5 quick wins to elevate your brand image

5 quick wins to elevate your brand

Your brand isn’t what you say it is — it’s what other people think it is. All you can do is try to create the right impression.

In the digital age especially, your brand is not your logo and a tagline. It’s absolutely everything you do, say, look like, or sound like. It’s what people feel when they think of you, see you, or interact with you.

This is the age of accessibility — whether you’re B2B or B2C, your customers can contact you, challenge you, research you, and express their opinion of you in a very public way. Not only do you need a strong brand to stay memorable and keep control over your company’s image, but you also need to keep that brand consistent across an ever-growing number of touchpoints. Do that, and you could see revenue increase by 23%.

Here are five tips to quickly improve your branding.

(Re)connect with your audience

Since your audience is the judge of your brand, and commercial communication runs in both directions, it would be a wasted opportunity if you didn’t learn from your customers and prospects. Don’t assume you know how you appear, or what resonates with your targets. You can, however, find out both of those things through ‘social listening’.

Using analytics tools, you can monitor online platforms and social media to build a picture of the sentiment around your brand and your campaigns. That way, you can gather authentic, organic feedback about the impression your brand leaves, with the bonus of building a thorough understanding of how prospects in your target market express themselves.

As well as finding out what people say about you, there’s huge value in asking directly. To those who work with it every day, the brand can become like wallpaper — they’re completely used to it, so the impact and effect are lost on them. Ask a few people who are unconnected to the brand how your company feels and appears to them, and you’ll get a sense of how close the brand is to where you want it.

Pick your personality

Perhaps your name is well known, but your brand isn’t. Often that’s because you’ve established what your business is without establishing who your business is. If there’s no substantial identity underpinning your marketing or customer interactions, that makes it very hard to leave an impression or maintain control over your customer-facing image.

No matter how established your business is, going back to basics is a useful way to focus your branding efforts. Ask yourself, ‘If my brand were a person, what would they be like?’ Once you establish that, you can start to work out how ‘they’ should speak and look. Then, you can work out how to apply that personality across all media, which is what the next two tips do.

Create a tone of voice document

As you grow and employ more people, more people will represent your brand. Whether they’re writing marketing emails, ad copy, press releases, or any external communications, a reference for the ‘Do’s and ‘Don’t’s of the brand voice will be extremely useful.

The most important thing to cover is the ‘feel’ of the brand — the mood and character they should convey, the level of formality in writing, and what words and phrases they should or shouldn’t use. Having that guide means that your teams can confidently ‘speak’ with one voice.

If you’ve never written one before, or don’t feel confident producing one, Nutcracker has created many tone of voice guides for our clients, and can help you codify your copy rules.

Create brand guidelines

The visual equivalent of a tone of voice document, brand guidelines set out how your business should look. That will include how your logo should be rendered, when different versions of it should be used, any visual motifs that you encourage, and colours that you can and can’t use. Nothing forms an impression faster than your brand’s appearance — it takes around 50 milliseconds to assess visual appeal — and brand recognition can get an 80% boost from a signature colour. Defining and maintaining the look of your business not only conveys professionalism, but also leaves that desirable impression in the minds of your prospects.

If you need assistance choosing and designing the visual elements of your brand, again, Nutcracker is here to help. Our brand design services include everything from strategic brand propositioning, to logo creation or re-design, to typography and colour choice.

Run a consistency review

It takes 5-7 interactions for someone to remember your brand, which is why you need to be consistent — if you’re not, those interactions may as well be with different brands, and your prospect won’t remember any of them.

Once you have a strong identity and guidelines in place, monitor the output of your sales, marketing, and social media teams to assess whether the business looks and sounds like the same ‘person’ in all publications and interactions. Inconsistency is sloppy, but it also makes you look inauthentic, like you’re wearing a mask that can slip off. Take a look at this apology by Innocent for an example of a brand identity that remains consistent regardless of the context.

Whether you’re starting a brand from scratch, refreshing your look and feel, or rebranding from the ground up, Nutcracker can help you build a strategy based on data, research, and, most importantly, the ‘why’ of your business. Get in today on 020 3941 0305, or hello@nutcrackeragency.com

Charles Scherer | Copywriter
Charles Scherer