All sorts of businesses rely on brand image whether you’re a start-up trying to enter the market or an established company. Brand image is one of the most important aspects of a successful business as public perception is essential. This is especially the case in today’s digitally-driven world where you can find most of your target audience on the internet.
The whole idea is that you want prospective customers to see you in a positive light and that your brand is accurately portrayed. This involves looking closely at the information you publish along with your own brand personality. In this article, we highlight a few simple tips on how to improve your brand image online. But first, here’s a recap on what exactly brand image is and why it’s so important.
Defining Brand Image For Business Success
Brand image refers to how your existing and potential customers perceive your business, products and services. Only you have the power to create a “brand personality” which works in the same way as your own personality. Not only does it help you attract your ideal customers but it also gives your employees direction and the right amount of motivation to embrace your company values.
Successfully managing your brand image requires building a good relationship with the target market. Some of the tangible elements in brand management include the type and quality of the product, its appearance, price and packaging among others. Remember, brand image develops over time and should not be rushed. Customers will eventually form an image based on their own interactions and experiences with your brand.
Quality Visual Assets
Have you recently looked at your company’s visual assets such as logos, web design and image quality? Whether you are just starting out or been around since the DotCom boom, your visual assets should look the part. It’s worth investing in a graphic designer to create the ideal logo and brand media as part of your brand style guide. This includes a brand colour palette, fonts, letterhead, headers and thumbnails formatted for social media among others.
Building a memorable brand is all about consistency and a brand style guide can provide maximum impact. The best brands remain at the top because their presence is defined by the careful repetition of the same visual assets. When people see these elements enough, they become instantly recognisable which provides a sense of trust, reliability and security.
Enhanced Customer Engagement
Any business attempting to build a strong online presence should understand the importance of responsive customer engagement. Brands that don’t engage with their target audience by ignoring comments or questions run the risk of a bad reputation. Whether people are talking about you negatively or positively, you should NEVER ignore them.
Be proactive in your approach and always engage with your audience in a respectful and timely manner. Not only is it the right thing to do but it shows people that your brand has a human side. Respond to all comments or posts with the intention of learning more about your audience as that is vital for a successful brand image. One thing you should strongly consider is requesting reviews. This could prompt and encourage satisfied customers to provide valuable feedback.
Spend Time On Social Media
One of the best aspects about social media is the ability to connect with existing and potential customers more personally. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google My Business offer customers the opportunity to provide feedback visible to everyone online. Considering the nature of social media, just be sure that your approach is as interactive as possible.
You can respond to any comments but remember the way that you do could really impact your brand image. While it’s great to show off positive feedback, you also need to portray real concern when you get something wrong. Don’t ignore a negative comment but rather respond with honesty and full transparency as most customers will appreciate that.
Highlight Positive Practices
A powerful way to improve your brand image is by promoting positive practices. This refers to identifying the best attributes of your business and finding a way to integrate that into your marketing efforts.
Social media is a great place to talk about your business especially if it’s sustainable. If your brand is not quite there yet, start small with the basics like recycling cardboard and plastic. Informing your followers that your brand is sustainable while providing examples could encourage engagement.
In today’s fast-paced world, work-life balance is a big topic of conversation. Use this to your advantage and give your followers a behind-the-scenes look into your business. Show them something interesting about how you balance work and fun whether you play games at lunch, surf the web for the next best tech toy or a quick gym session.
Cut Through The Noise With Added Value
With all the noise online, you need to ensure that your content adds some real value. To start, think about your target audience and the type of content they would appreciate to help solve their problems. It doesn’t even have to be anything specific and can include adding some fun and games to the conversation.
Many brands tend to forget that existing or potential customers are the best people to approach for suggestions or recommendations. Keeping quiet and listening to your audience is often the best way forward. If you need further inspiration, use hashtags to find out what topics are trending and create content around that. On top of that, keep a close on your analytics to see which content performs best and plan ahead accordingly.
Authenticity Is Key
Being authentic will help people relate better to your business and it’s really simple actually. The easiest way to do this is to always keep your values in mind and making sure that your online activities reflect them.
To be an authentic brand, simply encourage honesty and transparency. Keep promoting your core values and only engage with other brands that share similar values. Last, but certainly not the least, respect your audience. By truly understanding what they value, you can create the most interesting and relevant content that appeals to them.
In theory, brand image is not created but rather formed by existing and potential customers. As they purchase your product or service, they essentially buy the image as well. While there are several elements to improving brand image, the core message is to listen to your target audience, be proactive, transparent and remain ahead of the curve.
If you need advice managing your online reputation, we’d be happy to assist. The team at WSI-eMarketing will help you implement the right strategies to raise the profile of your brand. We will work hand-in-hand with you on long-term options to give your business a lasting legacy. Get in touch today for a FREE, no-obligation session to identify your requirements and objectives.