Image, profiling and branding. Same but different.
Products and services are developed and sold through stories and images, and consumers make their decisions by impressions as much as by the facts. Therefore a good image or reputation is added value for any organisation, brand or label. (Juholin, E. 2009)
In this post I will discuss the difference between image, profiling and branding.
Image is the impression customer gets from your brand. In order to develop an image, it has to be consistent and highlight the mission and vision. It is the brands personality and visual material, that can be either true or imaginary. Brand image is nothing but an organisations character.
The main elements of positive brand image are: unique logo reflecting organisation’s image, slogan describing organisation’s business in brief and brand identifier supporting the key values.
So what does brand image mean and how it is developed?
You’ve probably heard when speaking about a person and his/her image? Especially if that person is a celebrity or a politician… Well that same idea of image also applies to brands.
Journalists writing news articles and people discussing about your brand can have a positive or negative impact on your image, depending what they say or write about you. So for having a good image, you need to constantly push your visions and actions to the public, as it takes time to develop the type of image you want for your brand.
Profiling gives additional information about the image and strengthens the brand. It’s the defined look, feel, tone and voice that is seen by the customer. Profiling can also be seen as differentiation from the competitors, or at least defines the qualities of the brand.
Brand profiling is the systematic process of creating, developing and implementing your brand character and personality through shaping its brand promise, values, the do’s and don’ts of its behaviours, story, emotional benefits, its culture and what it stands for and so forth. It’s this humanised entity that gets your brand message out into the market, cuts through the noise and gets the attention of your primary customers in a way that matters to them.
Why do you need profiling?
Let’s say you sell organic cotton jerseys and other organic products, and you have competitors, big and small selling pretty much same things. Well, with profiling, you can develop a persona to your brand, that will make you different from others. Profiling is also useful, you you wish to change the brand image.
Branding is the process of creating a promise to a customer and tells what to expect from the products and services. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. It is a strategy that defines how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages, including ads and parts of marketing material.
When you speak about branding and brands, you already know some basic things it covers (name, logo, personality) and you know when branding is successful, because people can identify and recognise it. To be a successful brand, you need to constantly update your content and let your customers know what is happening. In other words, communicate with people. It does contain marketing, but when a marketing campaign is over, it is the brand that still continue to exist.