How to create a successful image of your brand?
A map and terrain will never be exactly identical. However, a map still helps to navigate our way and arrive at the destination we need faster. The same applies to a successful brand image — there is no perfect formula for creating one. And hardly there ever will. After all, circumstances alter cases greatly. Much depends here on who the brand is targeted at, what values does it carry in itself, what objectives does it pursue, etc. However, it is possible to distinguish several elements, an understanding of which can facilitate the work needed to create a brand image.
A situational image is a set of strong convictions (that are by no means correct in all cases) that people have for a certain item. They are the reason why people make purchases once affected by these stereotypes. Many, for example, perceive wine as a “calm” drink, one that is better to drink slowly in cosy surroundings. Thus, people buy it for quiet home gatherings, romantic parties, etc.
The example above is rather neutral. There are cases, however, when a brand and products can trigger worse associations (e.g. with some political events) and thus consumers refuse to purchase any of those completely. In such events, the product image requires rebranding to bring the customers back. Therefore, a situational image is important and one always has to take this variable into account.
A consumer identity basically means the behaviour patterns of key consumers that the brand is targeted at. It has to be studied. It is important to make allowance for the buyer’s taste, interests, preferences, mentality. Social status and geography also affect the consumer identity.
This analysis allows making the marketing campaigns more precise and effective. Moreover, they can contribute to the understanding of consumers’ needs allowing you to adapt. You can get the data you need in a plenty of ways, such as by written or verbal surveys. However, you can abandon that idea and instead show different images to consumers asking to select only those they associate with the trademark studied.
We have already emphasised the importance of situational image. It is formed under the influence of certain factors. But there is still such phenomenon as the product image. The burden of its formation lies on the manufacturer’s shoulders. The way goods are made and presented, and how the manufacturer shapes the consumer’s attitude towards those goods.
If you sell coffee and there is one particular drink that gets more popular comparing to the other ones, then you will be perceived as a seller of that specific type of coffee. In this case, all you have to do is emphasise the benefits of your other products. Perhaps you can launch appropriate commercials or introduce a discount system. This, however, is not always effective. The consumer’s attitude to the product is largely dictated by his/her emotions, and if these emotions are extremely strong – it will be difficult to persuade that person.
How well is a brand identity able to attract consumers? Is it possible to memorise it or how quickly can one forget it as compared to the competitors’ ones? These are interesting questions that can and should be studied. Although there are many ways to do that, it is the projective techniques that are used for these purposes the most.
For example, consumers are asked to draw a brand for you to understand what graphical elements reflect his/her individuality the most. Or when respondents watch short footages or images to chose only those that evoke certain emotional associations with the brand.
This element is closely tied to the previous one. A special feature from the consumer’s perspective is a set of certain feelings and emotions that arise from interacting with the brand. Generally, these emotions turn out to be so strong that they create a desire to continue purchasing the goods of this very company or cooperate with it in any other way.
Anything can trigger such emotions: interesting commercials, perfect customer service, excellent product range or all this combined. One way or another, it is an important parameter affecting both the consumer’s attitude to the trademark and its identity. It is therefore important to develop it and work on all fronts: brand positioning, its values, products quality, etc.