Mastering Your Brand Perception

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Brand by Harmonizing Your Identity and Image

Read time: 3 minutes

Like two sides of a coin… effective branding involves both your brand identity and your brand image.

They must work in harmony for you to cash in on your brand's full potential.

Let’s see how they differ and how you can make them work for you.

We’ll start by defining each:

Heads: Persona → Brand Identity

Brand identity is the self you present to the world — your public persona.

It’s the elements you control: your visuals, messaging, offer, tone, and style.

Not just what you ‘say’ you are, but what you ‘demonstrate’ through your actions and consistency.

Tails: Reputation → Brand Image

Brand image is how people see you and how they introduce you to their friends.

It’s shaped by everything they experience: your social media presence, the quality of your service, your email etiquette, how you handle criticism, etc.

Every interaction they have with you leaves an imprint in their minds and on your brand image.

“Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

– Jeff Bezos… but would sound way cooler coming from Ryan Reynolds.

Now let’s spin the proverbial coin to unite these ideas:

Aligning Brand Identity and Brand Image

The goal is to align public perception with your intentions.

The closer they are, the more positive impact you will have. Your audience will get a truer sense of the experience you aim to create.

When cooking a dinner… you want people to like the food.

When throwing a party… you want people to feel good.

Not getting the intended perception (i.e. going off-brand) not only hurts your image; it erodes your identity.

That leads to chasing undesirable clients and not having the leverage to say no.

Start with Brand Strategy

Before even thinking about your messaging or design —

Be sure to lay down your foundation.

Know your purpose Why are you doing this? What gets you up in the morning? Do you REALLY LOVE doing this, or does your gut say different?

Define your core values What truths do you live by? What does success look like for you? What will you not compromise on?

Understand your people Who are the ideal clients you wish to work with? What pain points can you help them solve? What are they into? Why do they buy?

Dial in your unique offering How exactly do you help your people? What do you do or have that nobody else does? A certain set of skills, excellent resources, desirable traits, or a combination of these?

These are the structural elements of a long-lasting solopreneur brand.

Practice Consistency

Make your visuals, messaging, and actions consistent everywhere you show up.

  • Get an attractive headshot that makes you seem more likable, trustworthy, and successful.

  • Choose a brand colour that suits you and your audience well.

  • Craft a value proposition that sets you apart from the rest.

  • Be kind and keep your promises to build trust and loyalty.

Use your brand attributes across the board.

It will help you build a coherent brand identity that positively influences your brand image.

Stay True to Yourself

Interact with your audience in a genuine way.

Respond to comments and share content that is valuable, interesting, or entertaining.

Be honest with yourself and stay true to your core values.

Chasing the algorithm means straying from your character and going off brand.

Authenticity in your brand identity fosters a favourable brand image.

I often use silly gifs like this one:

^ Me when a login page asks for my username instead of my email.

Build Relationships

Business is more than transactions and templates.

Connect with your audience on a human level.

Share stories and things they enjoy, engage in conversations, show empathy.

A personal connection with your audience leads to a more positive brand perception.

Assess Your Audience

Regularly check on your public perception.

You can do this through surveys or by directly asking people for input during conversations.

Get good at asking follow-up questions to dig deeper than surface-level feedback.

Use this information to refine your brand identity to better align with the desired brand image.

Guiding Perception Through Identity

While you can't dictate how the world sees you, you can certainly steer the conversation through your style, words, and behaviour.

Like a perfectly minted coin, your brand thrives when identity and image are in harmony.

Nail this, and you've got a brand that spends well.

Ready to cash in on your potential?

Have your audience see you how YOU want them to — and start attracting your ideal clients.

Let’s chat.

Reply to any of my emails or find me on X.

🤖 Robert

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