Brand imagery is a crucial element of both online and offline marketing, and yet, many business owners and marketers seem to be unaware of the concept. Indeed, brand imagery is essential for the success of your campaigns and particularly for the longevity of your brand.
This is exactly why it is so important for you to start focusing on your brand imagery more. Hence, here’s why brand imagery is important, everything you should know about it, and how you can use it.
Brand Image vs. Brand Imagery
First and foremost, it’s worth understanding the difference between brand image and brand imagery is. To put it simply, your brand image can be anything from your brand name and logo to your brand’s reputation. Brand imagery, on the other hand, is about the aesthetic appearance of your brand’s core message. So, in a way brand imagery is more specific and could be considered a subset of your brand image.
Why Is Brand Imagery Important?
While your brand image works with the way your brand is perceived by different senses, brand imagery only focuses on aesthetics or visual perception. In other words, it’s all about the look of your brand. This can include anything from your brand logo and website design to your promotional materials and product design.
Logically, if your brand imagery or the visual look of your brand is poorly designed or looks amateur, you will be less likely to succeed with your marketing campaigns. Your brand simply won’t appeal to your target audience which will prevent you from selling your products or services.
#1 Research the Market
The first thing you need to do is research the market. If you just start doing whatever you feel like doing without having any background knowledge about your niche, you can end up doing everything wrong. Even worse, you might spend a lot of money on marketing campaigns that will be completely ineffective because you haven’t defined your brand imagery or you have done it incorrectly. Here are some things you need to research:
- Brand Imagery: Obviously, to better understand what brand imagery is and how to use it, it’s better to start by researching it. Though by the end of this article you will probably know some of the most essential things about brand imagery, it’s always a good idea to get deeper into the topic and try out more advanced techniques.
- Target Audience: At the same time, you need to get to know your target audience better. You probably know a lot about your potential customers already, but when it comes to brand imagery, you need to get down to details to make your strategy more relevant to them.
- Competitors: In addition to that, you need to research your competitors and see what they have been up to when it comes to brand imagery. You don’t want to copy someone, intentionally or unintentionally, but you also shouldn’t stand out of the crowd too much or your audience may get the wrong idea.
#2 Set Objectives
Once you have completed all the necessary research, you will be able to set objectives, both long-term and short-term ones. But even as you do so, it’s important that you differentiate between the objectives you set specifically for your online and offline marketing campaigns and those you set for your brand imagery. Moreover, long-term and short-term objectives will likely be significantly different.
When working on your brand imagery, it is important to understand what you want and expect from the imagery you use. This will probably be closely related to your brand image, so your brand’s reputation, “personality”, and all the related elements need to be considered. If you want your brand to be associated with friendliness, you will need to avoid using aggressive colors that could signify the wrong characteristics to your target audience.
Such attentiveness to your objectives needs to be maintained even in the future as you alter your strategy and set new aims for your brand imagery. Of course, you will need to adapt to the new circumstances and be flexible, but you should also be consistent with your goal setting. This way, you will always be moving in one right direction instead of taking one step forward and two steps backward.
#3 Create the Basics
Once you’ve set the objectives for your brand imagery, you will need to create the basics of what your imagery will be. As Mark Kingsley from the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online puts it, “The foundation you lay out for your future brand imagery strategy will help you get a better sense of direction much like your objectives do.” Here are the basics you need to work on:
- Logo: Your brand logo design will be the key element of your brand image and one of the most important elements of your brand imagery. Based on the objectives you have set, you will need to design a logo that will reflect your brand values.
- Colors: As mentioned earlier, the colors you use for your brand imagery will directly influence the way your target audience will perceive your brand. Once again, use your objectives to choose your brand colors.
- Shapes: It may seem trivial, but shapes can also help you create a certain look for your brand imagery. If you stick to more circular and softer designs, you will get a completely different result than if you use edgier and more angular designs.
- Fonts: Likewise, choosing fonts for your brand imagery will also play into the look you create for your brand.
- Characteristics: The characteristics of your brand imagery will be directly related to the objectives you have set earlier. These can be friendliness, professionalism, seriousness, childishness, etc. You can also consider these to be your brand’s personality.
#4 Be Consistent
Now that you know what you want from your brand imagery strategy, you need to stick to it as much as you can and be consistent. If you don’t do everything the way you originally intended to, you might end up straying away too much from your plan and making a mess that will only make things worse.
On the other hand, if you do stay consistent with your brand imagery strategy, you will be able to get the most out of your plan. If your brand imagery doesn’t send conflicting signals to your target audience, they will be able to get your message just the way you intended it to be which will allow you to have impactful offline and online marketing campaigns.
That being said, there is still something you need to remember when sticking to consistency. As will be explained later, experimenting is still a great way to better understand how you can improve your brand imagery and maximize the results of your promotional and marketing efforts.
#5 Combine Marketing Tactics
Speaking of marketing, you need to combine the different marketing tactics available to you. After all, brand imagery does not relate solely to one aspect of your marketing. Rather, it helps you create a consistent image for your brand across all the marketing channels and platforms you use. This relates both to the offline and the online marketing channels and platforms. Here are the best ones to try out and combine:
- Email Marketing: Obviously, all your emails will need to have the design that fits your brand imagery strategy. This way, you will be able to create a certain response every time your newsletter subscriber receives and opens an email from you.
- PPC Ad Campaigns: PPC ads, though being quite separate from your main body of content, still need to be designed according to your brand imagery requirements.
- Social Media Marketing: Likewise, your social media accounts across different platforms will need to have content formatted to fit the visual look of all your other content.
- Content Marketing: Speaking of content, all the content you create – especially the one you will be using online – will need to correspond to your brand imagery strategy. Though this mostly relates to your content visually, you should also try to maintain the same tone for your texts.
- Direct Mail Marketing: The approach you use for email marketing can be used for direct mail marketing.
- Billboard Marketing: At the same time, billboard marketing is similar to PPC ad marketing, so you can approach it in a similar way.
- Products, Website, etc.: And, of course, your products, website, and everything else will need to fit your brand imagery plan.
#6 Work on the Content
As mentioned above, your content matters a lot as it is the primary element of your marketing where you will need to use your brand imager strategy. When considering content, you shouldn’t forget that this relates to all types of content you use – from images to videos to podcasts to articles to social media posts.
As Daniel Yellow from the essay writing reviews site Online Writers Rating notes, “Anyone who owns a business and wants to market it properly needs to understand that no one type of content will be the one you can stick to all the time. You can’t just use PPC ads and forget about content marketing – it just doesn’t work that way. Effective marketing campaigns are built on a multitude of different marketing techniques used across different platforms.”
Remember that quality should always come before quantity. It’s better to start off with a limited amount of content you put out that will be of high quality instead of having a lot of content right away that will be of questionable or outright poor quality. It can impact your brand’s reputation a lot, so avoid taking that route at all costs.
#7 Experiment with Styles
As mentioned above, experimentation is not a bad thing. Of course, you need to be as consistent as possible with everything you do, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take some risks and try to find something that might work even better for your particular brand strategy. For instance, styles can be a great starting point if you are too afraid to make big changes just yet.
You can start with the way you word your texts. Increasing or decreasing the readability score of your texts can help you see whether your current audience wants to read something more complex or something simpler. At the same time, slightly changing the tone you use in your content can help you gradually transition into a completely different tone if you want to alter your brand’s personality.
#8 Get Feedback and Improve
Last but not least, you need to get feedback and improve what needs to be developed and upgraded. There will always be room for improvement, so even if you don’t see what can be changed for the better, it’s worth getting some feedback and seeing what can actually be altered. Moreover, there will be things you can change completely while others that you will only need to alter just the slightest bit.
To collect feedback, you can ask several sources to get the most complete picture. Your audience will definitely have something to say so you can start from it, but you should also consider asking professionals in your field as well as asking your team to give some ideas that you might not have come up with yourself.
Also, keep in mind that you don’t need to change everything right away. Extreme changes can be negatively perceived by your audience, so it’s better to take things smoothly. Moreover, dramatic changes will probably require you to invest the resources you might not have ready at that particular moment. Don’t stress yourself out and instead proceed doing one thing at a time.
All in all, brand imagery is definitely something you need to start thinking about more now that you know what it is and why it is so important. Use the tips in this article to start crafting your own brand imagery with the help of effective and relevant techniques.
Written by Melissa Mauro is a freelance writer who creates quality and original content. She is working for the companies Best Writers Online and Online Writers Rating writing services review. She believes that creativity and improvement are things, which distinguish a good writer.