brand image

This Is How to Create a Brand Image that Stands Out

Think about your favorite brand for a sec. I’m guessing you can easily recognize the brand – even without seeing the name. You recognize it by its logo, style, design, pattern, or color. It stands out – because the company behind it has created a very strong brand image.

But even more important than that, a clear brand image helps people connect to you. They know what you’re about. They relate to your brand’s look and personality. And that connection helps build a relationship.

This is how to create a brand image that stands out:

Research your audience

A lot of marketing comes down to knowing what your audience cares about. It might be something different from what you care about – or think they care about. This is important because your brand has to fill a need in their lives and create a connection.

If you don’t know for sure what your audience cares about or is talking about online, it’s time to do some social listening.

Say you’re an avid runner and you’re going to open a running store. Your target market includes beginning runners, and you assume they want to know how to train for their first big run or find a running group.

Look at what people are talking about in Facebook Groups for runners, on your competitors’ social channels and blogs, and via hashtags on Twitter. You might instead learn that beginning runners want to know about warming up/down and stretching.

Create a persona

As a small business owner, your brand’s persona will likely mirror who you are and what’s important to you. Even though you know yourself really well, it’s important to get your persona down on paper now. Whoever handles your social media marketing will need this information.

  • What are the brand’s values?
  • If the brand were a person, what would they be interested in?
  • What is the brand’s personality? Sophisticated and witty? Professional and formal? Fun and chummy?
  • Would a client or customer recognize your brand online and in person?

Define the look

Having a consistent look is so incredibly important. Yes, you want people to recognize your posts in their news feed, but they also need to know what to expect from you. Imagine if Ralph Lauren traded in their classic, WASP-y look for Volcom’s gritty surf and skate culture – or vice versa. That would be incredibly confusing.

So think about:

  • What are the core brand colors (aka, what colors are used on your website and in your logo)?
  • What filter should be used on images?
  • Are black-and-white photos appropriate?
  • Is the brand’s look clean? Bold? Gritty?
  • Lots of white space or tighter, close-in shots?

Simplify what you post

Because you have so many options of what to post on social media, you can easily fall into the trap of trying every new idea. Resist the urge! Again, this can lead to confusion, but it also prevents you from figuring out what types of posts perform best.

Start with a handful of post types as you grow your audience and engagement levels. Let’s go back to the running store example. Maybe you share one 60-second video per week of running tips, images of new merchandise, photos from your runs, information on in-store events, and quotes from top athletes and trainers. You can slowly build on this over time.

Be consistent with your brand image

This kind of goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway. Your brand image needs to stay consistent across all channels: your website, newsletter, print materials and social media. When someone sees your latest post on Instagram and clicks over to your website, they shouldn’t wonder if they went to the wrong place.

If your brand image is all over the place, let’s talk! We regularly help our social media marketing clients create a consistent look and feel for their brand. How can we help you? 

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