When you think about branding and a strong brand image what do you imagine? Perhaps you envision an iconic logo or fashion label. Maybe you think about a catchy tagline or a memorable color scheme.
While it’s true that all of these are examples of branding in action, they are not brands in and of themselves. Logos, labels, and the like are forms of communication. They are a means of conveying your brand to the world and help you attract and retain customers.
But how do you truly build a strong brand?
You have probably heard of building a strong brand image…but what does it really mean? What is a strong brand image?
Simply put, your brand image is your reputation.
It is the embodiment of everything you represent. Whether it is your quality products or outstanding customer service, a strong brand ultimately boils down to a set of ideas.
Take the famous Nike Swoosh for example. The symbol is meaningless without context. It is everything that Nike has come to represent over the years that makes the Swoosh so striking. Nike’s dedication to athletic excellence, unflinching confidence, and quality products all preceded the design.
This isn’t to say that images aren’t important though. You should absolutely experiment with the medium you use to communicate your brand to the world. To better synthesize your brand with an image that expresses it, there are some simple questions you can ask yourself.
What does a strong brand mean?
Having a strong brand and strong brand image is the center of a company’s success. Having a strong brand means consistency and having recognizable company images, messaging, and more.
How do you describe a brand image?
Brand image is how current and target customers view the brand — whether positive or negative. It’s what a brand stands for and the beliefs held about the brand.
In a positive light, this could mean a brand that gives back to the community, supports their customers, and make a difference while making money. But negative branding can look like a toxic work environment that seeps into customer service, bad products, and non-existent communication.
What is a strong brand image example?
There are many strong brand image examples!
Besides Nike, I can think of millions more…
And so much more! Most likely, you’ve heard of ALL of these brands. That’s why they’re such great examples.
What are the characteristics of a strong brand?
There are some characteristics that strong brands have that others don’t.
Here are just a few characteristics that you would need to have a strong brand:
- Differentiation – A unique product or service that you can’t get anywhere else or without the level of service.
- Clear vision – What are the mission, value, and vision statements of the brand? They all need to be cohesive and clear.
- Consumer value – A strong brand loves and takes care of its customers.
- Reliability – Whether offering a service or product, you make it exceptional every single time and give your consumers quality.
- Memorable messaging – Do people see your logo and immediately think of you (or search for you)? Is your messaging clear and does it get attention? This is important in brand imaging.
- Consistency – Your brand is the same across all platforms, your messaging is always the same, and you offer consistency to customers every time.
These are all important characteristics to have when you’re looking to have a strong brand image.
Your brand image is important if you want to build credibility and loyalty with your customers and consumers. The more you exhibit the characteristics above for a strong brand, the easier it is to reach your target customer that keeps coming back.
How do you build a strong brand image?
So, how exactly do you build a strong brand image? Ask yourself these three questions!
What Is Our Mission?
At its core, a business is born out of necessity. A business opens as a means to solve a problem. This makes the question of identifying your mission easier because your raison d’etre says a lot about the values that your business is built upon.
Return to the basics and name what problem you sought to solve, and then talk about the positive changes you make in the world. If you can answer these questions, you’re in a much better position to bring your brand to life.
What Feels Right?
Going with your gut always tends to be good advice. If you’re clear on the values driving your mission, you can begin to think about the aesthetics that represent it.
For example, visibility is critical to bringing your brand to life. What does that mean? A logo, cohesive images, and even a jingle that people notice you by!
As an example, designing a logo for custom labels is a great way to get started. If you sit down with a designer, communicate your values to them. They’ll have the skills to show you fonts, shapes, and color schemes that represent the feelings you wish to convey. With some options at your disposal, you’ll be able to compare and contrast them until you find something that fits.
Are you THE person or business that people want to go to for your product or service? This is important to ask yourself.
You want to be sure that your image is unique and distinct.
In order to have maximum impact upon your clientele or customers, you need to stand out from the crowd.
Projecting an image that is unmistakable and one of a kind will tell your audience that you are exceptional and worth paying attention to. Consumers appreciate originality and excitement. And even better, incorporating something different into the mix is a great way to make your core values shine.
Remember, the process of branding is one of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment along the way.
Building A Strong Brand Image: It’s Possible
Building a strong brand image is important as a small business. You want people to know who you are, what you do, and how they can work with you — before you even open your mouth and introduce yourself! While this will take time and trial and error, it is possible to do. This is why it’s so important to start by asking yourself a few simple questions.
Are you looking to build a strong brand image? After reading this post, you’re well on your way!!
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.