DOES YOUR BRAND IMAGE MATTER?
Your brand image matters more to your customers than you may think. Customers, clients, and other businesses recognise you as a company through brand colours, fonts, images, and your logo. But how much does it really matter?
Most businesses do not really think about their brand image or logo until there becomes a stagnant period in their sales. Getting your business look right can grab the attention of passers by and internet scrollers within an instance, allowing your business profile to do your marketing for you!
What is a brand image?
It is your customers perception of your company, how they see you against competitors and the association they have when they hear your name. Now, for large scale businesses this can mean the difference between being a household name that the masses recognise or just another brand they have not heard of. For small scale companies and independent shops, it can represent your brand to new customers every day, whether that’s people walking past in the street or new followers finding your company on social media. First impressions really make all the difference when it comes to gaining new customers and your brand image can play a big role in this process.
Why is it important?
Business owners often associate branding and the look of their business with higher unnecessary costs that add no value to the products and services they are offering, which may be the case in some industries, but more often than not, customers will still choose to buy or use your service based on how your brand looks. Much like you would want your LinkedIn profile to look pristine and well rounded when you go for a job interview, your companies branding should also give the same impression to customers. You want this to seem professional, clear, and informative so customers know what your brand is all about and can influence their purchasing tendencies. Brand image encompasses all of a business’s branding from the logo, font, colours, slogan, employees’ attitude, and advertisements.
How can it improve your sales?
Brand association is key to attracting and retaining your target market. Without the attraction and brand recognition, sales are limited.
A coherent brand profile gives your business identity. Identity is what differentiates you from competitors. Customers look for a unique identity when purchasing as it gives them something to associate themselves with. Brand association is what drives sales, when you capture the attention of the market customers are willing to buy into your brand image not just your products or services.
A well-defined brand image means customers can easily recognise your brand when they see your logo or hear your slogan. This is key for capturing the repeat purchase tendencies of customers who associate a positive experience with your business, reminding them to purchase from you again. The fast-food industry is a good example of businesses adopting a brand recognition strategy to improve their sales, especially in larger corporations, who play on their slogans to attract customers. Colours are also a great way for customers to easily identify you as a business, so create a colour scheme that you use throughout all of your branding, logo, website, social media, and corporate design scheme.
First impressions are key. They stay with people and form a judgement on what they think about your business. And new customers are very impressionable. Positioning yourself in the market by representing your core values through your company culture and brand image helps customers identify and relate to your brand, so putting these selling points in place from the start will help to ground your business in the market.
Customers buy not just your products and services but your brand image too and what you stand for. Having a credible brand portfolio involves creating a brand culture around core values. These are portrayed through your employees’ attitude, the atmosphere in your shop, the language used on your website, and everything in between. Giving your brand credibility takes times, customers want to know you are the real deal, they want to see reviews, new product launches, even the owners behind the brand. All of these elements make up your credibility rating when it comes to attracting customers.
What should I do as a business?
Understanding how you want your business to look to customers is the first step in designing your brand image. Identify what your core values are as a business and work around these points when creating your look or theme. Once you have outlined the unique selling points your business has, capitalise on these features by making them the focus of how you sell your business as whole. If your brand is focussed on sustainability, then create a brand representation centred around this. When setting up your business do not get hung up about your logo, colours, image, this can be changed at a later date, re-branding is very popular and often shows your transformation as a brand. The most important thing is being authentic and capturing the attention of customers by showing them who you are as a brand rather than just what it is you have to sell.
Ultimately, brand image does matter. The key points that represent your brand are unique to your business. As a small business you can represent your brand as an independent retailer and gain more sales in the local area and as a larger company, focussing on the core values to transcend through your employees will increase your brand image in a positive way.
Published 16th July 2021