Branding: Is the Image You Are Selling, Really You?
Think of the latest headlines. So many companies are trying to present a particular image to the public but the way that they act behind the cover of their logos is not in line with the image they are trying to sell. Like the company that is trying to sell the image that they are sweet and caring about animals and the planet, but then are later found out to be not only testing on animals but that most of their products are also made of toxic chemicals. The brand image that they are trying to sell you, the public, is nothing like the reality of the company and its practices.
While the image that most companies are working to give is usually a little less than what the reality is, there should be some similarities and there should not be such a huge gap between what is presented in advertising and what is real.
Coming up with the right image for your company is important- you want to be recognized for your image, your logo and your products, but you do not want to be limited nor do you want to be sending out false messages to your customers or potential customers? The image that you are creating has to be in keeping with the company and its vision. A green company cannot really be successful creating an image of saving the planet if there are lists of products that are damaging or harmful to the environment.
Are all images exactly correct? Of course not! We all know about the hot jeans that are sold by the companies that are not headed by young and hip youngsters who wear the products - they are led by older guys in suits and ties, but the image that the company has is one that is younger and hipper. Is the image wrong? Is the company committing fraud or in any way wrong?
The company is not necessarily an extension of the people who run it and their personalities. They are selling a product, or a line of products that has an image that they want to present. It’s not necessarily wrong that the company is run by older people who would never dream of wearing the clothing that they sell. After all, does anyone really think that the most popular fast food restaurants in the world are run by people in clown suits?
Brand imaging is important, but not the only consideration that you should take. After all, even the best image is not going to help out if the products or services are not competitive either in features or in price. If there is no value in the items that are being sold, then all of the image help in the world is not going to be worth the time or effort. The best product in the world can be hampered by a bad image - just as a bad product can be boosted by a good image. Image isn’t always everything, but it is important!