Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, having a strong brand image is crucial if you want to attract customers. A successful brand not only resonates with your target market but helps establish long-term customer loyalty.
A brand is much more than an eye-catching logo or clever tagline. Rather, a brand communicates the emotions that undergird a business’ reason for being.
With that in mind, having a consistent look and sound across every facet of your marketing efforts can make it easier for customers and prospective customers to recognize your business and identify with it. So what are the key elements that you need to focus on to create a strong, consistent brand image?
Before your business’ website goes live or your glossy brochures get printed, a clear direction for your brand’s look is a must. This includes colors, images, fonts and design elements that will be used in both your print and online marketing, as well as any signage. These visuals should reinforce the message that you want to convey to your customers in a way that’s relevant to them.
What is said or not said to customers can greatly influence their buying decisions. Everything from phone greetings and on-hold music to the tone of salespeople and customer service representatives conveys your brand image loud and clear. Is your brand communicating a consistent message at every customer touch point?
There is no logo spectacular enough to compensate for bad service. Your overall service policies, including how you handle complaints and returns, should be aligned with your brand image. If you’re communicating that you’re friendly and helpful, your policies and procedures should reinforce this message.
Bringing It All Together
When you consider that a customer typically requires multiple exposures to a brand before he/she decides to make a purchase, the need for consistency is essential. If your marketing materials, phone system and service deliver a hodge-podge of brand messages, it will be next to impossible for you to build an image that is identifiable. By staying focused on creating a brand image that is recognizable from every perspective, you’ll be able to effectively communicate the message, values, culture and capabilities of your business – and will transform your customers into brand advocates.