A Look at the importance of brand image
Like many aspects of business, the nature of the brand is changing. When todays companies can outsource their IT infrastructure, sales function and even their R&D, an organisation’s brand can be its only consistent asset. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus phrased it best “The Only Thing That Is Constant
Branding still starts with a name, logo and tag line, but seeks to encapsulate every aspect of the ‘company experience’ in order to distil the brand promise in a unique and compelling way. For this to work, the identity must be authentic and unfailingly deliver on the brand experience, in order to generate trust and build long-term brand equity.
The image a brand reflects is very important in positioning it, not only in its respective market but also in the mind and personal style of its consumers. Image, typestyle and colour selections can all be manipulated to be seen as cheap, sophisticated or quirky.
How a brand phrases its communications (tone of voice) is also paramount in positioning it in a consumers mind and enhancing the consumers experience. Is it witty? Shocking? Shouting? Businesslike? Or simple and straightforward? Get your message right and you have a friend for life, get it wrong or be insensitive to your customers and the backlash with todays social media will be immediate and strong. Brands can use social media channels to respond and put right a wrong or misunderstanding but isn’t it better to get it right instead? Get your tone of voice and image inline with what consumers want, need or enjoy and you’ll create loyalty.
Well established brands such as Coke, Heinz, Sony and M&S have tapped into consumer loyalty by creating emotion and style in their imagery and messaging, and it’s this emotion/style that consumers respond to. They feel invested in their favourite brands and the way they make them feel about themselves and they talk about them and show them off to their friends and family. Brand selection speaks volumes to the person buying it. Are you a Swatch, Timex or Rolex wearer? Do you bank at Lloyds, Santander or First Direct? Do you wear Nike, Clarks or Russell & Bromley?
With increasing power in the hands of purchasers, and many products and services fast reaching commodity status, our brands are usually all that we have left to differentiate our company – which means that we really do need to nurture our brands very carefully and we must remember that every communication be it by image, word or personal service really does matter.
Next time we look at ‘Powerful reasons to invest in brand identity’