According to the Content Marketing Institution, 89 percent of marketers understand that maintaining viable brand awareness is the most important objective to succeed. This awareness is even more important than focusing on lead generation and sales.
Brand image is important because it forms the impression that your current and potential customers have about your product and company. If you don’t effectively manage your brand image, you could unknowingly alienate consumers, decrease sales, and negatively impact your bottom line.
Assess What Is and Isn’t Working
If you want to manage and improve your brand image, you first need to accurately assess what you’re doing right and what’s going wrong. You need to be as brutally honest with yourself as possible. If you aren’t, you won’t make positive changes that take your brand to the next level and connect you with new and current customers.
Consider some of the following ways to assess your brand:
- Honestly assess your online reviews
- Review social media posts about your brand
- Host focus groups and customer interviews
- Get feedback with customer surveys
Working with a neutral party to accurately assess your brand can be effective in helping you make the necessary changes.
Deliver Authentic Content
Honesty is an important factor in cultivating customer loyalty since 80 percent of consumers value authentic content. They see authenticity as a significant influence in whether or not they decide to follow the brand. If you want to build credibility with consumers, focus on delivering customer-centric content that accurately educates, informs, and adds value.
Improve the way you deliver authentic content by following these basic steps:
- Write content that reflects your vision
- Be consistent in all content campaigns
- Tailor your content to your target audience
- Embrace your perspective and share it
- Write content that’s relevant to the market
- Be authentic in all interactions online
Control Your Online Presence
Your websites and social media accounts need to accurately reflect your brand image in a consistent way. You should display your logo prominently on your website and also integrate it into your social media profiles. For example, use the header on your Facebook fan page and Twitter profile to display your company name, logo, and general design style. It’s important for your customers to quickly identify your brand online by seeing your logo as the profile photo for your social media accounts.
You can control certain aspects of your online presence. You cannot control every mention of your brand online. However, there are ways to leverage your brand identity online by following these steps:
- Utilize brand ambassadors to promote products
- Cultivate relationships with influencers with free products
- Make it easy for customers to post positive reviews
- Connect with online communities interested in your industry
Shape the Company Culture
Every employee of your company needs to understand your brand and believe in it so they can effectively help with promotion. You can cultivate this belief in the brand by helping to shape the company culture. Show your employees that everything you’re saying about the brand is true and you value them as an integral part of the team.
Use these steps to help shape the company culture and empower your employees to become effective disseminators of your brand:
- Share the vision and goals of the company
- Reward behavior that reflects company values
- Empower all managers to be effective role models
- Be committed for the long haul in cultivating this culture
You need to ensure that everyone is rowing the boat together so you don’t end up rowing in circles. When all team members fully understand the brand and your values, they can be more effective in sharing that with customers in all aspects of their jobs.
Get Involved in the Community
You can improve your brand image by getting involved in the community through events and sponsorship programs. Implementing volunteer programs can positively impact the community and boost employee morale. Getting involved in community projects can demonstrate your values and improve your brand image.
Comcast NBC Universal is an example of a corporation that works year-round with organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs and the National Urban League. In 2001, they implemented Comcast Cares Day and now have more than one million volunteers who impact their communities. These volunteers are Comcast employees and other community members who help to revitalize neighborhoods and make care packages for families in need, among other programs.
You can manage and improve your brand image by using the basic steps outlined in this article. Honest assessment is an important starting point. Creating authentic content and controlling your online presence are vital. Shape your company culture and get involved in the community to positively impact your brand.