However, it’s important to remember that a brand image is much more than simply a logo. It is a key strategic tool to position yourself in consumers’ minds in order to stand out from the competition.
In fact, a brand image is one of the biggest assets a company can have, and when it is well established, it becomes a sales point in itself.
You may not be quite there yet, but that’s completely normal. You have to start somewhere! So that’s why we are providing you with the 5 key steps to developing a strong, unique and enduring brand image.
1. Establish your positioning
Positioning is the starting point for any brand; it is also the backbone of your entire communications strategy, since it ensures its coherence.
Positioning can be described as the value proposition you make to consumers to meet an identified need.
It fundamentally defines you and where you want to go. Of course, this step requires you to think hard and do some research. Among other things, you should try to answer the following questions:
- In which market does my company operate?
- What specific need does my company meet?
- Who is my target clientele?
- What makes my offering unique?
- What is my promise?
- Who are my competitors?
2. Create your identity
After the questions have been answered, you can move on to the exciting part of the process and get creative.
When we talk about identity, there are two types: nominal, or your brand name; and visual, which includes all the graphic elements that define you. Think about logos, colours, fonts, shapes, symbols, images and illustrations which will be used on your various communications tools.
Delicate and refined, the Tour de Tables event visual identity can be presented in various forms.
Creative work is very instinctive, it’s not a linear process so there no one right way to go about it.
This is why there is no universal advice or magic recipe to guide you in the development of your logo. However, there are two key elements that you should always keep in mind:
- Your logo should in line with your positioning
Your logo embodies your positioning. It has to support it and communicate it effectively so your target clientele feels that it is recognized and addressed.
Take the case of a legal consulting firm that targets business managers. A wildly colourful, unconventional logo may not be the best way to present their services and the seriousness of their work.
- The logo should be timeless
Since brand awareness is built over time, through consumer exposure to your image, a logo must be designed to last.
This is why we recommend being wary of trends. When it comes to creation and design, we often have the habit of referring to what’s fashionable to develop a concept. However, trends come and go, but your logo has to be there to stay.
If you still want to have fun with trends, try using them in elements that are less permanent than your logo, such as the packaging of certain products, photos on social media, or the decoration of your brick-and-mortar offices.
3. Develop your brand universe
Your brand universe includes everything that expresses your personality: your history, tone, values, social commitments, etc. All of these things are the continuity of your visual and nominal identity. They are tools with which you externalize your DNA.
The brand universe is a collection of elements and resources from which you can draw to create communication tools which truly represent you. It’s a bit like your playground.
Does all this seem a bit abstract to you? One of our favourite exercises to develop a brand universe is personalization. If your brand was a person, who would they be? How would they dress? How would they speak? How would they act? What would be their ambitions?
This process will help you to better define your personality and make everything a bit more concrete.
4. Communicate the brand image
By this point, you will have a well-defined brand image that you will be ready to share with the world. You have to make sure that you adapt it for and apply it properly on all of your communication tools.
This means that your brand image should be consistent on all points of contact that consumers will have with you, whether it be your ads, website, social media posts, in-store experience, delivered packages, customer service, events that you sponsor, etc. Absolutely all of your communication tools must convey the same promise of experience.
This advertising developed by Braque contributes to strengthen Ikanos restaurant positioning.
Consistency is key, since this is the way people will get to know you and recognize you. Ultimately, your goal is that simply seeing your brand conjures up the experience that you offer in consumers’ minds.
5. Keep the brand alive
The brand image is designed to stand the test of time, but that doesn’t mean it has to be frozen forever. It’s normal to evolve to meet new consumer tastes and needs.
Your look becomes obsolete when people’s perception of you is no longer consistent with your positioning. For example, you will no longer appear innovative or avant-garde if your image is outdated.
The need to re-examine your brand image varies greatly with your area of activity. Certain industries, such as restaurants and technology, are constantly renewing themselves since the attraction of something new is very important. Changes are therefore more easily accepted by consumers and contribute to reinforce the positioning of these companies.
Furthermore, adapting your image doesn’t necessarily mean starting at zero. There is a way to update it by making subtle changes or by simply adapting the visual aspect of certain elements, such as your packaging, without having to change your logo.
Braque handled the logo redesign for the largest Canadian car rental company, Discount, making it modern and dynamic without breaking with the current image.
Finally, it would be more accurate to consider all of these steps as a cycle, since each is influenced by the other. Your positioning is therefore the starting point of your brand image, but also its culmination, since each step confirms and reinforces it. Considering this as an ongoing process will ensure that you always have a positioning that suits and represents you.
Do you need a little help to develop your brand image, or refresh your look? Contact us! We have already helped many brands to develop their image and assert their positioning.
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