Even if you have an amazing product, it won’t necessarily be received well if you have done nothing to build the image of your business. On the flipside, taking the time to develop a strong brand image can be huge for your company. Tech-giants like Facebook have managed to create a business image that is ubiquitous, making it nearly impossible to not interact with or be aware of their services in some capacity.
While it is obviously impossible to shoot for such worldwide recognition, taking the steps to craft a well-thought-out business image and implementation strategy will have wonderful results and isn’t something you should skimp out on.
Developing an Image that Reflects Your Company
A common misconception is that branding is only affects the visual components of your company. While the end user may only interact with the visual components, branding is really the reflection of both the mission and atmosphere of your company as you want it to be presented to the world.
Your brand image is a combination of everything from the culture you have cultivated within the company to why you are passionate about your mission.
Before you actually worry about how to convey your brand’s message, you should spend time developing what you’re actually trying to say. There are many reasons why you are passionate about the company, but what are the key components that you want to share with your users? What ideas do you want to inspire in the minds of people when they think of your company?
The answers to these questions will become the general form that your business’s image will be based on, and is the footing you need before you can move forward. Through design and good PR strategies, your brand image will become solidified, but if you are unclear about what you want your brand image to be like in the first place, it will be hard to find success.
Doing it Right the First Time
Oftentimes, you only have one shot to leave an impression on a user. Because of this, you need to leverage every aspect of your design to convey what you can about your image. Powerful design is where your business’s image meets the consumer.
Due to the importance of design and the first impression, hiring a professional is never a bad idea. You already have an idea of what you want to convey about your business, but you might be lacking any idea as to how that can be accomplished. A good designer will understand how to use the right color combinations and layouts to make a strong impression.
Additionally, you might consider hiring marketing specialists that will also help carry out the task of developing a strong business image. There are a variety of strategies involving PR campaigns that will expose your products or services to the right people, making them more aware of your company and in turn causing them to identify more with your brand.
Regardless of which paths you take, it is extremely important to get this stage right the first time. Rebranding takes considerable effort and should be avoided at all costs.
Consistency is Key
The power of consistency in solidifying your brand’s image can’t be overstated. Creating a consistent and cohesive brand image makes it stronger overall, and makes it easier for users to identify with your brand. Once you have brand elements that you feel adequately represent your business, use those same elements for every aspect of your company’s presence both online and offline.
There are many ways that consistency can be achieved within your brand. The starting point, which should be a given, is your website. All of the elements and visual assets utilized across your website should be cohesive and together convey a feeling about your brand that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
The next step is striving for consistency across all of your online platforms. If your company is on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, each of these should not only have the same handle (it is amazing how many companies fail to even do this), but should also incorporate all of the visuals that represent your brand’s identity.
This can also be taken beyond the digital world if your company uses any physical mediums. Anything from fliers to business cards should all point back to the same brand. Additionally, things such as presentations can use the same general style sets, borrowing from the assets you have designed for your website and other media.
Having consistency in design significantly strengthens your company’s brand identity, and instills a stronger impression of your company in the mind of consumers.
In the world of startups, constant innovation and iteration is the norm. However, when it comes to branding, it’s important that you don’t try to “over-innovate.”
Although it may be tempting, try to avoid slightly tweaking your logos and other smaller visual aspects of your brand. Think back to major re-brandings such as Google’s transition to Alphabet or Instagram ditching the retro camera logo. Both Google and Instagram felt that the way they were branding themselves no longer adequately reflected their actual identities, and each went on to fix it in one fell swoop.
Modifying minute details of your brand like logos might be tempting, but keep in mind that every change requires a solid investment of time and almost always confuses your users. Unless there is a very clear difference between the image that you are conveying versus the image that you want to convey, stick with what you have.
Ultimately, how well you have developed your business’s brand or image dictates how well the work you do is perceived by consumers. Using these tips will put you well on your way to creating a strong brand image that will help in all aspects of running your business, from favorable customer interaction to making sales.