Definition – Brand image is the current view or the perceptions that your customers/consumers have about your brand. It is not just the mental image of a brand but is the emotional value that a brand has in the hearts and minds of its users.
The image of a brand is actually the feature sets for which a brand stands for. It is associated with the manner in which a particular brand is positioned in the market. The most common identifiers of brand image are understood as a unique logo or slogan. Brand-based logos or slogans play a key role in recalling the customers about the name of the brand.
In addition, consumers also recall a brand based upon their experiences with the brand’s product or service. Some of the crucial factors that contribute to the brand image are
- Quality of the Product/service
- Usability of the Product/service
- Perceived value
- Some association like a celebrity with positive impact
What is Brand Image?
Brand Image is nothing but beliefs, ideas, and opinions held by a customer regarding a specific brand. If explained in simple terms, then the brand image signifies what the brand stands for and how customers perceive it.
Customer term in the case of brand design encompasses both the present and potential customers, and their perception about a brand depends on interaction and experiences with the specific brand. With time brand image evolves as the perception of customers also changes with time.
Though Brand Image, the character of a brand gets defined. From the product’s appeal, ease of use, functionality, and overall value, everything contributes to creating a Brand image. But one shall not confuse the brand image with brand identity.
Definitions of both the brand image and brand identity might seem similar, but there is a thin line of difference between them both.
Difference Between Brand Identity and Brand Image
Brand Identity is from a brand’s perspective,i.e. how a brand perceives itself. And the brands want the customers to possess a similar perception regarding the brand. Hence they try to portray the brand to the customers based on their perceptions.
Since it depends on how a brand identifies itself, a Brand’s identity is controlled by the company.
From the customer’s perspective and formed based on customer interaction and experiences. It is defined, as the customer’s perception of a specific brand,i.e. how customers view a brand.
Since it is from the customer’s point of view, the company doesn’t have much control over a company’s brand image.
How to Build a Strong Brand Image
Though a company doesn’t hold much power over its brand image, still it can use some strategies to enhance it. Some steps that would lead one towards building a strong brand image are provided below-
1. Establish the Mission, Vision, and Other Values
The mission, vision, and other values of a company can successfully attract customers. Companies can also prevent inconsistencies by aligning their promotional campaigns with their mission, vision, and overall values.
So well-defined mission, vision, and other values are mandatory for companies to possess in advance.
2. Develop A Brand Positioning Statement
Stand out in the crowd with a brand positioning statement. Brand Positioning Statement is a two or three-line statement regarding a brand that enlightens the customers about its unique attributes. And these statement of unique attributes influences the perceptions of customers on a large scale.
3. Create A Brand Personality
Bring about consistency in the brand image by defining the characteristics and personality of a brand. Personality creation for a brand requires companies to indulge in activities like listing down at least ten brands’ attributes.
4. Understanding Traget Market
Determining the target market is the first step towards establishing a strong brand image. By understanding the buyer’s persona, companies can indulge in marketing campaigns to portray the right image.
Research potential customers to understand their needs, wants, and opinions.
Importance Of a Consistent Brand Images
In today’s world, people prefer brands because of their attributes, values, etc., and not just because it provides quality products. Research conducted by Harvard Business Review states that 64% of customers have credited shared values as their prime reason for connecting with a brand.
Proving that it is essential to possess a strong brand image in today’s world. A strong brand image can offer a lot of benefits, like –
- Enhances the business-customer relationship, which in turn attracts new customers and earns profit for the brand.
- Retains the already existing customers by strengthening their confidence.
How To Measure Brand Image?
The most common method to know whether a brand possesses a strong brand image or not is by conducting the Brand Perception Survey.
By conducting this survey, a company can get a fair idea about the perception of its stakeholders,i.e. customers, potential customers, employees, regarding the brand.
Examples Of Brand Images
Apple has created the most loyal customer base by forming emotional connections with its customers. Apple has not only created a powerful brand image, but it has also been ranked number one in Forbes ‘The World’s Most Valuable Brands List.
It won’t be wrong in saying that coca-cola sells a lifestyle and not just a product. Coca-cola refers to its drinks as a vehicle that drives happiness and brings people together.
Through promotions like these, they connected with customers and strengthened their brand image. And is now one of the world’s most recognized brands.
BMW as a car manufacturer is associated with the image of a luxury and state-of-the-art car company that works as a symbol of power and status. It enjoys an extremely positive image in the minds of its target audiences who consider the brand BMW as a parameter of one’s success and prosperity.
Possessing a strong brand image can take a brand to new heights. Perceptions seem to differ from customer to customer and change with time. So understanding the needs, wants, and values of customers can help in the creation of a brand image.
You should determine your mission, values, mission, and then you should create a brand positioning statement to create a powerful brand personality. You should also identify your key audiences via effective persona research and finally, you may use social media and other marketing platforms to optimize your brand perception.
What factors do you consider most important for the effective brand image of a business? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
Pinky is an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. She loves helping people out in learning Marketing and sharing latest ideas and tactics for growing businesses.