Brand Image: Developing Your Online Messaging With A Digital Marketing Agency

Nivo Digital

15 June 2020

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Does your online marketing really reflect who you are and your business values? 

Are your services or products presented in an accessible and easily understandable way? Does your business website help you to convert traffic into customers?

If you work with a digital marketing agency but the answer to the questions above is ‘no’ we think something might be going wrong. If you don’t currently work with a digital marketing agency you may want to consider partnering with an agency that understands the power of brand image.

In this article, we’ll explain what brand image means and why it’s important to define it for your business. We’ll also give you a taste of how we help our clients to define their brand image and present it online. 

What is brand image?

Brand image is all about who you are as a business. The image of your brand is how it is seen by other people. Competitors, customers, even your own employees, it’s important to realise that your brand probably already has an image. 

This image will be the way people already perceive you, your services or products. It may be helpful to think of your brand image as a message that you are continually sending out to anyone that could be interested in your business.  Brand image is typically communicated through:

  • your website 
  • social media accounts
  • online ads
  • emails campaigns 

Essentially, your image will be presented through any marketing activities or materials you might use to promote your business. Crucially, it’s important to realise that brand image can also be communicated through the way you and your employees talk about your business to each other, your existing and prospective clients. 
The big question is, are you broadcasting the right messages?

The importance of defining your brand image

What does defining your brand image mean? 

Why is it important for businesses to do it? 

Defining your brand image is a process in which you, as a business owner, decide how you want your business to be perceived. Defining your brand image really means that you are taking control of the way that other people see your business. 

Deciding to address the issue of brand image means that you have the opportunity to present how you want to be seen, rather than being a helpless bystander. 

Defining brand image should be seen as a first step in marketing your business. Defining brand image will also help with public relations too. You will want to send positive messages out that frame your brand in the best possible way.

If you want to attract new customers or clients you need to shape and mould your image into messaging that entices and pulls people towards your brand. At the worst, if your brand messaging isn’t right you could end up losing customers.

Whether you’re starting from scratch with a new enterprise or you already own an established business, creating the right brand image is vitally important for both the survival and growth of your business.

Nivo Digital: brand image services

At Nivo Digital we understand the power of a positive brand image and what it can achieve for a business. We believe that taking control of the way your business is perceived hands the power back to you. Clever brand image work pulls out the best bits of who you are and what you do.

We work with our clients to present their unique selling points, points of difference to competitors and many other aspects of marketing that help to attract new clients and customers. Out of this work we develop custom messaging that is then applied to every aspect of online marketing for that brand. Your distinct message is the story you tell as a business that will strike a chord with your audience.

In order to accomplish this, we spend time getting to know our clients, their business propositions, their brand, their target audiences and growing business goals. We want to understand every aspect of the business.

Having a true and accurate understanding of a business, it’s challenges, goals etc will help us develop marketing tactics that deliver ROI. This also allows us to create a highly bespoke marketing plan tailored to help a business succeed.

No one understands your brand better than you

That’s why, as a marketing agency, we need to get inside your head. Through fully understanding your business we can present your core messaging, key services and target audiences in a way that appeals to the people that want or need what you’re selling. This approach is the reason why we have such a high retention rate for clients.

Do you already work with a marketing agency?

If you work with a marketing agency a question to ask yourself is “do they really understand your business?” If they don’t ‘get’ your brand, they will not be able to help you achieve more visibility and conversions online.

Marketing agencies often make assumptions about the businesses they work with; who they are, their values, their target audiences, business goals etc. These assumptions are often based on a number of factors including:

However, making these assumptions can be counterproductive when developing marketing strategies.

Brand messaging workshops

How do we help our clients to define the right brand image?

When working with new clients we host a ‘brand-messaging’ workshop. This workshop is made up of conversations and exercises facilitated by experienced marketers. Our marketing professionals are able to extract practical and valuable outputs from the conversations and tasks in the workshop.

The workshop provides us the opportunity to collaborate with our clients and gain vital intelligence about them. Defining who you are and what you do through practical exercises enables us to discover together the best way to present your brand online.

Figuring out what your brand isn’t is as important as figuring out what your brand is.

The workshop is designed to help us interrogate the language and messaging surrounding your brand. The workshop sparks conversations that challenge your conceptions of the image and messaging that should be used to present and promote your brand.

Who is the brand messaging workshop for?

Although this workshop is something we would usually do when onboarding a new client or website project, it is for any type of business at any stage in their business journey. This is an exercise that can be just as important for a start-up defining their position in the market and an established brand trying to innovate.

It is important that the right team members are present in this workshop. Ensuring a core decision-maker is involved allows us to get the messaging right first time. This is generally the person who started the business but can be a CMO.

Sometimes a founder can be “too close” to the brand which makes it helpful to have other members of the team to bring additional insights (trying to say the different point of view)

Resources Required:

  1. Pens
    You will need pens for everyone, including the facilitator, to contribute to the brand messaging workshop.
  2. Post-It Notes
    Pro-tip: buy quality post-its, or just stick to paper with tape. Poor quality post-its will fall and curl up. We recommend everyone use the same colour of post-its so you cannot tell who wrote what.
  3. Chart paper or Whiteboard
    This will be useful as we group, rank and define key messages.
  4. Most importantly, an experienced marketer who can facilitate discussion and ask you the right questions.
    *insert a note about why a facilitator is so important*

Brand messaging workshop aims and goals

We want to narrow down your messaging and come to a concise brand message.

This messaging can go forth across all platforms including social media, advertising, newsletters and your website.

What happens in the brand messaging workshop

In our brand messaging workshop, we are facilitating an open conversation with you and your team. This is your time to show your passion for your business. We want you to express all your thoughts and collaborate as much as possible.

The brand messaging workshop process

  1. Write Terms & Descriptors – 5 minutes – of what clients think of your business
  2. 5 minutes for terms that you want your clients to think of your business

Now we take the post-its and put them into Yes, Maybe, No piles.

Yes – we definitely want to be known for this No – this isn’t the message we want to get across Maybe – we like the idea but need to reword the message

While doing this you also want to group the related sticky-notes together and think about the branding message each word provides

Then you want to start thinking of ways you can reword these for messaging purposes and how we encompass the ideas from yes and maybe, into more directed wording