5 creative strategies to help improve and maintain company image
Summary Building a solid and recognizable brand image is not easy. In fact, today, with Digital Transformation, it’s increasingly…
Building a solid and recognizable brand image is not easy. In fact, today, with Digital Transformation, it’s increasingly difficult: because digital demands fluidity and has overturned the role of the customer, putting him at the center of the business.
So what are the key points to work on?
- The value proposition, also involving all the company’s employees and collaborators in this process.
- The target, because a brand’s image increasingly depends on its customers (with the importance of personalization and the use of videos to improve company image).
- An efficient, recognizable, well-maintained website (including SEO).
- The production of quality content, in line with the value proposition.
- Continuous monitoring and recalibration through the right metrics and the most efficient data analysis.
A changing image
A company’s image is something that goes far beyond a name, a logo, or well-packaged slogans. In theory, all brands know this; in fact, however, it’s something we tend to forget. Or rather, in building a brand image we tend to focus only on certain points, perhaps with beliefs that the contemporary world has now surpassed.
Today’s world is one of Digital Transformation, a paradigm shift, a revolution that has this decisive element within it: it’s not a revolution that happened once and for all, but it’s a turning point that has triggered continuous change, which has accelerated all business processes, including marketing. Everything has become more fluid, and many old territorial barriers have been broken down: it can happen that a small start-up finds itself on the same playing field as a Silicon Valley hi-tech giant.
All of this is very exciting. It’s a dynamic, ever-changing landscape full of opportunities that were unthinkable until recently. But there’s another side to the coin: In a landscape that’s more crowded than ever before, how do you make yourself recognizable?
How do you make your voice heard amidst all the noise? And, at the same time, how is it possible to be recognizable without remaining monolithic and unchanging, in an ecosystem that rewards elasticity and adaptability to a constantly changing context?
Let’s say it right now: it’s not easy; and with this post, we don’t want to sell you a universal recipe that is valid for all types of business.
There are differences – even very important ones – between one production sector and another; between companies that deal mainly with B2B compared to those focused on B2C; then there are fundamental specificities in relation to the target, to the different types of mission, to the more geographical and territorial aspects.
Despite all of this, we can identify the pillars on which to build your brand image.
We have chosen to analyze these founding elements by gathering them around 5 main themes, which we will now unravel in the continuation of this post.
1. The value proposition
Focusing on the value proposition is the starting point. The questions to ask are: what does our company do? How does it do it? Why does it do it? And how does it differ from others? These are questions that – starting with the brand – cascade down to individual products and services.
Each product or service must have its own value proposition, but it is essential that these are somehow related to the mission and vision of the company. Every strategy to strengthen a brand image passes from here.
This may seem easy and intuitive. But it is not always so. Value propositions cannot remain only in the “minds” of entrepreneurs, managers, and marketing department employees. They need to be circulated within every company, large and small. They need to be continually “told,” subjected to criticism, updated without being overturned (unless there are really radical changes and restructuring, which require time and planning).
How can we do it? The answer is in the so-called B2E, Business to Employee
B2E (Business to Employee) is an approach that focuses the attention on employees rather than consumers or other businesses. It concerns all operations starting from recruiting and on-boarding, team building, training courses; above all, it has to do with internal company communication, which must be increasingly effective, smart, and tailored to individual employees.
In short, what few people will tell you, but which is instead fundamental, is this: to build the best brand image for your company, it is important to start with employees and collaborators, transforming them into the first testimonials and ambassadors.
According to the “Trust Barometer” research, conducted by Edelman, employees are perceived as twice as credible as a CEO or an executive when they promote their company: they are considered more spontaneous and sincere (edelman.com). Pay attention to this other fact: employees’ social posts generate, on average, eight times more engagement than their employers’ posts (cisco.com).
In short: the first step in building a solid, credible image is with employees. The second is about customers, your own target audience. And we’ll get to that in the next point.
2. A question of target – from the buyer persona to people
Here, we are faced with a decisive point. The image of a company is never an immutable reality: it is always a matter of relationships. It is continually constructed in relation to its customers. It is a multi-directional process.
Having a certain degree of control over the inputs from within a company to the outside world may seem simple. But how is it possible to monitor and – possibly – influence what happens in the “outside world”?
The only way is to get to know your target audience better and deeper. Today it is possible to do this, even when we are talking about very large audiences through the analysis of Big Data.
The first step is to define the buyer personas. Here, we are still at a rather abstract level, because it is a matter of identifying schematic models of customers who may be interested in your brand, your products, and your services.
The second step goes much further: it’s segmentation. Starting from the collection of data of your actual and potential customers, you go on to identify clusters of people with homogeneous characteristics, to be targeted with tailored marketing actions.
This is an important step: today, the image of a brand cannot be one-size-fits-all. With digital, that time is over. The skill lies in approaching customers without losing one’s own identity; becoming multiform, while remaining oneself.
To give you a very concrete example: we all know perfectly well what Amazon is, we all have that brand image in our heads. Yet, Amazon is different for each customer, it adapts to his characteristics, recommending and suggesting different products based on a very efficient system of data-driven algorithms. This is the goal to aim for.
But can we go beyond segmentation?
Yes, and at this point we are talking about true personalization, i.e., the ability to adapt communications based on the characteristics and behavior of individuals, thanks to cutting-edge technology. With personalization, the transition from one-size-fits-all to one-to-one logic is perfectly accomplished.
Just as employees, thanks to B2E, become the first ambassadors of their brand, customers must become the first positive testimonials. They transform from consumers into prosumers, both in the real world and in the digital one.
One example? Personalized videos to improve company image, a formidable marketing and brand image building tool, provided by specialized companies such as Babelee.
3. A showcase site…that can be found
Now we come to something even more concrete and specific. Having a company website is essential; and so far, obvious.
It is important that the website is well cared for, that it is able to communicate the image and recognizability of its brand at a glance. At the same time, it must be able to transform the simple visitor into a potential buyer (the so-called leads, in short) in a very intuitive way.
We won’t dwell on this at length. But, pay attention in particular to two aspects:
- An effective help-desk, working, and as always-on as possible. Don’t forget that today, Customer Service is more than ever a decisive aspect, closely related to marketing, and therefore to the image that customers have of a brand.
- Having a beautiful and functional website is almost useless if you don’t pay attention to SEO, i.e. search engine optimization.
Always keep these two figures in mind as a warning:
- The top five organic results on Google’s first page garner 67.6% of all clicks (martech.org).
- In contrast, only 0.78% of Google users click on results that appear on the second page (backlinko.com).
4. An image is made of content
We have seen how the image of a brand is influenced by the image that employees give it, first and foremost. Above all, it depends on the relationships established with clients. Therefore, it is never a question of building a monolithic image, but rather of learning to manage this type of fluidity, without leaving it to pure chance.
In the same way, we cannot speak of a brand image that is created all at once, upstream, once and for all. The opposite is true.
The image of a company depends very much on the tone of voice and the stories it “tells” over time. In short, even the brand image evolves.
And this is where the importance of content marketing comes in, which today passes through the most diverse channels: from blogs on company websites, to email marketing, to social networks. Here the watchwords are two: quality is the first. Omnichannel, the second. With one specification: among the range of tools useful for content marketing, the most effective and engaging is undoubtedly the video. Especially videos to improve company image.
See our post dedicated to the importance of producing high quality content, with the best strategies for doing so.
5. The importance of continuous monitoring
From the previous points, a decisive element has emerged, from different visual angles, that we have repeated several times: the brand image of a company, in the digital era, is fluid, in continuous evolution. It depends on the relationships that a company manages to establish with its employees and its customers. And it varies over time, based on the content that is produced and disseminated.
The last consequence of all this is the fundamental importance of monitoring one’s own brand image, always starting from data.
It starts with sentiment analysis, but then you have to get to setting up deeper and deeper, more surgical metrics: site visits, sure, but also social engagement, email campaign performance, inbound links, and more. It’s all about bringing all this information together, with the right data collection systems and artificial intelligence.
Finally, comes the time for questions: understanding what’s working and what’s not. Going after the whys. Recalibrate. Update. Learn from mistakes. And continually improving.
Copywriters, video creators, digital marketers and developers: this is who we are! Young, passionate, geeky and very keen on media and technology. Fancy to meet the team? Contact us or submit your cv, we love talented people.