If recent digital transformations and AI advancements have taught us anything, it’s the power of a trustworthy online brand image. It can definitely take time, but you need to start somewhere. Here’s 5 ways you can work towards creating a credible brand image and lay the foundations for your on-going brand building efforts.
1. Leveraging authenticity
It’s true that consumers are increasingly looking for brands that they can trust and relate to, with 88% of consumers saying that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support.
One way to leverage authenticity is to share your brand’s story, brand storytelling has been a hot marketing trend since the pandemic. It helps consumers emotionally connect to your brand, as they get to go beyond the surface and understand how your brand was created and the values that inspired it. This can also mean sharing your customers’ stories, for example how your brand has helped them, by including them in your brand story you will attract and retain loyal customers.
It’s important to be as open and honest about your brand as possible, as it helps you build a foundation of trust and credibility with your customers. Whether that’s regarding your brand values and mission, who you are or your products and services – consumers will turn their backs on brand’s that lie or mislead them, so a bit of transparency will have a positive impact on your brand image.
For example, the popular outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia, are known for their environmental activism and sustainable practices. By aligning their business operations with their brand values, they have cultivated an authentic image that consumers trust.
Communication is essential for building a credible brand image online. By communicating effectively with your customers, you can build trust and rapport, which will lead to increased brand awareness and loyalty. Clear, authentic and responsive communication is even easier to achieve thanks to social media. With various platforms to choose from, you can engage with your audience and build relationships, as you connect with them on a personal level. From responding to customer queries to replying to feedback, communication via social media is a foolproof way to better your brand image.
3. Consistent brand messaging
It makes sense that when your brand messaging is consistent across all channels, a sense of familiarity and trust with your audience is created, right? Correct. It also means that consumers are more likely to remember your brand and choose your products or services over the competition. In terms of establishing consistency, this applies to both visual branding and messaging, you need to start with a clear understanding of your brand. What are your brand’s values? What do you want your brand to stand for? Asking yourself these questions will help you better align your brand, further helping you improve your brand image.
We recommend developing a set of brand guidelines that outline your brand’s tone of voice, visual style and language, bringing your internal team up to speed and ensuring they consistently apply your distinctive brand messaging and style when creating all marketing materials. Discover how we empowered ESPO’s internal team with a set of brand guidelines in our latest case study.
4. Showcase customer reviews
Another powerful tool that can help establish a credible brand image is positive customer reviews. With 89% of customers reading reviews before making a purchase, positive reviews can play a significant role in boosting your visibility.
It’s all well and good having these positive reviews, but it’s how you showcase these that will have a real impact on your brand image. From publishing case studies that highlight how great a product or service you offer is, strategically displaying customer reviews close to your calls-to-action, to publishing testimonials in video format to engage a wider audience and increase credibility, there’s many ways to utilise your customer reviews to benefit your brand’s image.
Don’t forget, you don’t get if you don’t ask. Remember to ask your customers to leave reviews. You could even incentivise them with a discount code or prize reward if they do.
5. Online reputation management
Being aware of your brand’s existing reputation and managing it is extremely important. This includes monitoring online reviews, social media mentions and even search rankings, especially with AI becoming increasingly more capable of understanding where your brand lives online, these are all things that can impact your online reputation and thus your brand’s image.
We understand that knowing where to start in terms of managing your online reputation can be tough, which is why we provide a free brand tracker audit for those looking to take control of their online brand reputation and improve their brand image. Find out more here.
Read our latest blog to learn more about online brand reputation.