Brand: More than just a logo
A brand is not just the logo or the name of a company. It is the sum of all individual parts: both self-image and external image. To to retain customers over the long term, one must differentiate oneself from the competition. The appearance as an outer shell serves the purpose of recognition. But brands today are so much more than just the home for products and services, because with the purchase the customer receives a value promise as an extra on top. That's why brands not only provide information, but also give orientation in times of oversupply and disorientation. Many people lack a sense of direction: Who do I want to be? What do I want to represent? From whom do I want to differentiate myself? Since brands are managed more emotionally today, they are able to fill this gap. There are two ways to differentiate a brand from the competition:
But brands today are so much more than just the home for products and services, because with the purchase the customer receives a value promise as an extra on top. That's why brands not only provide information, but also give orientation in times of oversupply and disorientation. Many people lack a sense of direction: Who do I want to be? What do I want to represent? From whom do I want to differentiate myself? Since brands are managed more emotionally today, they are able to fill this gap. There are two ways to differentiate a brand from the competition:
1. the product or service itself - keyword. Blue Ocean strategy: With innovative ideas and new concepts, a brand can swim free from the existing competition.
2. symbolic benefit: Brand values align with customers' values. As a result, the brand represents what the individual desires to be or represent. Owning or consuming the goods and services of a particular brand signifies prestige. The customer's identification with the brand strengthens self-esteem, resulting in strong customer loyalty.
How brand identity becomes brand image
The goal of identity-based brand management is to build a strong brand. The required match between brand identity (self-image) and brand image (external image) is based on three factors: awareness, positioning and the marketing mix or communication and external presentation. Identity means authenticity and represents what you stand for at your core: your deepest convictions and personality. This is true for people as well as for brands.
What should brands look to when defining their own self-image?
- Strengths: One's strengths are reflected in the brand promise. Adhering to these leads to trust and customer loyalty. Lies and exaggerations that cannot be kept are an absolute no-go.
- Values: Don't pretend, stay true to your guidelines - that's how you convince people. Authenticity convinces. Brands that present themselves as customer-oriented and human have the masses on their side. This is how brand love becomes brand belief. Brand values are the basis and at the same time the start of something big - a vision.
- Vision: Where does the brand want to go? What are the goals? What is to be achieved? Who is to be reached? The vision is part of the company's own self-image, as it represents where the brand will develop in the future. It is part of the internal and external communication within the company.
- Origin: A brand should never forget or even deny its roots. A strong brand also includes the origin story, which lends authenticity.
Design follows a strategy
Brands that want to survive in the competition in the long term should therefore think about brand values and positioning before designing their appearance, as these will flow into the implementation of the design. With a goal in mind, a strategy can be followed in all areas: Whether social media, online store or product design - everything follows a line. True to the motto "form follows function", the external presentation of a brand is not a coincidence, but the result and execution of a strategic brand alignment.
The design of the webshop
Once the strategy has been determined, the implementation of the design for the web store can begin. A well thought-out design is the key factor here for high sales and satisfied customers. In our checklist you will find tips on all aspects of webshop design.
Stefano Viani is the managing director of Blackbit digital Commerce GmbH He is always up to date with the latest developments and trends in e-commerce and digital marketing. For decades he has been a consultant for large and medium-sized companies for the technical, visual and advertising optimisation of websites. In particular, he develops concepts and measures for successful sales marketing.
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