The perceptions and ideas a customer has about a brand, based on their interactions with it and the way a brand presents itself, make up a company’s brand image.
Nurturing your brand image is critical because it:
- Provides a good first impression of your business to prospects
- Builds recognition with the general audience
- Boost business credibility, awareness, and equity
- Sets you apart from the competition
- Provides direction for the future
So – how do you achieve all that?
By tapping into the five actionable tips below for improving your brand image.
1. Achieve Consistency Across All Channels
The key to successful business branding across different channels and platforms is consistency. It is important that your visual identity and voice are similar on all channels.
Consistent business branding is one of the essential aspects of a business’ growth and survival.
Creating a consistent brand image means embodying your company’s core values in visual elements, messaging, marketing, and digital strategy.
Your company’s overall brand presence should be consistent through:
- Visual identity: Create a brand board or brand guidelines to define the proper and consistent use of your logo, colors, imagery, typography, and other elements across all channels. Your signature brand look will make you stand out among the competition. If your brand is not visually consistent, it may be misused or misrepresented. A signature color makes your brand 80% more recognizable, while a logo is the first thing your prospects see and associate your brand with.
- Brand tone of voice: Your business should communicate your brand consistently and effectively through every piece of content you create and on every marketing platform you use. Strive to use a tone of voice, taglines, web copy, and mission statements that use similar wording and portray similar messages and emotions. To define your brand’s tone of voice, you need to:
- Define your brand
- Identify your audience
- Examine your copy and content
- Inspect your visual content
- Choose your words wisely
Consistent business branding builds trust with your target audience and research shows it can also increase your revenue by as much as 33%.
2. Invest In A Professional Website
Your brand extends to multiple platforms and channels and a website is only one small portion of it.
When prospects, leads, and casual visitors land on your website, directly, via Google search, or through digital ads, they form a first impression of your business.
Users form an opinion about your website – and, consequently, your business – within 0.05 seconds of landing on it. Also, almost half of web visitors believe that design is the top factor supporting a website’s credibility.
Studies show it only takes two seconds to lose visitors if your website loads slowly.
According to the design team from a NY web design company Digital Silk, when creating a professional website for your business, best practice is to use:
- Simple and intuitive navigation
- Clean and legible typography
- Fast-loading pages
- High-quality imagery
- Bold and enticing call-to-action buttons
- Concise and to-the-point copy
- Search engine optimization for better ranking in Google results
A website that ranks and performs well, educates visitors and aligns content with their search intent is hugely beneficial for your brand image and business results.
3. Identify What Makes Your Brand Unique And Provide Social Proof
Defining your brand’s X factor is a good starting point for making your business unique compared to others on the market.
A brand differentiator is what makes your brand stand out among the rest. This is also a foundation for brand positioning, which we will touch upon later.
Research your competition to find out what brands have the same strengths and weaknesses as you do. Comparing your products and services to others may reveal some of your strengths that you could capitalize on.
Once you have identified your unique selling points, find a way to communicate them to your audience in a convincing and trustworthy way. This is where social proof comes in.
Prospective customers respond strongly to social influence that provides cues saying your products and/or services can indeed solve their pain points.
By aligning your products with previous satisfied customers, brand ambassadors or influencers, you give your brand support and validation.
The most effective types of social proof are:
- Customer reviews: Research shows that customers trust online reviews: 70% of consumers need to read at least four reviews before they can trust a business. Online reviews about a product can also increase its conversion rate by more than 270%!
- Testimonials: Satisfied customers can also provide full-blown testimonials about how your products or services changed their lives for the better. Featuring their name, job position, and an image of the person giving their testimonial increases trust with prospective buyers through legitimacy.
- Celebrity/influencer endorsements: Influencer marketing is a growing trend in digital marketing. Social media posts or photos of celebrities and influential figures on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook posing with or using your brand can be extremely valuable in building your brand credibility and trust.
- Media coverage: Your business can leverage press coverage and other media exposure as social proof. For instance, on your website, you can create a special section featuring the major publications that have covered your business.
Think About Your Messaging And Positioning Statement
Your brand’s messaging is the most effective when it balances between illustrating its benefits for customers and describing the products or services.
Try to summarize your business in one sentence and describe your products in clear and understandable terms. Explain to your audience what your product or brand is, who it is for, and what its primary values are to the consumer.
Next, you want to communicate your brand’s benefits.
Create short statements around several main benefits for your customers by focusing on your target audience’s biggest needs. Explore areas such as saving time and cutting costs, increasing business efficiency, and organizational boons.
Aim to begin all of your benefit statements with action words such as “get,” “create,” “boost” and so on. These kinds of words can help you focus on communicating the transformation the buyer is expecting.
Finally, focus on some of your products’ features.
When listing the features of your products or services, use statistics and hard facts that build trust in your brand.
One of your brand’s main objectives should be to make your target audience perceive it as credible and favorable.
Positioning strategies and positioning statements complement your brand’s messaging and make your business extra memorable. Their defining qualities are:
- Communicating value: Your brand’s website copy and advertising messaging should provide valuable content that is insightful and relevant to your audience. This shows that you are capable of solving their pain points by giving them value.
- Emotional connection: Learn about your target audience’s problems and establish a connection with them on an emotional level before making a sales pitch. This will build trust with your brand and create a more positive experience with your business.
- Differentiating qualities: We talked about differentiators earlier and it’s very important to integrate them into your positioning statements. Your unique qualities should be easy to understand through your messaging and in all stages of the user journey and conversion funnel.
Develop A Strong Social Media Presence
Your brand image can benefit from major social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Managing your brand message and overall reputation on social media is essential – for B2B as well as B2C businesses.
On social media, you can get the word out about your brand as well as your new products and services.
After all, 80% of consumers are more likely to consider products from brands they follow on social media. Also, global brands spend up to 75% of their social media time on Facebook, which remains the platform for interacting with consumers.
A strong social media presence enables you to reach a much broader audience that resonates with your brand voice and imagery. It also allows you to interact with your prospects instantly.
In order to leverage social media for your brand image to the fullest, keep these tips in mind:
- Know your target audience: Different audiences use different social media platforms. Depending on who you are trying to reach, you may want to focus your efforts on a particular social media channel. Or, if you want to create a unified social media network, bear in mind that you should alter and adjust your brand voice and posting strategy for a specific audience on each platform.
- Establish your social media objectives: Think hard about what you want to accomplish on social media. Are you looking to reach new, younger demographics? Or to boost your brand awareness? Maybe you want to boost brand loyalty or capture leads. Knowing your goals will inform your content strategy.
- Don’t forget about consistency: Remember what we said about brand consistency earlier in the article? All of that applies, even more so, on social media. Align your brand’s voice with your core values that will be reflected in your social media posts and in the way you interact with your followers in comments and messages. For instance, don’t shy away from maintaining a humorous approach on social media if that’s how your brand normally operates and especially if the social media platform and its users resonate well with it.
Brand Image Takeaways
In today’s competitive market, consumers are not looking to buy a product or a service only — they’re looking for an enjoyable brand experience.
When you get your brand image right, you convey what you want it to say to your prospects via all available channels: social media, advertising efforts, content marketing, and, most importantly – your own website.