounts of businesses offering the same product. They are essentially competing for brands and it is difficult for consumers to differentiate one from the other. Company logo designs are one tool that is available for your use. The creative strategy used in company logo designs is image advertising.
Image advertising is becoming increasingly popular in all types of services and products and the core idea is to enhance brand image. Read why brand image matters more than you think in this article by Forbes.
But how do you increase brand image?
From soft drinks to airlines and cars, there are many brands that have begun using image advertising. Many people associate with certain brands because of the images that are seen when these brands are advertised.
Your company logo design can encompass image advertising by providing an image that people are able to see, remember and relate to. The key is to develop company logo designs that appeal to your consumers.
The greater the number of competitors, the more important it is to have positive and appealing company logo designs and the focus on brand and image. It is difficult for consumers to differentiate one business from another if there is not an image behind the company.
The image that your consumers relate to you with should be the company logo designs. Although your services may be similar or exactly the same as your competitor, your company logo designs will help your consumer differentiate between the two businesses.
Creating a brand image is an important part of a company’s marketing and advertising campaign. Brand image can be accomplished through professional company logo designs that consumers are able to distinguish from the competitors. Most advertising dollars in marketing plans are spent on distinguishing your company logo designs from the next company or competitor.
Your brand image and company logo designs can be used as your company’s image advertising. Company logo designs provide images and words that will be burned into the minds of consumers.
After a company develops a good brand image, the company is able to focus on brand loyalty. Brand image and brand loyalty go hand in hand. Company logo designs have a lot to do with brand loyalty as well and should be at the center of any brand image campaign. Company logo designs can make or break a business when it comes to brand image and loyalty and should be created by a brand image agency.
You want to have an appearance that is unique so that your consumers will remember your company logo designs and continue to look for your company logo designs in the future. Brand image is all a part of the creative process that leads to a successful advertising and marketing campaign.
Once you have a robust perception, you should also protect your brand image. But that is a topic for another article.
Building a professional online brand image in today’s world is extremely important. The pandemic is changing everything in our professional and personal lives. As businesses move online, it is vital to have a professional image online to reach the pinnacle of success.
Overall, professionalism is a key player when dealing with clients, collaborating with coworkers, or anything else. Now that all these things are being conducted online, you might want to know about the tips to enhance your professional brand image online.
Here are the ten tips for building a strong online brand image.
Build a Brand Persona that helps you Stand Out
Having a brand persona is essential to creating a relationship with your target audience. This is based on the buyer persona and needs to align with it very closely. You can use your customer archetypes to create your brand archetype. It is the cornerstone of becoming a well-known brand in no time.
Here are three key things to remember:
- Make sure your brand story and messaging aligns with your brand essence
- Build a reputation of your brand through authentic brand behavior
- Make sure your brand promise is the most important thing for your brand
In addition, the vibe of your brand, no matter in an office or online, should communicate the vision. This means your brand tone and voice need to be carefully cultivated to create the right impression with your audience.
Make sure your brand identity is done right
It is common these days to see a disconnect between what a brand claims to be and the visual representation of the brand. Sloppy brand identity will damage your brand image quite severely.
And yet, business owners and brand stakeholders consider a robust brand identity as just an expense and seek to invest the least they can.
Your brand identity should contain the following elements at the very least and they should be professionally designed based on a robust brand and positioning strategy.
- A beautiful primary logo design that communicates the core message of the brand
- A secondary brand mark that supports the primary logo and enhances the look and feel of the brand
- An official brand pattern that can be used to create a cohesive and larger than life brand image
- Carefully designed social media avatars, cover images, and other graphics that stay true to the brand visual language
- A professionally designed website with one mission – build trust with the audience
Investing in getting these right will bring in 100x ROI.
Harness the Power of Social Media
In an era where social media has become an integral part of our lives, you can use it to create a professional brand image online. Leveraging social media to create a strong impression can yield many benefits for your business. But it is crucial to use it in the best possible manner.
You should have a well-thought-out social media marketing plan and be consistent with your approach when communicating online. Proper understanding of your area of expertise, along with a confident and engaging tone, will do the job for you. With a rising social media influence, a strong online presence will help you build a professional image.
Come Up With a Robust Marketing Plan
Marketing is one of those things that will help businesses get a competitive edge over others. It is why many companies invest a huge chunk of their budgets into their brand marketing plan. However, it won’t give you the results you are looking for if it is not engaging.
While having a marketing plan with a formal tone is good, it also needs to have the essence to leave an impact. So, the best strategy to go with it is to have a thorough understanding of your customer’s pain points while keeping an eye on the competitors’ strategies. This means understanding your customer’s journey towards your product or service.
There is no harm in taking inspiration from your competitor. If something is working well from them, you should take a peek into it and know how you can use it in a better way. In addition, you should do an analysis and get an insight into the customer’s perspectives.
A professional individual or company should be open to constructive criticism and feedback. And that is something you need to apply for your brand. People like to see brands tweaking their policies or bringing slight changes in their services due to their feedback.
As a result, it aids them in building a professional brand reputation online. Therefore, you should always have a way for customers to leave feedback. Encouraging it will give your target audience a sense of professionalism.
Content is the King
A long-term marketing strategy is futile if it is missing the driving force which is engaging content. We have heard big brands talk about how their product placement was right to help them reach where they are today. But for most businesses, the thing helping them enhance their online image is a content strategy.
So, if you want to build a professional online image, you have to work on your content. It entails using many different things, such as a stream of blogs, guest postings, and other content pieces that help connect with your target audience.
Create a Solid Personal Brand
Your personal profile and your brand’s online image are interlinked – especially if you are the brand ambassador leading the brand. If you want to create a professional image for your brand, you need to start by building a personal brand. The idea is that your personal profile must show the professionalism that defines your brand.
Your online brand image has a link with your online image. Individuals search for the brains behind an idea or a brand. So, if you want to have a professional online brand image, you need to create your own professional reputation.
You can start by sharing ideas on social media regarding your field. Also, you can share your brand’s posts and promote them in a way that showcases its professional side.
One of the key things you need to keep in mind is that consistency is vital when marketing your brand on social media. A disconnect with your previous post or something different from your vision will present an unprofessional look.
Consistency in your voice and tone of the brand’s online marketing efforts will yield fruitful results for you.
You can choose to jump on the bandwagons to try something different, but the overall strategy for your brand’s online image should remain constant. Moreover, it will help you increase your brand recognition. The same tone and style will maintain a professional image in people’s minds since your profile matches your identity.
Present Yourself as an Expert
People will follow those who they think are experts in their field and know what they are doing.
They are likely going to listen and follow business leaders and marketers who have a firm knowledge about their market segment. So, if you are looking to create a professional image of your brand, you need to be an expert in your domain.
Moreover, you don’t need to keep the knowledge to yourself. Instead, you should engage with people to share your views and opinion. You can start a podcast, join online groups or forums, or upload videos on different topics. As a result, you will be aiding in creating a professional image for your brand online.
Put an Effort in Relationships
Last but not least, the relationship with your customers goes way beyond a connection online. You need a personal touch to help your business grow into something big. Ideally, your brand should deliver on the promise made online.
You should put effort into creating a relationship with your customers to ensure they perceive you the same way as your online image. It will further contribute towards showcasing your brand as a reputable business that is professional and trustworthy.
Benefit from Email Marketing
The corporate world still relies on and considers email to be the most professional form of communication. So, if you want to build a strong professional brand image for your brand, you should utilize email marketing.
It will help you kill two birds with one stone since you will be marketing your brand while maintaining a professional status to target your brands.
These are some ways for building and maintaining a professional image not just for your business, but for yourself too. To summarize, to build a strong brand you need to leverage social media, use PR, and keep consistency in the brand’s vision and online presence.
If your business does not just depend on word of mouth but rather online marketing then your brand image plays a significant part. Remember that subjective perceptions can be tweaked through your brand image. Creating a positive brand image is fundamental to engaging potential customers and getting into the consumer’s mind through a consistent brand image.
These tips will improve the brand reputation and increase the brand reputation, which will drive sales and revenue. So, you can incorporate these ideas to create a strong brand image.