The most successful businesses have strong brand images. Regardless of whether you’re selling a product or service, a strong brand image is critical for the success of your business. But what exactly does a strong brand image entail?
A strong brand image evokes a strong, positive emotional response from your potential customers. Developing a great product is crucial, but the old adage of “if you built it they will come” simply doesn’t apply any longer. Dozens of other companies can build a similar product for much less.
For your company to succeed, your customers must connect with your brand’s “personality” on a deeper level. To answer this question, we’ll take a look at GoPro, a company that develops high definition cameras and equipment.
GoPro was not the first company to build cameras, and neither were they on the “cutting-edge” of technology. In fact its first camera launched in 2005 was recorded on 35mm film instead of digital. GoPro had to come to a decision – make a general purpose device that barely satisfies anyone, or create a specialised product that perfectly satisfies one audience.
Instead of jumping on to the hype bandwagon of digital cameras, GoPro knew that it wouldn’t yet be able to capture intense action scenes when it was most critical and chose to release their first camera with a more mature technology.
GoPro understands the needs of its audience – active thrill seekers – so well that to this day, they focus their products on features important to their active audience rather than employ glitzy megapixel counts the way smartphones do these days.
GoPro was designed to fit many accessories that allow you capture videos in the thick of action without getting in your way.
Waterproof casing for underwater recording? Check.
Camera head-mount for first-person video recording? Check.
All of this pays off because their customers know that when it comes to getting an action camera, GoPro is the only brand they can trust.
Framing the Brand
“Be a Hero”. GoPro’s marketing slogan is gold. In three words, it perfectly captures the feelings and emotions it wants its audience to have when they use their product.
Nearly every shot in all of their marketing materials show people having fun and/or “being a hero”. Many of their shots are deliberately shot in first-person perspective so you feel you’re right in the thick of the action. The message in all their marketing materials is clear – get our cameras and you can do the same.
Build a strong brand image in four steps
Perhaps the question you may be asking now is “Great! But how do I apply this for my company?”
Here’s how you do it.
- Define your brand: What is it?
Your brand more than just your product or logo. Many people make that mistake, but your brand is really about your imprint on peoples’ experiences. When people “experience” your brand, it should evoke feelings of positivity; people should know that your product or service will not just serve their needs, but will also make them feel good, and that you can be trusted.
GoPro sells high definition action cameras, but those are the products they sell, not their entire brand. Their brand focuses on how their customers feel. By putting their ads in first-person perspective, customers can feel like they’ve just been on the journey of their life without leaving their seats. By encouraging sharing, everyone hears about them.
What is your brand? What emotions do you want to invoke in your customers? How will you position your brand to make your prospective customers experience those emotions?
- Figure out who your competition is, where you stand in comparison to them – and how you can stand out from them
Does your industry’s marketplace already contain some stiff competition for you? Where do you stand at present in the industry compared to that competition?
Once you have figured that out, you must discover your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).
GoPro is far from the only company producing high definition video cameras, but they trample over the competition because they are specially geared towards a specific niche – action enthusiasts. Their camera with the highest megapixel count for still shots is only 12MP. Contrast this with smartphones these days which have glitzy 20.7MP cameras that only manage to capture grainy videos. But GoPro knows its market well – and prioritised features that actually mattered such as durability, smooth 4K video and the ability to fit many accessories that allow you capture videos in the thick of action without getting in your way.
What separates you from your competition? What is your USP? Capitalise on what makes your business unique.
- Make Your Customer a Hero
Once you have determined your USP, think of how you can invoke their emotions and connect it with your brand. GoPro does this so perfectly that it’s part of their slogan. By shooting most of their marketing materials using the GoPro cameras themselves, they give an honest look of the kind of experience potential customers can have – if they were to only buy their product.
This technique isn’t limited to action sports – if a restaurant gives poor service, out of self-respect you’ll never come back. If on the other hand their customer service is warm and personable, you’re bound to rave about it to your friends. It’s all in how you make your customers feel.
Understand the emotional wants and needs of your potential customers and you will have a potent tool to keep them for the long run.
- Deliver Excellent Customer Service and Build Trust
You can make some quick bucks if you do everything else right and don’t provide a stellar product or service – but not for long. Customers want to know they can trust your company and that their difficulties with your product or service will be taken care of.
Disappoint your customers and your business will suffer – especially in the era of Web 2.0. If you have any doubts, just ask United Airlines. In the wake of the Dave Carroll’s music video United Breaks Guitars, stock prices of United Airlines fell by 10% in 4 days, costing investors $180 million .
You can follow the said steps in conceptualizing your innovative brochure printing campaign as well.
A strong brand image is essential for success. Define your brand, develop your USP, and connect with your customers by making them a hero. Finally, follow it up with excellent service and you will build a brand image your customers will rave about.