iPhone or Android? Garmin or Simrad? Fairline or Princess? Which do you favour? Which do you feel more comfortable with?
Your choice will to some extent be down to the properties of the product, but a large part of it will be a response to that enigmatic affinity we call brand preference.
People tend to prefer brands whose image reflects themselves, or the person they aspire to be, whether that be fun, serious, intelligent, frivolous, imaginative, conservative, safe, daring, carefree, responsible, modest, flamboyant – a small set of these emotional values defines the personality of a brand.
It’s important to describe a brand image in this way, not only to ensure that everyone in the marketing team is singing in tune, but because ideally that same set of values should influence and inform decisions and strategy across all areas of the business.
Drawing up a profile of the typical target customer – not just who he is but also who he aspires to be – will generate a useful set of core characteristics for the brand image.
It forms a checklist for every piece of marketing communication you produce, ensuring that you always communicate a clear and consistent personality for the brand. Consistency is key, and will bear fruit over time.
The ultimate aim is to foster brand resonance, which is that point where prospects and customers identify sufficiently with the brand personality you’re communicating that they develop an affinity with it and a commitment to it.
You will then reap the benefits of greater customer loyalty, less price sensitivity and even the prospect of customers becoming brand advocates.