Lexically, image building is “improving the brand image or public image of something or someone by good public relations, advertising, etc.” Practically, the projection or image building is presentation of someone/something to people in a particular way, especially one that gives a real and good impression to viewers. A projection is required to make an effective appearance of a reality. Consequently, the image building shapes perceptions of public about someone/something. The right projection or definite perception of entrepreneur, institution, staff, and products/services is cornerstone of an effective marketing/branding/promotion struggle. It is now business standard globally to appoint some persons for psychological-based and aesthetic-driven projection of leadership, institution, workforce, and products/services. Accordingly, the projection or image-building has become an inevitable aspect of present-day businesses, both SMEs and LSEs.
An effective business projection has three dimensions – leadership dimension, institutional dimension, and product or service dimension. At leadership level, the ultimate purpose of an image building struggle is to portray a definite leadership style. An effective leader is missionary towards business objectives/threats, visionary towards ultimate business effects, dynamic towards manifold business processes/opportunities, and supportive towards all stakeholders/followers. At institutional level, the final motive of projection is to manifest a specific organizational behavior or to achieve goodwill. Academically, “A business’s image is composed of an infinite variety of facts, events, personal histories, advertising and goals that work together to make an impression on the public.” Generally, the organizational behavior is unique combination of competition, cooperation, and innovation approach of all stakeholders towards related business environs/people. The right business projection makes institutional strengths effective and institutional weaknesses irrelevant. At product/service level, a projection gives brand name to a product or a service, as a result, the business achieves Brand Equity. An effective projection process promotes simultaneously products/services quality, institutional efficacy, and persons’ productivity/effectiveness. It adopts multiple marketing techniques, launches various advertisement campaigns, and initiates manifold networking events. The best situation is to design marketing, advertisement, and networking in a reinforcing manner for effective projection of product/service, leadership, workforce, and institution.
Leader initiates a business and shapes a definite business culture through multiple organizational development strategies, so leader is a unique image of an institution. Moreover, he/she is an iconic representation of top management of an established organization and gives lasting identification to all stakeholders of the business. A strategic/tactical approach of effective appearance is all the more important for a leader, so that an image building campaign make precise projection of leadership profile. A slightest wrong projection of leadership would be detrimental for institutional growth and development. A veteran media cell is inevitable for accurate projection of top leadership in large organizations. A wrong image may eat precious time for fixing wrong messages due to ugly projection of top leadership.
A promotion campaign is an essential aspect for right projection of someone/something. Promotion is a communication activity based on some monetary incentives in order to increase or capture the market share of the product or service. The very purpose of a promotion is to attract new customers or engage the old ones. Moreover, promotion is an element of marketing mix, as well. There are seven elements of any marketing mix, i.e., price, product, promotion, place, people, process, and positioning. The marketing elements have physical & conceptual dimensions. The combined effect of seven elements is necessary for any successful marketing effort including right projection of someone/something.
4 Questions to Ask When Creating a Brand for Your Small Business
Whether it’s a large corporation or a small business, branding is one of the most important aspects of marketing.
Your brand differentiates you from your competitors, and it tells your customers what they can expect from you.
According to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. Corporate branding is one of the best ways to build and keep your customers’ trust.
Not only that, but proper business branding can also lead to an increase in sales, word-of-mouth referrals and advocacy for what you’re selling.
Here are 4 questions to ask and answer as you’re creating a brand:
1. Who Are You?
You can’t be everything to everyone. As you grow your corporate brand, you need to whittle down who your target customers are.
If your customers know you for your low-cost products, your brand message and brand strategy will reflect that. If your customers perceive your company as innovative and cutting-edge, be that to them.
Let’s use an example. A relationship therapist who offers marriage counselling will focus on brand development strategies to appeal to a target audience of married couples, not troubled teens or bereaved pet owners.
2. What’s Your Mission Statement?
One of the first elements of creating a brand is defining your mission statement. Your mission statement is related to what your company is most passionate about.
Some of the questions you can ask in this business branding exercise include:
• Why are you in business?
• What do you want for your customers?
• How do you differ from your competitors?
• Where do you see your company going in the future?
• What underlying philosophies or values do you have around your business?
Take a look at Nike’s mission statement. While you may be most familiar with their “Just Do It” tagline, here’s their mission statement. “Bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete in the world”.
Your mission statement will influence everything from your tagline and logo to your tone of voice.
3. What’s Your Brand Message?
When you’re creating a brand, it’s important to start with your brand message. Your brand message can be boiled down to your value proposition and the tone of your content.
Brand messaging is what inspires and persuades buyers to buy your product or service.
MailChimp has a simple, three-word brand message: Send better email. It’s direct and tells you exactly what you can expect if they use their service.
Let’s use the relationship therapist as an example again. He or she might create a brand message that’s bold and direct: Save your marriage. Or, he or she might focus on compassion and listening, and create a brand message around that: I’m here for both of you.
4. What’s Your Brand Strategy?
Your brand strategy refers to how, what where, when and to whom you deliver on your brand messages.
First, you need to determine your overall goals when it comes to your corporate branding. Are you trying to reach a new audience or steal market share from a competitor?
Included in your long-term brand strategy may be:
• What you communicate, such as your logo, tagline and language in website copy
• Where you advertise. Do you use Google AdWords, social media marketing, brochures, bus shelter ads…
• How you’ll reach customers, whether it’s weekly emails advertising sales or seasonal contests to keep them engaged with your brand
Corporate branding is a process.
It’s not easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight, or even in a few months. However, the ongoing effort can result in better relationships with your customers, increased leads and sales, and more trust in your product or service.
It can be very challenging to focus on brand development strategies on your own, and the risk of not doing it correctly can be devastating to your business.