Branding is an important consideration for almost any business. Whatever your size or sector, your brand is what distinguishes your company from the competition. But with all the terminology buzzing around, it’s fair to say branding can seem overwhelming.
In this post, we’ll try to clear things up with an introduction to three of the most important branding terms – image, identity and equity.
Brand image is one of the more familiar branding terms to those who don’t have a marketing background. However, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Your brand image is the impression your customers or target audience have about your business. It’s built up through a combination of experiences, sights and interactions – including customer service, advertising and simply using your services or products.
What it isn’t, however, is controllable. Because it depends on customer interpretation, brand image can’t exactly be shaped and managed. You can’t just say your company is eco-friendly, for example, if it’s wrapping all of its products in single-use plastic. What can be controlled, however, is brand identity…
While brand image is about the outside looking in, brand identity is about what’s on the inside – and in many cases how that moves out. What values does your company have? How do you do things? What exactly is your mission?
This can be used to influence your brand image, if it’s used correctly. Ideally, your brand image should reflect your brand identity. With that in mind, companies looking to improve their brand image should start with their identity and work outwards.
So, finally, what is brand equity – and how does it relate to the two terms above? Put simply, brand equity is the value added to your products and services by the brand identity and image you’ve built up.
Customers are happy to pay a bit more for products or services from brands they trust –or brands they associate with certain attributes. Quality, ethics, longevity –it all comes from your brand.
To sum it up, your brand identity gradually influences a brand image which adds brand equity over time.
Digital asset management software is becoming a must-have tool for brands of all shapes and sizes. It can help you improve your brand across the board, from curating a strong, authentic brand identity to keeping your brand image consistent.
Let’s say you want your customer service reps to communicate with customers in a certain way. You’ll need brand guidelines that are easily accessible to guide this change from within. Remember, not all brand identities are perfected overnight. With a secure, shared repository, staff will always be able to access the latest documents.
The same is true for your brand image, which can be better influenced when you have a consistent style and better quality. With the ability to properly organise and retrieve assets using sophisticated metadata, you’ll always be able to find the right assets that show your brand in the perfect light.
If you’d like to find out more about digital asset management and how it works, simply request a live demo with a member of the iBase team.