Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
NETWORKING / FEB. 18, 2015
version 6, draft 6

How to Establish Your Brand Image

Not only do most people know what a polo player image represents, but also the standard of excellence Ralph Lauren always conveys. Indeed his recognition and success didn’t happen overnight, but was established through addressing some specific rules that we can all apply. Unforgettable brand images are highly effective at deeply connecting with consumers.

In order for that to happen, here are five major areas that need to be addressed to effectively establish your brand image:

1. Create an Avatar

A clear and specific picture of your ideal customer is an essential first step for establishing your brand image. Nobody wants to be a little fish in a big pond, but often, diluted brand images are due to the fact that companies have not niched down enough. Cut away any fluff and keep drilling down until you have absolute clarity. 

Think through every aspect that makes up demographic studies: what’s your intended age group, gender, political stance, income, location, etc. A helpful scenario to consider is to firstly ask, “What does my perfect customer look like?” But then imagine that they’re also your hardest customer to win over—what would it take to make them your best customer? That question is crucial for putting together a later marketing plan. 

2. A Tagline

“Just do it” succinctly and perfectly conveys the image of Nike. Be able to boil down your brand’s mission to one single sentence. The tagline should encompass your company’s attitude, style, and an element that you are trying to bring out of your customer. It will also be foundational for future advertising campaigns that you set up. You’ll want to repeat it as much as possible to create a clear association between your brand and what it stands for.

3. Logo & Color Psychology

Visual learning is the preferred modality for most people. It’s true that a picture says a thousand words. And whether they’re words, pictures, or a combination of both, the general rule is that the more simple and minimalistic your design is, the better. Think of Louis Vuitton’s “LV” design, FedEx, or the Nike swoosh. They’re all incredibly effective at capturing each company’s ‘personality,’ not only because they are simple, but also because they’ve intentionally worked in the attitude of their tagline.

Be sure to keep in mind the psychology and power of color. People are highly influenced by the use of colors; there’s a reason many food outlets use red, and yellow, and why hospitals typically use white. Your color choice should coordinate with an emotion and feeling that you’re trying to bring about from your audience. Here is an extensive list of colors and the emotional responses they convey. 

4. PR and Marketing

It’s an area of expense you may not want to spend on, but it’s necessary to get your brand image out there to the public, and in front of people that you’d not necessarily have access to. 

Once you have clearly identified your avatar, these companies can help to geographically locate the pockets that host your tribe of people and begin to reach out to them. PR companies will also help with your social media marketing and presence, joining specific groups and sharing your work. 

5. Networking and Associations 

It is important to be very selective with who you associate and do business with. Everyone you interact with will leave footprints; if you’re engaging with audiences purely for the sake of money, then you are potentially damaging future contracts with customers who fit your avatar. 

Seek out relevant conferences to your industry, and begin to make yourself and your brand known at large events. Look for leaders in the field that you are striving to emulate and explore possible collaborate efforts. 

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