Creating and developing a powerful brand image is important for any type of business. Every company should have a brand marketing strategy in place, which outlines what their brand is aiming to achieve.

You should consider if your company already has a brand image and how this was achieved – was it by design or default?

Your brand is the entire experience your existing and prospective customers have with your company. It’s what you stand for, including  the messages and imagery you deliver through your marketing material, the way your employees interact with customers and your customers’ opinions of you in relation to your competitors.

Consumers frequently buy branded goods over generic goods because they form an association with a brand based on their experiences with it. Until a customer has purchased from you, they have no experiences with which to form an opinion, and so will make a purchasing decision based on perception of the brand. Creating a strong brand image is therefore vital to encourage the customer to develop the right perceptions of your products and services.

Your brand, and therefore the perceptions of your company should reflect the personality and character of the products and services you offer, both physically and emotionally. You should of course also try to ensure that the brand is perceived as more desirable than your competitors’.

Your brand image needs to meet your target customers’ expectations, needs and aspirations. Packaging and your messages play an important role in the process of creating your brand, however, your pricing policy is also very important to creating the right perceptions and must fit with your USPs (Unique Selling Points). Higher prices are generally synonymous with high quality products and service and lower prices are associated with lower quality. Once you have set your prices, it can be difficult to make changes to them and this also can negatively affect perceptions of you as a business. So it is important that you are careful to give your pricing strategy the consideration it deserves from the outset.

Good branding creates strong ‘brand equity’, which is the value of your brand, whether tangible or intangible based on your consumers’ attitudes and experiences with the brand, either positive or negative.  Positive brand equity can help to increase sales and revenues and it can also reduce marketing costs as brand awareness campaigns need less attention.

It is important to gather information from customers and staff on your business and keep an open mind, as what you may think about your business is almost certainly not what they think about it. Listening to customers and staff, getting feedback and accepting constructive criticism will help you to understand whether your business is actually matching the expectations of the brand from your messages.

Building and developing a brand takes time to achieve and it is vital that your messages are consistent. If you keep changing the brand features and core messages, you will confuse your customers. In today’s digital age, there are almost unlimited opportunities to reinforce your messages with consistent information to a huge audience to help build a brand successfully and relatively quickly.

Involve your staff and get them to buy into the brand, as they will be delivering it and therefore need to understand the values and, above all, believe in the brand.

If your equine business needs assistance with developing one or more of its brands, please contact design4equine for a free consultation meeting. For more information on our services, please call us on 0845 262 0052 or email info@design4equine.com