Have you ever thought about what makes people buy a 300 euro t-shirt just because it´s a designer brand? It´s all about the image – nothing else! Customers generally patronise a business for aesthetic reasons, which is why it is so important that the branding lives up to expectations. Your company´s image will be what makes or breaks it.
We all know that we are attracted to beauty and quality, so what happens if your branding doesn´t accurately or effectively represent your business? Let´s say a sales person calls you and describes their high-end services or products in a really imaginative and exciting way. You will probably be tempted to take a closer look at their website, only to find that it makes the company look quite downmarket and doesn´t in any way reflect the conversation that you have just enjoyed. The misconception is wholly due to the gap between the business´s intent (luxury all the way) and the message being transmitted by the website (cheap and cheerful). There is a complete lack of congruity in the branding. But it can also work in the opposite direction: perhaps you offer really good prices and want people to know that you are a budget option, but your branding communicates opulence and extravagance. Both scenarios can be equally ruinous for your business.
Some companies understand this principle and have a brilliant grasp of effective branding. Ryanair, for example, never promises top quality which is why customers are not surprised by the airline´s bargain basement service. Ryanair specifically wants to be perceived as a low-budget carrier, which is why its logo and website are so simple. IKEA wants to be perceived as minimalist, clean and uncomplicated so that it reflects the design of its products and so on…
So, what can you do to improve your branding?
If you are serious about your business you need to create a professional image that accurately and efficiently presents it to your target market.
•Evaluate your current branding– is your message and look coherent? Could you do with a 2011 revamp? Does your branding accurately reflect your service or product?
• Identify your target market
Of course you would like to appeal to everyone, but in reality this is not possible. By restricting your target market to a specific age, gender, or location you will be able to tailor your messages and look, thereby more effectively attracting the right kind of attention.
•Are you achieving optimum performance in your sector?
If not, perhaps you need to consider more promotion. By positioning your business effectively it will be the first that your target market thinks of when looking for that product or service.