Having a strong brand image is essential in today’s business environment to stand out from competitors and attract new customers.
Once your brand has begun to gain status, it needs to be maintained so that your company is easily identifiable, and perceived as trustworthy and reliable. Connecting and influencing your customers is a huge part of this, but also being able to market yourself efficiently. Here are 6 tips to help build your brand image:
Decide what you’re offering
Having a clear, strategic brand mission is crucial for growth. To do this, you need to look at what you’re currently offering, then what you want to offer, then how you’re going to get there.
For example, marketing yourself as a budget retail store then only selling luxury brands isn’t useful for you or your customers. Set some strategic goals for what you want your company to achieve, this will help you define your brand.
Identify your target market
After you’ve defined your brand, targeting the correct market is your next step. You’ll be able to see roughly who you’re marketing to through your strategic goals. To segment further, you can apply demographics and you’ll be able to see exactly who you need to be targeting.
Research will be needed about your target audience to understand how you need to communicate with them, conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is useful in comparing yourself to your competitors.
Define your brand persona
So now that you know what you’re offering and who you’re offering it to, you need to decide how you’re going to offer it. Your persona should be appealing to your target market so that you can demonstrate your brand’s benefits compared to others.
In terms of advertising, own media and earned media you should aim for a consistent effort across all, hopefully tying them together. For example, having an emotional television advert then a bright, loud website is confusing. Aim for an overall aesthetic that’s appealing and hopefully unique.
Make yourself identifiable
For brand images, being able to have customers instantly recognise you is the overall goal. Many worldwide brands such as Apple, McDonalds and Starbucks have such a strong brand image that even just their symbol is enough to alert customers.
Therefore, branding itself becomes invaluable. As mentioned earlier, having a consistent aesthetic is essential, then producing a clear logo to go alongside is important. Companies such as Woven Inc specialise in embroidering, label printing services and portable branding. Distributing your logo on staff clothing and accessories is a great step to making your brand identifiable, especially if you’re a smaller business.
Engage in Public Relations
PR often gets confused with advertising, but there is a key difference. PR focuses on creating a favourable public image through relationship building and reputation management, whereas advertising is focused on drawing attention to the product.
Maintaining a strong, reputable image is important for PR. Carefully plan before you approach the press, then demonstrate your brand’s mission and why it’s worthwhile for a story to be written about your company.
Engage in Social Media
When done effectively, social media can be a great tool for connecting your company with your audience. Over one billion people regularly use Instagram, so by not using it to promote your brand, you’re disadvantaging yourself.
Using social media is an effective tool for injecting your brand’s personality into audience’s minds, and can also be repetitive in the sense that it keeps your company consistently viewed online.
Facebook and Instagram offer paid posts, via utilising these and posting consistently, you’ll be able to communicate with your target audience and build an imprint online.