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Brand image: What is it and how to improve it?

Published by Teresa Alba on August 18, 2016

Imagen corporativa de una empresa: ¿Qué es y cómo mejorarla?

Today, we are able to recognize the brand image of many companies through their logo, even before reading the slogan or any text about these companies.

We are so used to getting brand messages, that we have completely internalized these brands.

Have you ever wondered how it happens? I call this “magic” branding.

Basically, the image conveyed by the company of its brand, is the result of the combination of communication with visual elements.

This is because human beings are very visual and therefore, we tend to remember better images than text. And this, is something many companies know how to exploit.

Therefore, it is important to work correctly with all the aspects of your brand image, remember that this should be among the priorities of your business strategy.

Also, now that the Internet has assumed an important role in our lives, it must be seen as a relevant channel when planning the brand identity and therefore the brand image of a new company.

If you integrate online and offline channels, you can create a very coherent and strong image. However, before launching your business, even if it is not an online business yet, you need to fully understand certain concepts.

So in this article I will explain: 

  • What is the company’s brand image and how to define the concept
  • Benefits of a good brand image
  • Tips to improve the online brand image

If you are creating a new brand image, or if you want to optimize your brand image, this post can help you understand how to improve and take advantage of this aspect of your campaign.

What is the brand image of a company?

The first thing that should be clear is what really is the meaning of brand image. Contrary to what many people may think, it is not related only to visual aspects, but includes much more.

A brand image refers to how the company is perceived. This means, everything this company stands for, its values and goals.

The design of the brand image refers to the logo, but it is also about concepts, graphic design of its different aspects, as well as the psychological component that is responsible for creating an emotional bond with the customer through shared cultural values.

The differences between brand image, brand identity and Personal brand

Once we know what is the meaning of brand image, it is important to define other concepts, so that you understand each term and know what we are talking about.

It is quite common that there is a confusion between the brand image, brand identity and personal brand, as the three terms are related, although each refers to a different aspect.

►“The brand Image is an intangible concept, because it changes according to the perception that the users have about a brand or company. This perception is associated with a combination of attitude and visual identity.”

► “Brand Identity, however, is a tangible concept, as it is formed by symbols (visual language) and signs (verbal identity). This means the logo, typography and colors (among other aspects).”

► “A personal brand is a fusion of what others perceive and your own professional values. This concept makes the difference and helps each professional to be competitive in the market.”

While the brand image is a perception of the combination of brand identity with a business attitude, the personal brand is the analogous concept that often causes confusion:

“A brand image refers to a company and what it stands for”

Understanding the differences between brand image and personal brand is the first step when working to improve your brand image.

Aspects of online brand Image and its benefits

Elementos de la Imagen Corporativa Online y sus beneficios

Working to improve the brand image is much more than creating a beautiful logo.

It is the design and definition of elements that represent the brand and its values, so the company can take another positive step to improve its communication.

Benefits of having a good design for your brand image on the Internet

Today, it is no longer just about the logo and colors. The presence on social media and online communication, requires us to extend our brand image to new channels, thus adapted to the digital sector.

Keep in mind that a good online brand image can bring many benefits to a company, such as:

  • Getting to differentiate from the competition
  • Visually represent the company’s values and translate them into different channels (social networks, website, email, etc.)
  • Create a standard strategy between the various channels, creating a positive perception of the company
  • Facilitate brand recognition in any situation
  • Generate a positive impact, so that users can identify with the brand values

To achieve these goals, it is necessary to work with all aspects that are part of the brand image of a company. This way, you can have a solid and coherent brand image.

Aspects of brand Image

The aspects that are part of the brand image are many and each company adapts these aspects according to their needs by applying more or fewer points.

It is  formed by the intangible part, as the values, mission etc… And the tangible part which is the identity of the brand.

However, whatever the needs of your brand, having a consistent brand image, will show the values of your company for your customers and users.

Name and logo

The brand name is one of the first things you need to create, when you are creating your brand.

It may seem a simple task, but it really is not. A good name, different and easy to remember, is the result of hard work.

You need to keep in mind that if you plan to register a new brand, it will also be your domain name, so it is essential to think about how this name will be used with “.com” or “.net“.

In addition, you will need a properly designed logo, easy to remember, easy to adapt and use on different systems and situations.

The chosen logo  must have different variations and sizes to be used with different online channels such as profiles on social networks.

► Slogan

Not all brands have a slogan, or a short phrase summarizing the specific product or service, or its benefits.

When working to improve the brand image, it is one of the points on which you need to think; Do you want a slogan ?Will you include it in the logo ? Do you want to have two versions of the logo, one with slogan and the other one without it?

Please note that your slogan can also be used for your web domain. Playing with these points, you can register a memorable and unique domain.

►Typography and colors

Another determining factor in the creation of a good and consistent brand image, is the font style.

The font styles used in your content should be selected appropriately according to the image to be transmitted and generally, they must be from the same font family.

When choosing a font, note that it must be legible on different screens, and be good for reading long texts.

The colors chosen for both the logo and for use in other channels, should be appropriate to represent the  values of the brand, but also for use on the Internet. Don’t forget that some combinations don’t work as well on paper as they work on screen.

Handbook or manual on Corporate Identity

This is the document in which the rules for the brand identity should be defined (Online and Offline).

From how to include the logo of a brand and the visual aspects, (In all media) to the materials that should be used to create anything the company will need (stands, posters, etc.).

The manual of brand identity describes how to work with the different graphic symbols that represent the identity of your company, to ensure consistency and a standard brand image.

How to improve the design of your brand image on the Internet?

Cómo mejorar el diseño de Imagen Corporativa de una empresa en Internet

Including in your communication plan an online channel is an essential requirement  to reach your audience, listen to your customers and adapt your products or services to their needs. However, you can’t accomplish this task without a defined strategy.

When you are creating profiles on social networks or a new website, or  sending a newsletter, all items must be in sync with the brand image, that is why having defined rules is so important.

To do this, you must use the same pattern of colors, text, tone, etc.

In short, all messages should uphold the same values and mission, being consistent with the spirit of the brand.

Tips to Optimize the brand Image

The brand image is always unique, as it represents the company and its values.

Not only are the values behind the brand that make the difference, but the nuances used by the designer, as well as the whole team who is working for this brand.

While it is difficult to generalize, there are some tips that are useful for all brands (newly created or for companies that are considering a new design with a better brand image):

  • Focus on brand philosophy: don’t stop until you can create an image that represents the intangible part of your business
  • Don’t forget the users: Clearly define your target audience, this will help you define what your company wants to show to the world with your brand image
  • Always be consistent: Use a single brand image in all your marketing activities
  • Take advantage of the strengths of the company: its greatest virtue can be your best ally
  • Find a timeless concept: don’t create the brand image inspired by things that will work for a short time. Although the brand may be changed, it is best that the image can be the same over time
  • Use a consistent voice and tone, giving the importance required for messages created to generate a strong and solid brand  image

Once you have the basic guidelines set out, be sure to remember the following tips for your online brand image:

  • Easy to read colors may work better on the Internet
  • The same works with fonts, don’t try to use a very strong font, perhaps a rounded font and always with a readable text
  • Test with different versions of the logo; black and white, with and without slogan, etc.

If your company has a presence on the Internet, always think of your online strategy and don’t create things first, trying to adapt them later

Online applications: appropriate and inappropriate uses

A very important item, and it should be added to the manual of brand identity as well. In it, you will define the proper and improper use of each of the listed items.

In the interest of creating a strong, consistent and coherent image with the personality of the company, you need to define what is allowed and what is not accepted on the use of different items of the brand image.

To create rules for the online applications, you must take into account the different channels to be used, such as:

  • Profiles on social networks.
  • Website and its favicon.
  • Landing pages
  • Email marketing
  • Corporate email signature
  • Infographics, ebooks and other content

Even if a priori you do not intend to use all channels, it’s good to create the guidelines for the brand image in advance.

So, if in the future you need to create a new strategy for your company, you may use the manual on how to work with the aspects of the brand image.

Set the rules that the company doesn’t approve, because this will prevent your brand image from being damaged, if you don’t do that, you could end up with several logos, contradictory texts using a different language  and mixed messages.

Conclusion

Finally, one last tip;

“The manual of brand identity is an indispensable element in creating a good brand image for your company. The more points specified, the easier it will be to implement the image in any future marketing action.”

However, if you don’t explain these values to your team of employees or collaborators, none of this will help much. No matter how clear you think that everything is in your mind, if they don’t know which guidelines should be followed, they could use the brand image in the wrong way (though in good faith).

The brand image of your company is what will differentiate this brand from the competition in a first contact with customers.

Also, investing in it is the best way to attract your target customers. So don’t forget to give the importance that the brand image deserves.

And you? What would be your advice for the implementation of a good brand image?

Teresa Alba

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Comments

  1. PapaPrimerizo

    Muchas gracias por tu artículo Patricia.
    Tenía dudas sobre cómo mejorar la imagen corporativa y me han ayudado muchos tus consejo.
    Un saludo

    20/11/2017 - 13:32:58 Publicar una respuesta
  2. MOISES GOMEZ

    Excelente aportación, me gustó la diferencia que mencionas entre Imagen e Identidad corporativa, suelen parecer lo mismo pero si es más precisa tu definición, hubiera sido bueno mencionar la relación con el término Branding. Saludos!

    26/09/2017 - 14:44:15 Publicar una respuesta
  3. Sergio Lozano

    Hola,
    Mi nombre es Sergio y me gustaría felicitaros por cómo habéis desgranado todo. Este artículo me ha parecido súper interesante, ya que cubrís prácticamente todos los aspectos en los que trabajar la imagen corporativa. Actualemten trabajo para un programa de facturación y lo cierto es que cada vez es mayor el interés de autónomos y otros emprendedores por el uso de la imagen corporativa aplicada en todas las dimensiones de la comunicación empresarial, incluso los documentos de venta. Es por ello que tras haber visto miles y miles de facturas me decidí a escribir un artículo sobre el diseño en las facturas. Muchas veces los empresarios no se dan cuenta de que la imagen corporativa no se basa en alinear todos sus canales de comunicación digital; sino que si haces una presentación en PowerPoint o una hoja de producto e incluyes tu logo, colores y valores de marca en ellos ¿por qué no vas a hacerlo con los documentos que envías a tus clientes. Por si alguien pudiea estar interesados, os dejo este artículo sobre 5 razones para tener un buen diseño en tus facturas que publiqué en el bog de Debitoor, el programa de facturación:

    – debitoor.es/blog/5-razones-para-tener-un-buen-diseno-en-tus-facturas

    Y si alguien tiene alguna sugerencia sobre más razones me encantaría oírlas o sobre otras posibilidades donde aplicar la imagen corporativa de la empresa me encataría oírlas/leerlas 😛
    Un saludo,
    Sergio

    28/07/2017 - 14:53:53 Publicar una respuesta
    • Mailrelay

      ¡Muchas gracias Sergio por el comentario! A ver si alguien más se anima a comentar, pero está claro que la imagen de marca afecta a todos los elementos, facturas incluidas. Dejo el enlace para que lo puedan copiar, pero no activo. Si queréis participar en algún post invitado me comentas 🙂

      28/07/2017 - 14:57:33 Publicar una respuesta
  4. Agencia de Branding Wolomedia

    Hola Teresa, muy buenos consejos!
    Desde nuestro punto de vista como agencia de branding, tan sólo añadir una recomendaciones más a vuestros lectores:

    – Toda gran marca debe empezar a construirse siempre desde la estrategia. Es necesario llevar acabo ese proceso previo de “inmersión” para llegar a entender y descubrir el ADN de la marca, aquello que la hace única y especial. A partir de ahí, se puede comenzar a trabajar en la parte de expresión visual de la marca (desarrollar el sistema visual, el logotipo…) en función de las necesidades de la identidad corporativa.

    Gracias por ofrecernos la posibilidad de expresar nuestro punto de vista.
    Un saludo y ¡muy buen fin de semana!

    El equipo de Wolomedia.-

    05/05/2017 - 11:17:49 Publicar una respuesta
  5. Teresa Alba

    Hola Patricia!
    Muchas gracias por comentar. A tu afirmación, no puedo poner peros porque trabajo en este área del marketing, así que no puedo estar más de acuerdo 🙂
    Un saludo!

    22/08/2016 - 13:41:10 Publicar una respuesta
  6. Patricia

    Excelente artículo, la imagen corporativa perdura más que el SEO, email marketing o que cualquier otra cosa.

    No hay duda que está cobrando vital importancia y que habrá que trabajar cada día más en ella.

    Un saludo

    22/08/2016 - 13:25:47 Publicar una respuesta
    • Teresa Alba

      Hola Patricia!
      Muchas gracias por comentar. A tu afirmación, no puedo poner peros porque trabajo en este área del marketing, así que no puedo estar más de acuerdo
      Un saludo!

      22/08/2016 - 13:41:47 Publicar una respuesta

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