If you own or manage a business, you know how important keeping a positive brand can be. Your customers want to shop with a company they believe in and whose values they share. You might go the extra mile to invest in powerful branding or to overhaul your image to keep up with changing times, but did you know other areas of your business can be affected by your image too? Namely marketing. Your marketing strategy is based on highlighting your brand, so keeping a positive image for your company is crucial to future success. Having a great brand is important for small and large companies alike, established or new, because it simplifies the marketing process and can make your ads more valuable and effective.
How Your Brand Affects Your Business
A brand is a simple, elegant way to let customers know about you are as a company, your organizational culture, and what you value most. For this reason, things like a logo, tagline, or even just color scheme can instantly inform your customers about who they’re working with. This instant recognition can be incredibly helpful if you’re a new business looking to get more ad space in a variety of media. It’s difficult to explain in a 30-second commercial all the things your business can do, but including a tag line or mission statement can quickly sum up your services and social stance so customers still get a general idea of what you can do for them. Additionally, a logo is an easy way to draw the eye of potential customers in print advertising, such as in magazines or on billboards. As more and more people associate your brand with that logo, your business will be easier to recognize and more difficult to forget.
Effective branding can even build loyalty among your customer base. People tend to stick to what they know and if they know your brand, they’ll be less likely to stray even when a competitor opens up down the road. Why? Because they don’t know that new logo or that new boss and they’ve never heard that new tagline. Your consistent marketing efforts can feel like a safety net to some customers, which helps to encourage them to stick with you.
Lastly, your branding can establish credibility in one glance. Choose your color scheme, fonts, and design carefully so they all reflect the overall mood and purpose of your business. For example, if you operate a law office, you might choose to go with a professional font, muted colors, and a clean, simple design. If you operate a fun jump company, you could have a little more creative license with cooky fonts, outlandish colors, and a busy design. Each of these offers an idea of how the personnel at the company approach their work, how serious the atmosphere will be, and maybe even what the office will look like.
How To Create Successful Images
Some aspects of image creation are mentioned in the previous section, but here we can take a deep dive into what makes a successful image. First and foremost, you have to establish what is the purpose of the picture you’re creating. Whether it’s a logo, advertisement, or sale flyer, the image you’re creating will need to serve a single, simple, purpose. Once that’s determined, you can go to the races with your “why” in mind to create a truly powerful brand image.
The next two elements deal with the visual aspects of your image: color and shape. There’s an entire field of psychology dedicated to how colors affect people’s moods and opinions. It’s why presidential candidates wear certain colored ties. Blue helps to establish trust, and red shows they’re powerful and in control. You can do the same thing in your branding. If you want to establish that you’re a trustworthy brand that can help people, then use cool colors such as blues, greens, or light purples. These colors help to soothe people’s minds and makes them feel more relaxed. If you want to establish you’re a fun-loving office who can get the job done, like the fun jump company, then opt for vibrant colors such as yellows, oranges, or reds. These colors can wake people up and make them feel energized when they see your ads.
When you pair your colors with the right shape, a comprehensive brand image comes together. Basic shapes hold universal meaning, whether people realize it or not. A circle is a harmonious shape that puts people at ease and makes them feel like they’re going to someone who cares. It’s non-confrontational and easy to look at. On the other hand, a square is more rigid and structured, which implies the business will be that way too. This makes people confident they’re seeing a professional who will get the job done no matter what it takes.
With all of this in mind, it’s easy to get carried away in designing a brand that’s busy or includes too much information. Another key tenant of successful image creating is simplicity. The simpler your brand is, the easier it is for people to remember, which is your ultimate goal. Use the color and shape combinations to hit on specific emotions or symbols people will inherently understand, but don’t go overboard. Ideally, most brands include two or three colors that are included on everything that leaves your company. A logo should have minimal text and little to no background images. Think of the McDonald’s logo; it’s just one big yellow “M” but you could spot it a mile away and know exactly what restaurant it belongs to. That’s the kind of effective simplicity you’re looking for with your own images.
Branding Strategies to Support Your Image
After you’ve put in all the hard work to establish a positive image, you still have to find ways to get that image to the public. This is where your marketing strategies come in. There’s a plethora of different strategies companies can use to boost awareness of their brand or their products, but a few in particular are great for boosting image alone. The first is simple: consistency. Use the logo you created, the one that represents who your company is, and attach it to every single piece of marketing you send out. Put it on billboards, web pages, social media, and print ads. Anywhere you advertise should have your brand. This makes your image synonymous with your company and puts that image in people’s heads every time they see your business.
While you’re building this consistency across marketing, make sure you’re also targeting the right outlets to place your brand. For example, if your target audience is young adults aged 18-25, you don’t want to place the majority of your marketing budget in newspaper ads. You want to dominate the online and social media space where your audience is because that’s how you get the most bang for your buck. Take the time to analyze who you want most to see or hear your marketing strategy, and then target those channels where that audience is most active. These are the places you’ll want to have that consistent exposure and images conducive to the outlet format.
Once you’ve found the right places to run your strategy, you can start deciding what to say. Let your brand image lead the way, and include information about what sets you apart and makes you competitive. Maybe you own a clothing boutique with the lowest prices in town. Put that in your ad! If it’s a social media post, you can put up a picture of your logo and include a caption describing your low prices or blowout sale or whatever makes you the best buying decision. You need to use your marketing strategy as a way to set yourself apart from the crowd and your unique logo will kick off this effort.
Finally, in the industry, your customer service will be the nail in the coffin of your appearance. All the branding and image creation you can do will only be supported by a great in-person follow-up. Focus the back end of your marketing strategies on helping customers find exactly what they’re looking for. This means letting your employees know when you’re launching a new campaign and educating them on what items need to move the most. This way, if customers come into your store asking about certain products or services mentioned in your ad, your employees are armed with all the information they need to help. Providing excellent service is an important way to cement your brand image as a reliable company that takes care of its customers.
Creating a positive brand image is an extremely important part of any marketing strategy. It affects how people view your business, customer loyalty, and establishes your credibility all with a single glance. When designing your brand images, remember to keep it simple and utilize both color and shape. Across all your strategies, keep things consistent and targeted to see the best results.