Brand image is a set of associations that form consumers’ perceptions of a certain company. It is based on the people’s interactions with the brand and their beliefs about its personality.
In the article, we explain what brand image is and why it is important, compare it with brand identity, and provide some tips on building a strong brand image. We also give examples of brands with strong brand images.
Why is brand image important?
Brand image is the customers’ impression of your company that conveys emotional value. It consists of the brand’s personality, tone of voice, visual language, company’s values, products, pricing, quality of the service, etc., and the way people perceive all these elements. Smallbizgenius states that 89% of consumers are loyal to brands with the same values. These inspiring statistics show the importance of building a positive brand image. Discover more about its benefits below.
- It helps increase brand recognition. A strong brand image evokes specific associations and makes people recognize the company better. It helps consumers remember a brand faster and, in such a way, saves costs on increasing people’s brand awareness.
- It creates a strong competitive advantage. Most consumers choose goods based not only on their features but on the values that brands stand for. A positive reputation means that people are ready to pay more for the products to feel brand affiliation. It helps increase the company’s profits and market share.
- It influences customer loyalty and retention. Trusting the company stimulates people to buy goods more often and recommend them to their friends and family. Also, consumers tend to feel positive toward new products. Moreover, a strong image of the company helps retain customers and reduce brand switching.
Understanding all these factors motivates many business owners to work hard on the image of their brands. However, building a strong brand image is impossible without developing a brand identity. Read more about the peculiarities of these two terms in the next section.
Brand Image vs Brand Identity
Both brand image and brand identity form the reputation of the company. They are similar, so sometimes it is difficult to understand the difference between them. Continue reading to discover how these two terms vary.
Brand identity describes the associations that marketers create to transmit the company’s values to the customers. You can control these characteristics and change them because brand identity is developed inside the company. This term is about how the business wants people to think of it. Usually, establishing the brand identity is a constant process.
Brand image describes the way consumers perceive your company in their minds. It is almost out of your control. However, you can influence this perception by transmitting certain values within your brand identity. Brand image is based on the existing experience of interactions. Sometimes, it can coincide with what marketers want us to think about the company, but sometimes it can be completely different.
Building a positive brand image may be challenging if you do not understand how to work with it. In the next section, we provide some tips on how to develop a strong brand image and make it coincide with the existing brand identity in the minds of your customers.
How to build a strong brand image?
Building a brand image can boost your company on the market, help attract more customers and increase revenue. Below we provide the steps you should go through to develop a strong brand image.
- Create your buyer persona. Firstly, you should think about the people who will purchase your products. Discover their pains and needs, study worldview and buying habits. You can conduct interviews with potential clients or use questionnaires to collect more information. Segment these people into several groups according to their specific preferences and think about the brand’s qualities that will attract them.
- Study your competitors. Understanding the pros and cons of each company on the market will allow you to develop a strong competitive advantage and avoid mistakes made by other business owners. Think about the ways to distinguish your brand from the others. Competitive analysis can also help you discover the trends in the sphere that you can focus on to develop cutting-edge products and stand out in the market.
- Identify brand values. Oberlo states that 64% of people will buy from a brand because of its position on social problems. These statistics show how companies’ values influence consumers’ preferences. It is essential to transmit a clear position and be transparent to make customers trust you. A consistent realization of a well-defined brand mission helps companies build a strong brand image.
- Develop a brand identity. Once you pick out your values, it is time to focus on the company’s tone of voice, visual language, and unique position. Describe all these elements into the brand platform to have a holistic image of the business’s ideology. Their combination will let you transmit the brand identity more effectively.
- Focus on providing a positive customer experience. Now you should make your plans coincide with your actions. Your company will have a strong brand image if it broadcasts its position through every interaction. Moreover, a positive image of the business motivates your employees to work better for your company’s success. It is crucial because 73% of people continue buying from a brand when they receive helpful service.
Now you understand how to build a strong brand image and what you should focus on to make this process faster. Continue reading to discover companies with a positive image and get inspired to make your brand even better.
Brands with a Strong Brand Image
In this section, we describe three companies that most of us know and like. However, only a small number of people understand that they are so popular because of their strong brand images. Find out how they were able to achieve such success below.
According to Smallbizgenius, 94% of consumers worldwide recognize the Coca-Cola logo. These statistics are rather impressive, but they are not surprising. The company increased brand awareness through regular advertising campaigns and building strong associations. Its drinks are always perceived as joyful, positive, and cheerful. Coca-Cola has a consistent image of a friendly brand that always accompanies you in happy moments.
Look at the example of the Coca-Cola New Year’s ad in 2010. This one and their other videos always bring the holiday spirit and make people watch them again and again. People sing songs from their commercials every year before Christmas. Moreover, no one will miss the opportunity to take a photo with a legendary Coca-Cola truck and share it on their social media.
According to Wallstreetzen, Nike has a 51% market share in the segment of athletic footwear. This brand is known due to its successful collaborations and special projects. Nike's central values are sustainable innovations, dynamic development, and inspiration to reach its goals. The company has a clear mission and a strong identity that makes it the cult brand in the market.
Look at the advertisement for Nike’s Space Hippie sneakers. The brand is socially responsible, so it decided to reduce its carbon footprint while producing its models. Nike started to use garbage as a material for the sneakers. The result was awesome: Space Hippie became rather popular on the market. Also, this special project improved the reputation of the brand significantly.
Congrats, now you know what brand image is, why it is important, and understand its difference from the brand identity. You know how to build a strong brand image and use it to boost your company on the market.
Last Updated: 21.03.2023