Updated: Apr 18, 2018
Many people do not understand the value of developing a structured brand image. Think about the companies that you recognize by a shade of color, icon, tagline or brand ambassador. Those are all branding strategies to increase visibility, establish credibility and differentiate themselves from their competitors.
If you have already developed a brand image, take a look at our infographic that has easy and actionable steps towards maintaining that image.
1.) The importance of a “brand”
Do you understand branding? Many people including professionals do not. As Jeff Bezos stated, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Branding is a complex concept to grasp. It is all the impressions a consumer has with your brand to elicit an emotional response. Branding is difficult to quantify but incredibly impactful, even to those who notice it subconsciously.
The branding of a company is composed of a variety of elements, some of which you already may know: logo, colors, icons, fonts, culture, service, and the “feeling” people get when they do business with you. When executed correctly, these elements provide credibility, uniqueness, confidence and trust - something that is hard to come by and can be lost in an instant.
2.) Live and breathe your brand
A brand stays alive and relevant only when it is used often and accurately. By incorporating your brand elements, you will communicate to your audience that you have a clear message and are trustworthy. When your brand is all over the place, you spark confusion and lose both credibility and customers.
3.) Do not change or alter your brand
Your messaging is part of your brand. If you alter it, it causes confusion and distrust. Using the brand guidelines to a fault is the best thing you can do as a representative of your company. When you use your brand guides, you show the audience that you stand in solidarity with your company, that you agree with what they represent, and that you are (and they are) trustworthy.
4.) Use it across all platforms
Maintaining a strong brand image across all platforms is vital to maintaining credibility and staying relevant. Be proud of your company, its goals and mission, and communicate that to the digital world. This includes social media, email (marketing and signature), collateral, ads and events.
5.) Be consistent
Consistency is key. Stick to your brand guideline and use your logos, colors and other elements accurately. Doing anything other than sticking to your brand guidelines will cause confusion and distrust.
6.) Understand your audience
You should know your audience inside and out. Hopefully before you started your business, you had a clear definition of what they need. If you are still learning about your audience, you should take a look at your customers, do your research, and create a clear “persona” (or 3!) of your returning customer. Once you have that knowledge, you can accurately target and appeal to them.
7.) Create community – network with similar brands
Better in numbers is a great moto to live by for all things business. There is true value in working with other companies that appeal to the same audience. Networking, sharing information or tools, and cross marketing can be a valuable tool.
8.) Stay true to your brand
At the end of the day, you are a representation of your brand and company – so represent it accurately!