How to create a brand image that works for you

Building a brand image – the perception people have of your company/ product or service is an important activity that cannot be overlooked. This perception may or may not be reflective of the reality and therefore deliberate effort is needed to build the right brand image. Everything you do as an entrepreneurwill ultimately add or take away from your brand image. Here are 3 things to keep in mind:

1. Understand your target market
Many entrepreneurs shy away from identifying a core target for their products or services because they easily assume everyone will buy their product. Identifying your core target group will help you craft your product offer in a way that appeals to that market. In reality there are hardly any “mass market” products. There’s always a core demographic group who make the majority of your buyers. Understanding this core group is the first step in reaching out to a wider market. Understanding this core group also means ensuring that your pricing, product quality, office premises and everything else you do speaks to that group. For instance people within a higher income bracket are less price sensitive than others in a lower bracket and therefore may not be motivated by promotions and discounts to buy more of certain products.

2. Be consistent
Creating your company’s brand image requires deliberately being consistent with your message across all your touchpoints.
Beyond having a logo designed, it is useful to have an official colour pallete that is used for all adverts, office premises, office supplies etc. The look and feel as well as tone of your message must always be consistent  with your brand and leave no doubt to your customers as to what your message is. This helps to easily distinguish your brand from others.

3. Always deliver good customer experience 
One of the sure ways of building a great brand without spending a fortune is to focus on delivering the best customer experience ALWAYS. Your customers will be your best brand ambassadors because people take word of mouth/ reviews into account when making a purchase decision. One bad experience can go a long way to derail your reputation. People review products and services all the time on social media and others surely take note. You can lose several potential and existing clients in seconds.
Your employees as your internal customers are also your brand advocates. Studies show that people rarely live out a company’s core values just because they work there. Your best bet is to bring on board people who already subscribe to your core values. Delivering an excellent customer experience the becomes easy. People will judge your company by the way your employees conduct themselves.

A good brand image goes beyond your products and packaging and is built over time through many touchpoints. Building a good brand is much easier than recovering from a bad hit to your brand.