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Building Your Brand Image

February 05, 2015

Buyers make split-second decisions based on stored memories, images and feelings – which is what a brand is all about. A strong brand equals a strong two-second impression, no matter what you’re selling.

Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking asserts that customers make most buying decisions (and the best choices) by relying on their two-second first impressions rather than a long, drawn-out process involving lots of rational yet extraneous information. This is the first article in a four-part series to help you build your company’s brand image.

Buyers make split-second decisions based on stored memories, images and feelings – which is what a brand is all about. A strong brand equals a strong two-second impression, no matter what you’re selling. Think about the innovation of Apple or the hip friendliness of Starbucks. All you need to see is their logo or storefront and a clear picture of that company and what it stands for quickly comes to mind.

But brands are not just important for large consumer companies. A brand is probably small businesses’ most valuable asset. Whether you are selling to consumers or other businesses, a brand image is critical. And it doesn’t require a huge financial commitment – just a diligence across everything you do. And a little creativity.

This article series focuses on establishing your brand image among your target audiences and assumes your company already has a brand. But, if you don’t, keep these three things in mind while you’re creating it:

  • Know your target market inside and out. Create brand elements for them – not your industry peers.
  • Be consistent. Create a look, a message, a way of doing business and stick to it – carry it through to new initiatives.
  • Be true to yourself. Much of how the world experiences your brand is through you and your people – know that there is a chunk of the market that wants you the way you are and doesn’t need you to try to be something else.

Next: Learn how to use your website to build your brand.

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