A strong brand image is a representation of a company’s competitive advantage. By having it, the money will continue to flow to the company. Several reasons are why I say this.
The image represents the impression of a brand. A positive impression will have an impact on customer loyalty and affect customer perceptions of the company’s products in the long run.
Customers are loyal and continue to buy because they have a strong attachment to the brand. They will buy products from the same brand and are reluctant to switch to another brand. Customers are also less sensitive to price changes and will be more likely to buy again in the future.
Loyalty is also reflected in their willingness to recommend the brand to their family members or friends. It makes it easier for businesses and reduces promotional costs to attract new customers. Additionally, companies can leverage a strong brand image to develop new product lines. Because of their attachment, customers should also like the new product.
Finally, a strong brand image creates barriers to entry. High loyalty increases switching costs. It makes it difficult for newcomers to attract potential customers.
So how do you develop a strong brand image?
Well, I’m going to take five consideration in building a strong brand image.
- Brand personality
- Brand identity, including brand name
- Unique value proposition
- Advertising campaigns and other promotional activities
- Ethical business
Companies create a brand personality, which is what impression they want to convey to customers through the brand. Personality may take on dimensions such as innovation, happiness, and sincerity. In other words, companies absorb aspects of human psychology into a brand.
A company is successful when the brand personality matches the personality of the target customer. Compatibility produces a strong affection between the two. Affection generates loyalty and a preference to purchase.
The company creates a brand identity to describe brand personality. Identity is visible elements such as logos, colors, and typography. Companies may choose red for your logo, to represent passion or blue to represent trust.
Furthermore, the company has also developed a brand name that is easy for consumers to remember. That makes it easier for consumers to associate brands with what they have to offer.
One possible dimension is brand pronunciation. Companies need to create brand names that are simple, clear, and easy to spell. It makes it easier for consumers to remember and associate information about a brand with brand personality, product quality, product performance, and company image. Take two examples of the pronunciation of the following two brands:
- ap. ple to Apple
- am · a · zon for Amazon
In your opinion, are both easily spelled or not?
Unique value proposition
Companies develop a unique selling proposition (also called a unique selling point) to differentiate their offerings from competitors. It includes dimensions such as features, quality, functionality, design, appearance, or sale price. A unique value proposition helps build a strong brand image. It determines customer satisfaction, which in turn determines the impression of the brand and product.
If consumers like it, it makes a positive impression. A memorable brand plus a positive impression creates memory space in consumers’ minds, increasing opportunities for repeat purchases, and for recommending offers to others.
If it has built it, the company also needs to maintain its value proposition to remain competitive. Consumer tastes and market competition are dynamic, making the value proposition must continue to adapt. After all, building their image is a long term oriented endeavor. The value proposition may remain unique, but competitors may succeed in developing better ones. Or, it is no longer relevant as consumer tastes change.
Companies could strengthen their brand impression through advertising campaigns or other promotional mixes. Advertising creates a strong perception and informs consumers about the functional capabilities of the brand. Advertising also reaches a wider range of potential customers and reinforces word of mouth.
Apart from advertising, companies can strengthen their brand image through packaging, publicity, or other promotional activities.
The critical points in this section are consistency and cost. The advertising campaign message must be in tune with the brand image and with other promotional channels. Also, companies need to consider costs when choosing the right promotional channels.
For example, a company promotes a massive discount on their product. In fact, products are premium brands because the company adopts a differentiation strategy. Of course, such efforts would damage the brand in the long run by being inconsistent with the brand image.
Lastly, companies should also adopt ethical principles in doing business. Ethics reinforces the image of the company and its offerings. It is also increasingly important these days as consumers are becoming more ethically aware.
For example, companies use packaging that is not only eye-catching but also environmentally friendly. The company promotes socio-environmental values in carrying out business activities and developing products. Apart from packaging, companies can also adopt several alternatives to operate ethically and environmentally friendly, such as using renewable energy, reducing energy consumption, and recycling.