We’ve all heard of the power of a strong brand image – how it can make or break a business, product or service. But what are the criteria for determining whether your brand is good enough? From making sure you create an effective logo to understanding which values should be represented in your messaging, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to creating a winning brand.
Creating an authentic brand requires subtlety; outright promoting how awesome your brand is appears arrogant, even if everything you say is true. Your brand is your image in the eyes of your audience and customers. The task of developing the a strong brand image without being heavy-handed involves understanding psychological marketing.
Emotions And Motivation
Before analyzing your audience, really look at your product or service. What experience are you selling? Beyond every product is an emotional need: hope, choice, freedom, confidence, and so on. The emotion your product provides or fulfills will help you understand what motivates your customers to buy from you instead of a competitor.
When that emotional experience has been defined, you can more easily appeal to that drive to create a reputation that aligns with your product and mission.
There are four main tactics that use the customer’s emotions to motivate a sale. With careful planning, they can be used to build your brand as well. These tactics are as follows:
- Social Proof
- Loss Aversion
Social proof and reciprocity are positive tactics, while scarcity and aversion are negative. While the former need testing for best placement and format, you can never have too much in general. Scarcity and aversion, however, should be used sparingly. Too much negative pressure often appears cheap and off-putting.
Remember to refer back to the original concept of the emotional experience you’re selling while using these tactics. Selling a luxury toaster, for example, is less about the function of the toaster and more about the prestige.
A Sense Of Value
Even more basic tactics may not require understanding customer drive, but basic psychology. Priming, for instance, could inspire simple words in your ads to associate your product with. Repeating the word ‘beauty’ when promoting an eye cream takes advantage of both priming and repetition. The more frequent your brand appears for customers, the more memorable it becomes.
Even pricing itself has psychological tactics. The “.99” concept capitalized on customers skimming shelves, only registering the dollar amount. In the same way, decoy pricing benefits from providing another pricing option to give the customer a sense of satisfaction in getting a better deal.
While these may not directly affect your brand, tactics to improve the value of your offer are a subtle way of building customer confidence in their purchase. For repeat business, this is an important factor to keep in mind.
The merits of social media cannot be overstated. Growing a strong brand image is very pro-social, so being able to reach out directly to your audience is an invaluable tool. However, being available is a big part of improving your reputation. Make sure your customers can reach you dependably to convey an approachable brand.
The most fundamental aspect of representing your strong brand image is your audience. Whether customers or not, their perspective of your company becomes the image of your brand. Understanding what makes them tick is essential to projecting the best image possible for your brand.