We know that some people reading this are thinking “Of course I know my brand image; I designed/developed/approved it!”
Let’s clear this up right at the beginning: the way you present your company—your logo, your tagline, your philosophy and all the rest—is not your brand image but is your brand identity. It’s how you intend to be perceived.
Brand image is a different thing: It’s how you actually are perceived by your customers, prospects, and general public.
For instance, several years back, Comcast High-Speed Internet boasted of “The fastest speeds out there.” That was their brand identify and the big message of their campaign. However, its brand image—the public perception of the company—was “worst company out there.” (Comcast was voted Worst Company in America in Consumerist magazine in 2010 and 2014.) In 2016, the company publicly declared that it was engaged in an all-out customer service overhaul.
Their brand image did not align with their brand identity. They were taking action to repair their image.
Your Customers Will Tell You
To assume that your brand image is the same as your brand identity could be fatal. And if business is not as good as it once was or as good as you feel it could be, perhaps it’s time to have a look at this identity vs. image thing.
It’s just two simple steps:
- Take nothing for granted.
- Ask your customers.
We’ve noticed lately that that fast food restaurants and supermarkets have begun to elicit survey info from customers, They put a code number and a website on receipts and offer of free food or other inducement to log on and take the survey.
Because this is a postcard marketing blog, we’re going to suggest that you could “talk” to your customers with a postcard, perhaps directing them to an online survey to answer a few questions. You could also must pick up the phone and call or email customers (and former customers) and ask them a few questions.
Make sure to speak to a large enough percentage of them to produce statistically significant results.
The answers you get might surprise you.
What To Do with the Information
As with any kind of survey, in speaking with a substantial number of customers, you will discover that for each question asked, one or a few answers will be most prevalent.
What you discover may not be negative but may be different from what you expected. For instance, if you have a store, you may have assumed that your biggest selling point was that you’re open late. But in speaking with customers, you may discover that most of them rave about the friendly service.
Or, you might discover the opposite…that people are bothered by slow service.
In either case, you would apply this new information to your next postcard campaign, either fortifying the “friendly service” message or announcing that “we’ve addressed service issues and you’ll notice the difference” (but address and improve the situation before you promote it).
You can start a conversation with your customers right now by logging on to www.prospectsplus.com/pei, where you can create a new postcard using your own design or our customizable professional templates, then address and mail it, all from your computer.
If you would like some help with this, call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109. We’ve helped plenty of businesses reconcile their brand identities and images, and reach larger and more satisfied audiences for their products and services.