The first impression of your brand will mould your company, product or service offerings in the eyes of your prospective customers. The perception could come across as either positive or negative. Either way, it is important that the perception is controlled. Failure to manage the perception of the brand can lead to a decline in the perceived value and competitiveness that your business is offering in the market. Digital marketing agency Soul Digital offers advice for businesses that are seeking to improve the strength of their brand to enhance their first and ongoing impressions with prospective and current customers.
Plan the Success of Your Brand All the Way to the End
You must know where your brand is going if you plan for the brand to become successful. Set the goals that your business brand will have and have the company and the team involved commit to the brand mission. Identify what will differentiate you from other businesses operating in the market and how your business offering can successfully accomplish the goal.
Maintain the Brand Value by Never Becoming a Commodity
Never make your brand become a commodity. The brand will become a commodity if the offering is the same as your competitions. The moment it becomes a commodity is the moment you can never maintain the true value of the brand. Becoming sensitive to price makes it more difficult to sell. Your brand must be able to demonstrate value to the prospective customers and must be free from the chains of competition where people will differentiate solely on price.
Win the Hearts of Your Customers through Your Actions
There are many branding activities that can be done to enhance the awareness, education and perception of the brand. However, the core action to success is by winning the hearts of your customers through the actions of your business. This is accomplished by delivering or exceeding the promise and expectations that your business is offering. This will lead to more positive sentiment, brand loyalty and referral business.
The Reputation of the Brand is the Cornerstone to Power
The reputation that the brand has to its audience will be the key to the brands success. The brand’s reputation must be protected to avoid any negative setbacks that could cost the brand customers, revenue and the need to invest into damage control. Businesses need to maintain a strategy that will keep the brand’s message clean and to thwart any negative attacks from competitors or disgruntled customers. This includes:
* Managing the online reputation of the business through its online reviews. While there will always be people that will bring up the negatives, managing the process for brand reviews to encourage positive experiences and sentiment will further enhance the brand value, trust and referral elements for the business.
* Managing the reputation of the products and services being sold through the business’s operations. This means the quality control must supersede the expectations of your customers and that the staff executes the functions and the experience measures sought by the company. All of the good work that is being done by a company may become undone by employees’ unwillingness to commit to the company’s goals. The business must have measures in place to ensure that all areas positively impact the brand’s deliverables and experience.
When Necessary, Recreate & Adapt the Brand Positioning
It is important to be flexible with your brand when the business has committed to developing a working brand strategy. There may be changes that occur in your industry, such as changes in regulations, environments or consumer behaviours. Any changes need to be dealt with swiftly to ensure that the brand maintains their success.
Enhance Your Brand Value
If you are unsure of how you can improve your brand value, below are a few ideas to add value to your business’s offerings.
Celebrity Association – Find out if there are any celebrities that you can tie into the success or value of your products. You may have found a celebrity that uses your product or one that is similar. Alternatively, you may also have a celebrity endorse your product.
Demonstrate the value with the amount of research and development that goes into it – Increase the perceived value by telling your prospective customers how many years or research, teams of experts, dedicated hours or other information that goes into developing the product and service that you have on offer. Go a step further and tell them how they can access the story of your brand.
The promise of your brand – Focus on delivering the promise of your brand. You may deliver a positive experience for your customers through the environment that they are in with your store and customer service. It may also be the experience of the product that they are receiving, whether it is the name, the experience association or even the packaging.
Brand Culture – Apple’s Success Story
One of the world’s strongest brands is Apple. The success of Apple was primarily pioneered by the imagination and dedication of Steve Jobs to Apple’s product design and the quality of the products that it produced. Whilst he and his company didn’t set out to develop a ‘cult brand’, it did naturally evolve due to the success of the launched consumer products. Some of the most iconic products that his company produced that changed the way people interacted with digital media included:
The launch of the Mac computer
The launch of the IPod
The launch of the IPhone
The launch of the Ipad tablet
The launch of the Apple watch
Some of the key elements that contributed to Apple’s success include their commitment to innovation and their dedication to excellence in the quality of their products. The company’s focus towards their creative developments that they found to be really important continued to spur success in their brand innovations, products and their brand leadership. Apple’s brand slogan ‘Think Different’ has motivated the company to anticipate the needs of its customers. It’s this forward thinking that has driven them to become one of the most iconic brands on the planet.
The first impression of your brand is paramount. And managing the brand perception is a task that must be managed well to maintain the brand’s value in the market. The stronger the brand, the easier it will be to sell and to maintain higher profit margins. Negative impacts to the brand ultimately hurt the business’s performance. Commit to developing and enhancing a strong brand impression that will guarantee the success of your business’s brand in the long term.
Do you believe that first impressions of a brand are paramount? Share your stories below!
Jason Soultan is the founder and director of Soul Digital, a digital marketing agency in Melbourne, specialising in digital strategy, web design and web development. He is passionate about helping businesses build and enhance their online presence as well as writing useful content that resonates with business owners.