In Public Relations, we popularly say “Image is everything”. Yes, your image does make a lot of difference in how you are perceived or treated. Image is the general impression that a person, organization, or product presents to the public. It is how you are perceived through what you put out by way of appearance, what you say and what you don’t even say.
All forms of verbal and non-verbal communications influence your image. Every brand has an image whether you like it or not. A brand image is the perception of the brand in the mind of the customer. It is the collective beliefs, ideas, and impressions of a customer regarding the brand and can be perceived differently by different customers.
Image is equally important for individuals. If you think what you are writing or posting on social media isn’t shaping or influencing how people perceive or relate to you, then think twice. Your image is made up of your appearance, your behavior, your communication, and now your digital impressions.
In building a brand, a poor image could be very unfavorable and leave many doubting your qualities and capabilities no matter how well you can convince them. It takes time to build but it’s all worth it when you put in the work to ensure that everything you do shapes your image positively and influence people in a way towards your brand. Here are some reasons why you need to invest in your image.
People will buy into your brand because of what they see
It is often said that the way you present yourself is how you will be perceived. Meaning if you present yourself well, you are mostly likely to be perceived positively. Similarly, when your brand is presented in a negative light (which sometimes could happen accidentally) it will be perceived as such. In essence, you have the power to manage and influence your image. From your visuals to your communication, you need to be consistent and clear in what you want to communicate. When people like what they see, they tend to easily buy into what you are trying to sell to them. As a fashion, beauty or lifestyle brand, what are some of the images you put out on your social media pages? Do they reflect what your brand stands for?
People will buy into your brand because of how you make them feel
Research reveals that people make brand purchase decisions based on the associations and feelings as opposed to the facts and stats you show them. Today, we are constantly bombarded online with so many contents. What will make your brand stand out and cause many to make random decisions to purchase your product is what they feel and how connected they get with your brand. For instance, how do you treat your customers when they walk into your shop to buy your cloths or shoes or accessories. Do they leave feeling satisfied or disappointed? All these will influence and shape the kind of image they will have about your brand.
People will buy into your brand because of what it offers them
In building a brand, you need to have a brand persona. It is that persona that will be able to appeal to customers and articulate your product benefits. This will be the differentiator for customers to identify with what you are offering. It is important to keep whatever you are communicating simple and relevant. No one wants to buy something they don’t need. If your image appeals to their needs, then they are most likely to purchase.
In order to build and maintain a good image, infuse every aspect of your image in whatever you do. Your appearance, your communication and your behavior should all be clear and consistent. To add to that, make sure your product is equally as good as you say or portray it to be. You know as the old myth say “a good product sells itself”.
This article was originally published in the Business and Financial Times Newspaper on 11/10/2019
Image Credit by © Felix Wirth/Corbis