What is Brand Image and How to Build It?
Do you think you have a great idea, a product, or a service that you offer to the market? Even if this is true, nowadays it is not enough to gain and retain your buyers. What turns out to be even more important is the image that your brand builds and the way it works for your business’ growth in the long run. In contrast to your great ideas, products, and services, that can be easily outperformed, your brand is what stays and pulls you up or down, depending on the way you use it. In this article, we are diving deeper into brand image’s meaning and the right way to build and maintain it.
What is brand image?
The Branding Journal tells us that brand image is about all the associations and reflections that your consumers have in their mind for your products and their attributes such as price, quality, etc.
To make it simpler, think about a famous brand you know. When you hear Apple, do you think about great design, premium quality, or overpriced products? Does the name of Coca-Cola ring the bell about certain taste in your mind? All these are associations that build the image of the brand and helps both companies position their products and services in a certain way.
In contrast to your brand identity derived internally from your mission, vision, brand attributes, etc., the brand image is a reflection of the external view by the public on your business and offerings. Here is why it is essential to understand and be able to build an image of your brand that supports the sustainable growth of your business.
Can you really build your brand’s image?
Both Yes and No. The image of your brand in society is not under your direct control and is often influenced by external media and word of mouth. However, the key aspects of positive brand’s image are still part of your job, and you must have them in your brand strategy.
- Establish your brand identity – your brand strategy probably begins with your mission and vision statements and your brand values. In addition to being communicated with your team members, these should also be revealed to the external audience, since they can seriously impact your brand image. In fact, a brand’s mission or vision is often the first touchpoint that a person has with a brand, which sets the basis for their later perceptions and brand experience.
- Deliver flawless customer experience – no matter if a person is on your website or at your physical location you must offer a flawless experience, impression, and service. All these are essential elements of your brand that can give or take out from your core products’ value.
- Take care of your brand positioning – why should one buy from you and what value could you bring them? The clear and concise answer to these questions will define your brand’s positioning and will help people understand your competitive advantage. This will also support your positive brand image.
- Communicate – all the elements above will have meaning only if you communicate them to the public by means of advertising and content marketing on the right channels.
Can you measure brand image?
Although customers’ perceptions and attitudes towards your brand might be subjective, there are still ways to measure them and understand your brand’s image. If you want to directly involve your customers in the process you can go for surveys and focus groups to study and measure your brand image among a desired audience group. Another, better approach, might be relying on social listening and monitor what people speak about your brand naturally on social media and across the Web.
How to improve your brand image?
Now, after you have been monitoring your brand’s image, you might have discovered certain weaknesses or areas to improve in the perceptions about your brand. Or maybe you have established an image that is different from the desired and intended one. In any case, the following steps will help you change it in a positive direction:
- Track word of mouth – this is the best and most accurate feedback that you can get for the image of your brand. If you discover some negative associations, criticism or ideas, do not hesitate to take actions and work on your customer experience, positioning or communication. It is never a bad idea to turn to a professional marketing services to strengthen and improve your brand image.
- Focus on your marketing strategy – make sure your brand is communicating its core values and is transmitting the right message to the audience.
- Deliver expected quality and value – what customers get from your service and products must be equal in value to the ones that your promise through your branding and positioning activities.
3 reasons why brand image really matters
Now that we have covered all the aspects of creating and strengthening a brand’s image you have an idea that it is a complex and ongoing process. You also need to know why and how it can make the difference for your business:
- It is a competitive advantage – even if you pioneer a certain industry, you will soon face severe competition based on product qualities, pricing, or market share. In such cases when we see successful products or ideas easily copied, brand image is the one thing that no competitor can take out from you and that can help you stand out.
- It is about reputation – maintaining a positive brand image opens the door for new business, new partnerships, and, most of all, helps you get closer and faster to the buyers that share these positive associations without even knowing details about your product qualities and pricing.
- It pays off progressively – so far, we never mentioned brand image in terms of employer branding. Remember that maintaining good brand image also works for the inspiration and motivation of people inside your business to bring even more value and to recognize themselves in the value and image of your brand in society.
What is your brand’s image? Being a marketing studio for IT and tech companies, we know best how to measure and improve the state of brands and their reflection among desired groups of target clients. Get in touch with Brandanizer and learn how we could boost your brand and make it work for your IT business.