With the flexibility of the internet and broad reach of social media, it’s easier to go into business for yourself now than it had been in the past. Customers today want to buy from brands that share their values and beliefs. This is where your brand image comes into play.
Today, we’re going to teach you how to manage your brand image to get the most benefit from your business. Read along for our full guide.
What is a Brand Image?
Your brand image is determined by the way the general public perceives you and your business. Your brand is judged by past customers, future customers, and people who will never become customers. This goes beyond your logo and website layout.
Your interactions with consumers and other business owners, what media outlets are saying about you, the quality of your products, and your social media posts all affect your brand image. The brand image is the way people think and feel when your brand is mentioned.
Brand Image is Equal to Credibility
Your brand image and brand credibility fall hand in hand. If customers use your service or walk into your stores to find that your staff is rude and impatient when they were promised a personalized helpful experience, your credibility (and a sale from that customer) will go out the window.
What are your core values? What promises and guarantees do you make in your marketing materials?
These things need to be reflected at all times. For example, let’s say you own an art supply store. In your motto, you mention having strong ties to the local art community and knowledgeful associates throughout the store.
If a customer entered your business and wanted to know what type of paint would work best on a canvas she had in her shopping cart and the associate didn’t have the answer, the associate would be working against the product knowledge part of your brand image.
How to Improve
To keep things like this from happening, it’s pertinent that you create mandatory training across the board. Everyone from the store manager to the cashier should receive training that correlates with your customer guarantee.
Build Effortless Brand Recognition
People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. They want to invest in brands that move them. This is why you should involve consumer’s emotions in your marketing strategies.
According to Psychology Today, “Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) shows that when evaluating brands, consumers primarily use emotions, rather than information (brand attributes, features, and facts).”
This is the reason you’ve probably noticed an increase in emotional ads from major brands. Whether they be sad, nostalgic, or tell a humbling story, these advertisements are performing better than their counterparts.
How to Improve
Video marketing is the closest thing to having face to face interaction with your customer base and you’ll reach a lot more people while doing it. In fact, companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic.
You don’t need to hire a film crew and actors to break into video marketing. Most phones easily record high-quality videos. With this marketing strategy, you can tap into consumer’s emotions by telling the story of how you got into the business, have staff share stories of their favorite customer interactions, or show some behind the scenes shots.
Have fun and be creative. But also, be genuine because people are good at picking up on forced content.
Fake it ‘Till You Make it
Maybe your business just launched a few weeks ago and you’re still working out some kinks. That isn’t an issue. Every entrepreneur goes through this and it’s a great time to learn some valuable lessons.
But what you don’t want is people who are looking in from the outside to realize you’re new at this. Your inexperience can scare potential sales away before they’ve gotten started.
How to Improve
There are small things that can give off a more polished impression. For example, don’t use a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo for your business. Set up an email using your professional domain.
If your name is Bob and you’re a freelance wedding photographer something like [email protected] would be a great option.
Edit your social media posts, emails, and website content with a fine-tooth comb for professional looking spelling and grammar. And use a free website like Canva to create crisp, branded flyers, business cards, and menus.
All Impressions are Lasting Impressions
Whether someone is looking at your social media or a newsletter you emailed them, your messaging has to be the same throughout all your platforms. You can’t call yourself a “green” company on your website and then package your products in containers that aren’t recyclable.
People will remember what you said your values were and they will remind you when you’ve stepped outside of that bubble. You are accountable for your brand. Staying on brand will help increase your bottom line.
How to Improve
You need to know with full certainty that all your branding matches. We’re not just talking colors or logos, although those things are important too.
You have to gain a complete understanding of your brand in order to know how to move forward. This is a process that stumps many new business owners.
If you’re finding this step to be too challenging, enlist this company to help while you focus on creating a great customer experience.
Know Your Business Goals
It’s difficult to start a major project without planning where it will end up. When you’re thinking about your brand image, think about what you expect your business to become in the next several years.
The steps you take now will differ according to that plan. Whether you wish for your small business to become a large chain or you wish to stay small and sell when you retire.
How to Improve
Take some time to think about the future of your business by using the S.M.A.R.T. model.
This action-oriented plan will help you lead your business in the direction of your choice.
We’re Here to Help
Our experts are here to help you make the most of your brand image. Check our site for a complete list of reputation services and business advice.