Whether you’re just starting out or trying to rebuild, your brand image is one of the more important elements to your business and should be handled with care. Let’s go over what brand image is, why it’s important, and tangible ways you can present your business in the best light.
When we talk about your brand image, what we mean is how your business, products, and services are perceived by current and potential clients. You have the power to create a “personality” for your business! Your brand image is a VIP element to your company because it not only helps you attract your ideal clientele but it also gives your employees direction and motivation to embrace your company’s values and priorities as their own.
Here are a few basic steps to improving your brand image.
When was the last time you took a good hard look at your logo? If you’re just starting out, great! It’s worth the upfront investment to hire a graphic designer to collaborate with on creating your ideal logo and brand media suite which includes brand color palette, acceptable fonts, letterhead, headers and thumbnails formatted for social media, etc.
Been around for a while and afraid your logo and other brand collateral look a bit clip art-ish? There’s no problem starting over! Create a strategic marketing campaign around rebranding your business to reintroduce and invigorate your current clientele around your businesses new direction. Taking on this creative process on your own is totally fine if you’ve got killer digital media skills and are creative. But, don’t cut corners here. If you need help fleshing out your vision, it’s worth hiring a consultant.
Living and breathing your brand image is key, not only for you but for your business reputation and your employees as well. Everyone representing your organization is essentially a brand ambassador. Hiring the right employees and clearly communicating your company vision and mission as well as expectations regarding the customer’s experience is paramount.
Many of your clientele likely make their way to you via online searches, social media or personal recommendations. Your online brand image should connect with your target market so everything you put out into the universe should be indicative of your brand’s personality and values.
Treat your website like you’d treat your home. It should portray a desired impression and reflect you and your business. With so many do-it-yourself website building services, it’s easy to choose a website format and design purely based on its simplicity and ease of build. Resist! This is another area where, if you need some extra help, it’s worth the investment. Most potential clients will research you before even considering making a purchase or visiting you in person. If your main gig is ecommerce, it’s even more important to thoughtfully build your business website.
Social media platforms are fabulous for showing your brand’s personality. If your aim is to be viewed as a subject matter expert, post scholarly articles or links to helpful resources. Want to show your fun side? Go wild with memes and “punny” posts related to your industry or services.
No matter your ultimate brand image goal, you should always show appreciation to your customers. Social media is the ideal way to do just that. Repost from customers that have tagged you to show your appreciation for their spreading the word about you or post client stories that demonstrate your level of customer service and dedication to client satisfaction.
Related: Social Media Pocket Guide
Another great way to build a positive brand image beyond your brand’s personality is to have a healthy reserve of positive reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask satisfied customers to write you a quick review on popular websites. Some of the more popular sites are:
Related eBook: The Power of Online Reviews
Organizing employee volunteer opportunities or sponsoring community events is an effective way to reach local consumers. Hold a toy drive around the holidays or volunteer at an animal shelter to instill in your staff your brand’s values and involve them in a unique team building opportunity.
Combine community efforts and events for a double whammy. Invite customers to an exclusive event perhaps unveiling a new offering or product or just to show appreciation for your clients and partner with a local charity to include a fundraising component. Clients will appreciate seeing that your marketing efforts are not entirely self-serving and the cause you choose to support will likely resonate on a personal level for several making their loyalty to you that much stronger.
Choose events and activities in your community to sponsor. Whether that’s a fall festival or a tech conference, check out your local events calendars for events that you’d like your brand associated with. Piggybacking off of events that have a positive community following allows you to benefit from their good name!
Having a brick-and-mortar location offers you the opportunity to personify your brand’s personality for in-store customers. Even pumping the right music through your shop will affect how customers view your brand! Choose décor, color schemes, music, even scents with care. All of these physical elements are mental takeaways and if done right, will keep people coming back for more.
Sure, it’s great to get your entire brand image solidified and rolled out. But, if you’re not consistently threading that personality and those values throughout every aspect of your business and for the long term, sorry to say, but it will be all for nothing. Don’t let that discourage you!
Being true to yourself and letting your personal values and tastes dictate how you treat your customers and present your business will make it that much easier to maintain. Careful planning and self-reflection on the front end helps to make sure you’re being genuine from the start and creating a sustainable brand image.
Brand and reputation are two peas in a pod. Get more reputation tips from our free eBook below: