What is Brand Association?
Brands are powerful. We know this because of the influence they wield on us.
Brand association tends to link two concepts together, as when the brand name “Apple” comes to mind when we hear “iPhone.”
This tendency to link or associate two concepts together is powerful because it’s subconscious. But brands aren’t that hard to remember when you think about it, so why are they still such a big part of our marketing?
The reason is that, in our minds, the name itself is an emotion. And when you link a word to an emotion, the connection between the two becomes more powerful.
Brand association is a powerful and effective way to boost conversions and sales on your website.
What is Brand Association?
Brand association is a powerful way to drive brand recall and loyalty. But what is brand association? In short, it’s a subconscious, positive connection that consumers make between your brand and other products and services that are similar to your brand.
Think of it as the connection between our favourite foods and movies or musicians. In many cases, it’s just a positive experience; we like it, we remember it, and we’re likely to share that experience with others.
Brand association occurs when a product or service has strong associations with another product or service. For example, Coke and Pepsi are both carbonated soft drinks.
When you think of Coke, you usually think of Coca-Cola, but if you think of Pepsi, you usually think of fake Coke.
However, there’s a difference. Coca-Cola is associated with happiness and fun, while Pepsi is associated with being thirsty. Coca-Cola is associated with being classy and refined, while Pepsi is fun and youthful.
If you’re a brand manager, you should think about the association of your brand with all of the products, services, and events that surround it.
How Brands Become Associated with Products
It’s a topic that is often ignored in marketing circles. People are typically more focused on the product than the brand when choosing a brand of anything from cars to toothpaste.
But if people genuinely start to associate a brand with a product, it can have a massive impact on the product’s perceived value. Once consumers believe that a particular brand is associated with a product, they will be far more likely to choose it because they think they will be getting quality.
People make snap judgements based on brand associations and familiarity. This is why you hear people say brands like Coke and McDonald’s sell their products because they “have always been associated with those brands.”
The same study showed that when consumers were given a product made by an established company or a new and untested, they chose the more familiar one. In other words, they opted for the safe option.
What is the Importance of Brand Association?
If people associate you with your brand, then you have a chance to turn a casual customer into a loyal one. The best way to increase the probability that people will associate you with your brand is to invest in branding.
If you have a logo, put it everywhere. Everything doesn’t matter if it’s on your website, emails, invoices, packaging, or promotional items! People will associate you with your brand whether or not you put your name on it. They’ll make associations between your company and whatever you do.
Consumers who make quick purchasing decisions may not be aware of brands, but those aware of brands tend to make quicker and more informed buying decisions. For example, consumers familiar with Starbucks are likely to pay more for a coffee than someone who isn’t.
That’s because brand awareness increases with familiarity and trust. When people are familiar with a brand, they often assume that it is trustworthy.
1 – Developing a brand association is a process that leads to increased credibility.
An adage goes like this: “It doesn’t matter if you are right, or even if you’re only half right, as long as people stand in line for you.”
Brand association happens when people are willing to take action because they believe in something and want to be a part of it. A few steps must happen before someone decides to buy from you or your services to create that brand association.
The first step is that you need to build credibility. Credibility involves your ability to prove that what you’re saying is true. But it’s not just enough to say that you’re credible; it also matters why you’re credible.
If you’re not credible, why should people trust you? If you’re not credible, why should people buy from you?
If you want to develop an association with your brand, do it right away—the sooner you can establish that connection, the stronger the connection will be. Your goal should be to create a connection that lasts through the years. To help you with this, I suggest creating a visual identity for your brand.
2 – A strong visual brand will be a foundation for success.
The importance of branding and brand consistency is undeniable. One study found that customers who bought Apple products had an almost four times higher probability of purchasing again than consumers who purchased Samsung devices.
Another study found that brands that consistently update their look and feel across social media channels perform better than those that do not. In addition to brand consistency, branding includes both a logo and a visual identity. A solid visual brand will be a foundation for success.
If you’re using a logo, you need to spend some time on that. It doesn’t matter how small you think you’re making it – if your logo sucks, no one will remember it.
I mean, it’s better than not having one at all, but it’s not going to be memorable. Nobody will stick around long enough to learn about your company if your site looks terrible.
3 – Establish your position in the marketplace.
As you start to market your business, there are lots of options for how you can show your company is unique. Your brand is the most crucial aspect of your business that sets you apart from other competitors.
Branding is more than just a logo, a slogan, or a colour scheme; it’s a collection of personality traits, values, and attributes that people associate with a company.
People use branding in two ways:
1) They think about the company when they hear the brand, and 2) they associate it with certain emotions and feelings.
If you can’t explain what sets you apart from your competitors, you’ll struggle to become memorable to your customers. But if you’re unsure, that’s okay because you can still establish your position as the company most concerned about your customer.
A company that cares about its customers is a company worth trusting. That’s why asking yourself is: Is my product unique and exciting? If the answer is yes, you can set yourself apart in the marketplace for brand association.
4 – Gain the confidence of your customers.
If your customers know and trust you, they are more likely to buy from you. Building customer loyalty is an ongoing effort, but you can achieve it.
If you’ve built a strong brand identity that resonates with your target audience, it will be easier to establish yourself as a trusted entity among your consumers.
To help build customer loyalty, it is essential to create the correct brand image and communicate it clearly.
5 – Make it easy for them to buy from you.
So, if you’re trying to sell a product or service, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a small or large business. The first step in selling is having someone pay attention to your message. But to make that happen, you need to ensure that the person who receives your message is already interested.
The second step is to make it easy for them to buy from you. In the case of a physical product, you need to make sure that the consumer understands that they can buy from you. The final step is to make sure they can buy from you now, rather than waiting for a later date.
So when your business is built around creating ease and convenience, you’re setting yourself up for a smooth customer experience.
As I’ve noted, it’s easy to forget that you’re trying to sell something to people who don’t already know you. So, a great way to start is by making your online presence a bit more familiar. For example, if you own a bakery, make sure that people can find your bakery online without doing much work.
6 – Make it easy for them to recommend you to others.
We all love recommendations, especially if those recommendations are positive. We love it even more if those recommendations are made by people we trust and respect.
So, why don’t we all actively seek out recommendations from the people who matter to us? It’s because we don’t know how to go about it.
Recommendations are one of the biggest sales drivers for businesses of all sizes. People trust recommendations and are willing to pay more for a product if the recommendation is from someone they respect.
A company’s best bet to gain a customer’s recommendation is to create an experience that makes them feel valued and respected.
According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) research, 73% of restaurant owners believe social media effectively builds positive brand associations.
With this in mind, you should take advantage of the social networking opportunities available through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For example, if you are running a local coffee shop, participate in local events, offer discounts, or use the platform to spread the word about your location.
7 – Build relationships and partnerships.
Branding is one of the most valuable things a business can possess. It represents who you are, what you stand for, and what people can expect from you.
If your business is an extension of you, your brand should reflect your personality, culture, mission, values, and style. That’s why it’s so essential to build a brand around something you care about.
Whether you’re building a product, a company, or a community, developing a network is vital. Relationships and partnerships are an integral part of building any brand. This applies to brands at the physical level, such as Nike, Starbucks, and Google.
Brands must build relationships with people. Brand awareness alone isn’t enough to keep a brand successful, as people must associate that brand with something.
8 – Become a company that people love.
So, what’s that mean? It means associating yourself with something desirable or loved by others. You don’t have to be loved by everyone, but it helps if you can find a small group of fans. To do this, consider what your ideal customer loves and then create products and services to match.
People love brands, but they love brands that have character. They’ll love them more if the brand has a positive reputation, and a brand with a positive reputation tends to do better.
One of the best ways to build a brand reputation and get more customers is to become a company that people love to recommend. What you should be looking to do is something that helps them to feel more connected to your brand.
Brand associations and reputations are significant for many businesses, particularly smaller ones. When consumers see your logo or company name, they subconsciously associate you with specific characteristics, like trustworthiness, quality, reliability, and the like.
This is why the first thing we do when we’re looking to choose a company to work with is assessing how much the company stands for what we want to be associated with. A company that is more likely to stand for quality, trustworthiness, and reliability will attract customers looking for similar values.
9 – Create a reputation as a company that does things right.
There’s no better way to build brand recognition than through customers’ eyes.
Ask yourself: if this were a company you were thinking about using for a project, would you do business with them? If the answer is yes, then you’re likely getting the word out about the quality of their product, service, or brand. But if the answer is no, what can you do to change that?
This is a two-part approach. First, you have to build a positive reputation for yourself. The second part is to make sure that people know that you’re an expert at whatever you’re trying to sell.
Reputation is a critical element in establishing your credibility as a business, making it a vital marketing strategy.
You can begin building your online reputation today through the way you respond to comments on your website and social media posts. Reputation is a big deal to consumers, who generally form opinions about businesses based on their behaviour.
When customers have a positive experience with a company, they tend to recommend it to others, creating a positive ripple effect for that company.
10 – Provide consistent, high-quality customer service.
One of the biggest mistakes people make online is thinking that it’s okay to put up a lousy product and provide inconsistent customer service.
It’s never okay to put out shoddy content and expect customers to forgive it. When they don’t see consistent, quality content, they will associate your brand with that type of content, and that’s not something you want to happen.
So, even if your product or service is free, it’s still not okay to provide poor quality content and then expect people to love your brand because you’re providing something for nothing.
It’s easier to build brand recognition when you’re already there. Amazon Prime started with only two products: books and shipping. Once customers had a good experience with both, they were hooked and willing to pay for better service. They’d signed up to receive a free service trial and had gotten what they paid for: fast delivery, easy checkout, and fast, reliable delivery.
Amazon Prime grew into its current form and now includes many other services, including movie and music streaming.
Brand association is the ability to connect two brands or products that otherwise wouldn’t be connected. This is very helpful for businesses because it creates brand awareness and increases sales.
The key here is to establish a connection between the products so that when people are looking at a particular product, they associate that brand with the product.
This has to be done smartly so that the brand association doesn’t turn into a negative association. For example, if I go to the grocery store and see a candy bar I don’t like, I may not buy it because I don’t want to be associated with that brand.
I will likely remember that brand and associate it with bad food, so I may subconsciously not want to buy it if someone were to mention it later. However, if I went to the grocery store and saw a specific brand of snack I love, I would be more inclined to purchase that product because I would have a positive association with that brand.
If you’ve been working on a campaign but have seen few results, Brand Association can help explain why. It provides insights into what’s influencing your brand in the marketplace and where you could be losing traction.