Your identity as a brand is what consumers look to when they make purchases from you. Are you known for developing quality products? Do you have unmatched customer support ratings compared with your industry counterparts? What is it about your company that makes people choose it over the others?
Great brands don't become great overnight.
Instead, they get created over time by consistent delivery of problem-solving products and services, reliable customer support, and value-rich messaging. Crafting a brand image that's immediately recognizable by consumers means creating products and processes that continuously reinforce your value proposition.
Here are seven ways that you can do this.
1. Create a Brand Personality
What attributes come to mind when you think of Apple? Things such as innovation, fun, smart, energetic, and friendly, right? That isn't by coincidence, but by Apple's ingenious design to cater to a specific audience. Think about your audience and what traits you want them to associate with your brand.
Think about your company culture, beliefs, customer support guarantees, and product quality commitments. Make a list of three to five attributes and use them to form your value or mission statement. When creating messaging and marketing copy, be sure that these attributes are represented clearly and consistently so that they stick in the minds of your target audience.
2. Be Reliable and Consistent
Show customers that your brand can consistently deliver on its promises. Customers should know what to expect from you regarding your product's ability to solve their problems, as well as how they'll receive support should they run into any issues with it. That is perhaps the most crucial aspect of a brand's image. Can customers rely on you? Everything from your product offerings, marketing content, and brand designs/logos to your service styles and support delivery should be consistent so that customers can develop a sense of trust with your brand.
3. Borrow Trust from Others
One of the oldest and most dependable (and fastest) ways to establish trust is to align your brand with those that already have a large, faithful following. Find ways to partner up with willing competitors and brands that offer products related to your niche. Not only can this help solidify you as a trusted brand, but it's also a great way to introduce yourself to wider audiences.
4. Admit to Your Failures
Owning a business doesn't make you impervious to mistakes. Admitting that you failed or created terrible circumstances for customers will gain you more respect than trying to deny your shortcomings or oversights. No company gets everything right ALL the time, and people are surprisingly receptive to admissions of failures, as it pokes a hole in the "big bad brand" armor that many major corporations seem to wear.
5. Do What You Say You'll Do
Letting your customers down is perhaps the easiest way to tarnish your brand's image. That is why it's imperative to carefully plan out your value statement, refund/guarantee policies, support options, and product maintenance plans before offering them to customers. Studies show that dissatisfied customers are more likely to leave reviews on your website (and third-party sites) than those who are satisfied. Deliver on all of your promises and be ready to get called out if you don't.
6. Listen to Your Audience
Have you ever heard of that saying, "everyone can't tell the same lie"? Well, this is true when it comes to customer feedback. As a brand, you should always be soliciting product and service feedback from your customers. The more insight that you have about their experiences, the more input you have towards improving your service and offerings. Use surveys and polls, social media, and follow-up emails or phone calls to stay in the know with what customers think about your products and company overall.
7. Be Sincere
Today's buyers can easily detect insincerity and have a low tolerance for sneaky sales and promotional tactics. Remember, millennials are slowly but surely becoming the biggest consumers. They're typically well educated, internet-savvy, and more responsive to transparency and authenticity. Be upfront about your brand's capabilities as well as its imperfections.
You may be surprised by how much people appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable. A respectable brand image is one created by demonstrating consistency and dependability with your customer base.
Building an authority brand takes a considerable amount of dedication along with a track record of reliability and brand recognition. Listening to your audience can give you the insight needed to understand how to continue to meet their needs.