When the vast majority of businesses consider what their brand is, they immediately think of the logo. The colours, text and style of the logo may be a part of the brand, but many other elements of the business combine to create the brand.

That is why when you are considering marketing your business; you need to check that every action you take aligns with your brand’s image.

Read in this blog post what makes up a brand and how you can control it!

 

What Other Elements Make Up A Brand?

A brand is a special aspect of your company. It defines who you are to the customer and gives them a perception of what they can expect when dealing with you. Customers may associate perceptions with your logo and name, but the brand image is created with other elements too.

Therefore it is important to manage all the elements of your brand to create a strong brand image. This includes how you write press releases to how you deal with customers on a day to day basis.

All the experiences a consumer has with your company contribute to a profile in their mind. This then determines how they interact with your brand in the future. If you create strong positive experiences, then customers will want to interact with you again. If your customer relations are poor, this will reflect in your customer retention rate.

 

Controlling Brand Management Starts With The People

Brand management can be a difficult task and the larger the organisation you have, the tougher that management becomes. For instance, a single person in your team who has a different persona to the rest of your business will impress other images of your business on your audience. This can be beneficial if that individual has higher standards, but usually it is not positive for the business.

This is why brand management must begin from within your own company. Creating an image and then impressing it upon your workforce will encourage them to align their actions to compliment the image.

To start this, create a set of processes which inform your staff what actions they should take in certain circumstances. This will standardise how your team interact with customers creating a unified image and an expectation from your customers.

 

The Look And Feel

Another key aspect of your marketing is the colours you use every day. Colour creates a subconscious thought in the minds of everyone and using the right colours can influence how a customer will perceive your business.

Colour isn’t just for the logo but can be used in other forms of communication. The most obvious example is your website which should have a strong collection of colours aligning with your brand image.

Many organisations miss out on the potential to cement their brand image with other forms of communication. Your social media profiles should all contain the same colour system, including the link colour in your Twitter scheme. Your invoices and receipts can also contain the same colour scheme to remind individuals of your brand.

 

Your Marketing Activities

Deciding on what messages you’re going to produce and how they will be delivered is very important.

For example, social media can often be a telling place for customers on how you plan to interact with them. If you are a company who constantly publishes web links to their following, then it is unlikely you will generate a brand image which demonstrates the personal touch.

Conversely, if you are going to constantly interact with your audience you will demonstrate an approachable brand image.

 

Customer Service Is Key To Brand Image

When things go wrong is often the most testing time for a brand. How you deal with problems will have a profound effect on your brand image and how your customers perceive you.

There are many examples of how brands deal with customers when they have a complaint. Some supermarket chains for instance will immediately refund a product if a customer complains about its poor quality, even if they haven’t seen the product.

While this may seem like a good idea for customer retention, it does have some negative connotations. The customer may think that any company who can instantly refund imperfect products is making too much of a margin on the other products. This will lead them to consider whether they are getting a fair price on the other goods they have bought.

Therefore the image which is generated becomes one of overprice and substandard products.

This is why it is important to create a process for dealing with customer complaints in a manner which is fair to the customer but also portrays the business in the best possible light.

Another area in customer service which is important is the time to respond. While many customers may use the phone, email and social media are becoming a good choice to contact customer service. How long you take to respond to a request can portray a very specific image. Ideally customers like to have their response within 24 hours, though the faster the response, the happier the customer tends to be – even if it doesn’t go in their favour.

 

Conclusion

Your brand image is important. It cannot be replicated by another business and imitation tends to fail for various reasons. Good brand imagery can mean you become a household name and generate great brand loyalty. This will increase the lifetime value of your customers allowing you to build your business up while spending less time on finding new customers.

 

Action Steps:

  • Sit down and consider what three things you want your business brand to stand for.
  • Look up what colours represent those emotions / qualities.
  • Create your marketing materials and website based on those colours.
  • Create a set of processes and procedures on how employees are to interact with your customers.
  • Train your team so they can follow the set of processes and procedures to keep the brand image consistent.
  • Monitor what is being said about you online to ensure that your brand image is what you want it to be.

Jake Burdess

Director at Aflua
This post is by Jake Burdess, the founder of Aflua and HEROIC. Jake is an English designer who lives in New Zealand with his wife and three kids.

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