This article has been contributed by Srushti Shah.
If you were to explain what the term ‘brand image’ means to a ten-year-old, what would you say? Our take would be something like this:
A brand image is a collective combination of the brand’s name, aesthetics, beliefs, culture, character, tone, language style and overall personality – in short, all the things you would use to describe a ‘person.’
Case in point: If we were to draw parallels, then creating a brand’s image is much like chalking out an individual’s personality. It’s layered and logical in approach while being emotionally charged in execution.
If implemented strategically, a strong brand image can deliver amazing results, such as:
- Increased revenues & profits: “The average increase in revenue attributed to always presenting a brand consistently is 23 percent.”
- Research by TSL Marketing summarizes that – “Successful branding yields benefits such as increased customer loyalty, an improved image, and a relatable identity.“
There you go. Now that we have a basic understanding of what a brand identity constitutes, let’s jump into you can leverage it to skyrocket your conversions.
1. Use “Live Chat” for a Stellar Customer Experience
The logic is simple: If you want your customers to keep coming back for more, you need to offer them unparalleled convenience and be approachable 24/7.
This is where intuitive customer support tools like live chat can help. From the brand’s perspective, live chat software enables powerful and positive customer experiences, thereby strengthening the brand’s image in the customer’s mind.
If you’re wondering how this works, here’s a real-life example. Jerome’s Furniture is putting customers at the forefront of their offerings and providing seamless communication convenience by way of video shopping via FaceTime, live chat and more. This is ingenious and practical in the times of the global pandemic, COVID-19.
The results have been astounding. According to research by the Director of e-Commerce, Scott Perry, ‘Customers using live chat were 10 times more likely to make a purchase than those that didn’t’:
Here’s another example worth looking at: The Aerie chatbot by American Eagle.
Here’s what AEO’s CTO had to say about the benefits of using a chatbot to garner more customers: “Within weeks, our chatbots have acquired more than double the average number of users we add monthly across all social channels combined. We’re thrilled to see the high rate of adoption of our chatbots and the benefits they are bringing to our customers.”
Key takeaway: When the customer starts feeling comfortable while interacting with your brand, know that half the job is done. You’ll have created a positive user experience and hardcore brand loyalists in the long run.
2. Swear by the ’80/20 Content Rule’ to Deliver Interesting, Relatable and Promising Content
It has been seen that the most powerful brands in the world are masterful story-tellers. According to data, ‘72 percent of marketers think branded content is more effective than advertising in a magazine or on TV.’ Additionally, ‘75% of B2B buyers want branded content that helps them research business ideas.’
Image source: mmgmemphis.com
Brands should aim to deliver authentic and value-driven content that either teaches the reader something, compels them to think, or simply entertains readers.
Here’s one brand that does this particularly well. IndiGo, the Indian airline carrier, has earned itself a ‘cool brand’ status (and rightly so), thanks to its relatable, cheeky and ‘punny’ content. To celebrate its 13th birthday, the brand rolled out a campaign which was funny and endearing at the same time.
Image source: goindigo.in
Meanwhile, the airline’s #ten6Eyears campaign celebrating its 10-year anniversary was more airline-oriented and seamlessly blended punchy brand offerings with simple and humorous content.
Image source: afaqs.com
The results? Customers on-board are genuinely excited to read the in-flight magazine, menu, luggage tags and hoardings, and we know why. These add-ons foster the brand’s image in a positive light while serving as in-flight entertainment. Two birds, one stone – you get the drift, right?
Bonus tip: As a rule of thumb, try following the “80/20 content rule” which outlines how brands should be communicating on various platforms. To put it simply, only 20% of your entire content strategy should directly promote your brand, while the remaining 80% should talk about topics your customers find interesting and engaging. In general, pushy sales pitches are a complete no-no.
Image source: mmgmepmhis.com
3. Consistent Messaging and Design is Everything
“Brands that are consistently presented are 3 to 4 times more likely to experience brand visibility.” – Lucidpress
Brand consistency is hard to achieve yet integral to ensuring your users are not left high and dry. To that end, here’s a low-down of the different elements that come together to extend a customized, aligned and engaging brand experience.
Image source: logaster.com
“It only takes consumers 10 seconds to form a first impression of a brand’s logo, but it takes 5–7 impressions for consumers to recognize the logo.”
What this means is that brands need to constantly and strategically expose their logo to customers to fill a permanent space in the customer’s mind and build a relationship with the user based on familiarity.
In terms of aesthetics, companies should keep the following factors in mind when designing a logo:
- It should be instantly recognizable.
- It should be universally-acceptable and versatile.
- It should be timeless.
As per studies by the University of Loyola, “Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%.”
In our opinion, colors help brands connect with customers on an emotional level. Don’t believe us? Take a look at this Color Emotion Guide:
Image source: visual.ly
When it comes to the visuals, brands need to use images, graphics and illustrations that go beyond being eye-pleasing. They should be relevant and consistent across platforms so that the users can immediately recognize your brand.
Some brands that are doing amazing work include Airbnb and Headspace.
Image source: columnfivemedia.com
Image source: columnfivemedia.com
Tone, Voice and Personality
Believe it or not, brands have a tone, personality and voice that can work in their favor or work against them. They may be funny or helpful, trustworthy or friendly, serious or authoritative and so on. Whatever be the case, maintaining a clear voice from the beginning is vital, or you risk confusing your customers. After all, no one likes to engage with a brand with multiple conflicting personalities.
Let’s look at an example that aces the tone, style and voice of its content and graphics. Bark will have your heart, whether you’re a dog-lover or a cat-lover. The content is on-point and concise, with a witty ring to it.
4. Capitalize on Social Media Platforms
Here’s another statistic that will blow your mind: “Marketing messages reach 561 percent more people when shared by employees rather than the brand itself.”
Let’s understand how customers engage with brands on social media:
Image source: lucidpress.com
That said, care must be taken to ensure that brands steer away from relentless self-promotion, which can end up annoying 45% of customers. Instead, allow your trusted customers to share their experiences and opinions on the brand instead of the company self-promoting time and again.
Here are some real-life examples of brands demonstrating killer “social CX” (pun intended) that are sure to leave you inspired.
Nike sells shoes with an attitude, there’s no two ways about it. But its customer service efforts on Twitter deserve a special mention.
Image source: mention.com
Image source: twitter.com
Starbuck’s sassy tone allows the brand to connect and network with users on a deeper level, making the brand look uber-friendly.
Image source: mention.com
The brand also takes its customer’s feedback seriously. So much so that they have created a dedicated website for it.
Image source: mention.com
Key takeaway: If you wish to humanize and personalize your brand on a platform that’s loved by all kinds of customers today, get onto social media. It allows you to connect with your fans on a deeper (and entertaining) level and helps generate more qualified leads.
5. Honesty, Genuineness, Relevance and User-Centricity: The Pillars of Successful Branding
“94 percent of consumers have discontinued communications with a company because of irrelevant promotions or messages.”
Ellen Macy, Senior Brand Strategist, offers sound advice on the importance of having a transparent and true-to-brand branding strategy: “A strong brand that is confident in who they are and delivers a clear, distinct message will make them culturally relevant and will resonate with the consumers whose beliefs align with theirs.'”
In addition to this, brands need to refocus their efforts on sharing their ethos and values with the customer. The Harvard Business Review claims that “64% of consumers cite shared values as the primary reason they have a relationship with a brand.”
A brand identity model that’s worth its salt is no simple achievement. As the diagram below shows, a brand identity model includes a multitude of different elements that merge to deliver a seamless and impactful brand identity.
Nielsen reports that “Two in three consumers will pay more for products and services that are committed to making a positive social impact.” Long story short, brands need to demonstrate their beliefs and values if they wish to get their fair share of purpose-driven consumers.
Everlane does this in style and with great transparency.
Image source: everlane.com
They even go so far to include their pricing model, which shows their limited markup compared to other brands.
Image source: everlane.com/about
“89 percent of marketers think that brand awareness is the most important goal, followed by sales and lead generation.”
Let’s make one thing clear: There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to establishing a favorable brand image. It’s really an “each (company) to its own” kind of an ethos that’s at play here. However, it needs to be said that a brand’s image is far greater than an isolated logo or a cool brand name.
With time, the art of branding has evolved to reflect the relationship that exists between the customers, employees, and investors. Think about it: Branding is not something tangible that users can touch, but interestingly, it is something that the users can feel immensely.
So, analyzing your customer’s impression of your brand from an emotional and logical standpoint is the best way to gauge where your brand stands (competitively) in their minds and hearts.
One last piece of advice: Communicate with heart and close with logic, and you’re golden.
About the author: Srushti Shah is a Digital Marketer and Content writer at Acquire. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovations in her field leading to fast and effective results.