6 Tips to Improve Your Brand Image￼
A strong brand image allows you to demonstrate authority, tell a story, and make customers want to associate themselves with you. Branding is important for your sales, reputation, and the success of your marketing campaigns, both digital and print. There are several ways you can improve your brand image, whether you run a small business or a large corporation.
1. Be Consistent With Your Branding
One of the most powerful aspects of successful branding is staying consistent. By staying consistent and on point, you will attract lifelong customers aligned with your principles and goals. In addition, people will be able to recognize you everywhere — consistent branding equals more brand awareness.
Consistency starts with your color scheme. All the famous brands have color schemes that they stick to in their advertisements and publications, whether on social media or billboards. Take Coca-Cola, for example, and its red, black, and white color scheme. Sprite is another soft drink company with a consistent color scheme.
Sometimes, you might not even notice that a company has a specific color scheme — but when you see those colors together, your mind subconsciously starts thinking of that brand. Look at Google as an example. Its color scheme is red, blue, yellow, and green, but not many people notice that. Those colors appear in the Google logo, the Chrome logo, and the app icons of Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, and many other apps.
Imagery is important, too. It is critical to use the same kinds of images in your logo, social media profiles, website, advertisements, and all other publications. The style and quality of your images should remain consistent.
Finally, stick to a consistent tone of voice. Some brands are more professional, while others are more humorous and playful. It all depends on your niche, your target audience, the products you sell, and your brand’s mission statement. From your social media posts to your email communications with customers, use a similar tone of voice throughout.
2. Deliver Great Customer Service
Poor customer service is one of the worst things that can happen to your brand image. It doesn’t matter if most of your customers are satisfied with the way your customer service team handles things. If just a small but significant percentage feels like you don’t care or has a poor experience with your customer support team, the word will get out. People love to complain about these things on blogs, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and review sites.
Focus on improving your response rate, for starters. A fast response impresses customers because it shows them that you care. If they are sending you emails and not getting any acknowledgment until days later, they’ll think you just don’t care about them — and they won’t be happy.
In this day and age, there really is no reason customers should have to wait more than 24 hours for a reply, but it’s best if you can respond within a couple of hours. Consider offering support on additional channels, such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, so customers have an easier time contacting you.
Of course, a good customer support team needs to be backed up by good products and services. It doesn’t matter how attentive your customer support team is or how well you train them. If your products and services are low-quality, they won’t be able to solve the issues your customers face.
Always train your employees to maintain a respectful tone when dealing with customers. There will always be customers who have simplistic questions, and there will be others who express frustration. A good customer support representative can stay calm and cool through it all. Customers want to feel like you respect them and their business, or they’ll take their business elsewhere.
3. Connect With Your Customers
Focus on building and maintaining long-lasting relationships with your customers. A brand that is aloof and has no relationship with customers won’t last long. People need to feel like they can connect personally with the brands they love.
Start by building an email list. An email list allows you to stay connected with customers, keep them up to date, and send them special discounts and offers, keeping them loyal and causing them to stick around. You can also give them helpful tips or ask for their feedback.
Optimizing your social media profiles is important, too. Many customers don’t use email as much, especially the younger crowd. Social media allows you to connect with those customers.
It’s sometimes hard to be personal via email, but social media makes it easier. Fans can comment on your posts, and you can respond to them directly. You can do live videos and answer questions in real-time. Social media posts might get shared more often than emails, too.
Finally, your website is the foundation of it all. Your emails and social media profiles are there to support your website, which is where you can sell products, display a list of FAQs, provide customer support, show testimonials, and a lot more. A clean, modern website improves your brand image, while a poorly designed one ruins it.
4. Get Social Proof
Did you know that 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members? Even more people regularly read online reviews and conduct online research before buying products. However, social proof isn’t just about reviews — it’s a lot more than that. There are three pillars to social proof: your following, online reviews, and testimonials.
You need a large and growing social media following if you want to build social proof. If people visit your Twitter page, and it has just a handful of followers, or your Facebook page has barely any likes, they might be a bit suspicious of whether they can trust you.
Don’t buy followers, as people can tell when followers are fake (they’ll see a high follower count but low engagement). Instead, publish quality posts consistently and engage with others.
Next, try to get more online reviews on sites such as Google, Yelp, and other sites where you have local citations. You can also work with bloggers and incentivize them to review your products.
Finally, get real video and text testimonials from customers and publish them on your website, social media profiles, and YouTube channel. Include images of those customers (for text testimonials) so they seem more realistic.
5. Secure Your Website
An insecure website lowers trust, while a secure website increases it. When people visit your website and see that you haven’t bothered to secure it, they will be wary of entering their personal details, creating an account, and buying products. In addition, if you don’t secure your site, experience a hack, and customer details get leaked, it will do irreversible damage to your reputation.
Always update your CMS and plugins — the updates are often there to fix security bugs. In addition, install an SSL certificate, so your website shows HTTPS as opposed to HTTP (demonstrated by a lock icon in the browser bar).
That means that customers can enter their details safely, as all traffic gets encrypted. Make sure to renew your SSL certificate on schedule, or customers will get a security warning when they visit your site. Use a secure web host — it’s worth paying a bit extra for that extra layer of security.
There are other ways to secure your data. Make sure only authorized employees have access to sensitive data and back up all customer data safely. Use trusted antivirus and antimalware software to protect your computers from viruses and malware.
6. Follow a Core Set of Values
Finally, it’s important to follow a core set of values and stick to them. Use those values to guide you as you create content, draft a marketing strategy, engage with customers, and so on.
Advocacy can be a big part of this. You don’t have to take on every cause — indeed, it might be better to avoid some, as certain causes can often alienate some segments of the population. However, advocating for a charitable cause is always good for your image. It shows you stand for something, and customers who associate themselves with you now stand for that as well.
Your brand story is indispensable, too. Why do you exist? Why did you start your brand? Which issues are you trying to solve, and how are you going to change the world? You need to have a purpose, a mission, and a vision.
Your company culture matters, too. Your company culture will determine how you engage with your employees and how your company and employees engage with customers. It is present in your attitudes and behaviors, and it is shaped by what you stand for, your brand story, and what you advocate for.
There are many other ways to improve your brand image, but these are the most important ones. Remember, destroying a good image is a lot easier than building it, which could take months or years of painstaking work. That’s why it’s so critical to treat customers well, encourage good reviews, and build social proof.