For marketers across the globe, one thing that they think about day in and day out is their brand. And a brand is more than just a product related to a company. It is the ultimate symbol of what a company stands for. The association and recognition with some brands have reached such heights today that people have sorted themselves into groups supporting certain brands. For example, the term “Apple people”—the people who buy only Apple products and don’t opt for other brands. This is how important brand awareness is.
So, what can actually be done to increase this brand awareness?
Having a solid and trusted brand is the ultimate way to open doors of success for your company. Perhaps this is the reason why companies invest heavily in building their brand awareness. Here are some tips that you, as a marketer, can use to build and raise your brand awareness.
But before we take a look at the marketing strategies, let’s first shed light on what brand awareness really is.
Brand Awareness – a Spotlight
Brand awareness is the way consumers recognize and relate to a particular brand or business. This means that your target audience can familiarize themselves with your product, logo, and company. The greater this brand recognition is, the greater are the chances of success in a market.
Building brand awareness can lead to potential benefits both for the firm and the bottom line. Doing so can lead to bridging the gap between your company and the general public. As you reach out to know what your audience wants, you are in actual, building up your brand value. Likewise, it fosters trust and a strong bond between the customers and the company. However, the real value of building brand awareness is much more important at the start of a new brand campaign or launch of a product, as it is the right time to reach out to the target customer.
Consequently, building brand awareness is important as it aids your business in achieving its desired goals – that is a greater number of customers, a lead on the competition, and the generation of more leads.
The Brand Awareness Strategies
So how do you build your brand awareness to the level that it is recognized and preferred over other competing brands?
Take a look at some of the brands—McDonald’s, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, and Google. Merely saying the names out loud of these brands conjure up an image of them. This is the power of brand awareness. While many businesses think that plastering billboards across the whole city would give them the exposure that they need, doing this is half the work. Brand awareness increases as a result of some activities that you might undertake. These are:
- Harness the Power of Social Media
The power of social media in this day and age cannot be denied. You can harness the power of both paid and organic social media channels to get the word around. In the case of paid social media, high-quality content creation is the key. This content needs to be updated, new, interesting, and add an element of emotional appeal.
For organic social media, contests are a perfect way to interact with the online audience. These contests can work wonders for your brand, as these online followers tag those friends and family members who might not even have heard about you.
People care about the experiences and the word of mouth they get from others, more than the proof that you are providing them. Consequently, social media channels are a perfect way to connect with the target customers as well as maximize reach and audience. Create your own custom hashtags and spread them across multiple platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter. In addition, try various advertising and promotion techniques to see what works with your online audience. Use the power of social media influencers to get the word around as these influencers have a large fan following who are likely to notice your brand if they see these influencers using it.
- Start Referral Programs
Ever heard of Dropbox? It is a great example of how smart referral programs can grow your brand awareness. In fact, one sure way of achieving brand awareness through word-of-mouth is to make your loyal customers your best advocates.
But how can you make these loyal customers your advocates?
Referral or loyalty programs can automate rewards payout and are easy to track as well. An example is Dropbox’s giveaway of extra storage space for those who refer it to their friends. Similarly, PayPal gives away money as referral rewards. Not surprisingly, these programs can increase your revenue both in the short and long term.
- Partner with Other Brands
Another guaranteed method of making sure your brand makes it to the attention list of customers is to partner with other well-known brands. If your brand gets the opportunity to partner up with a trusted brand, don’t let this opportunity go. This is because partnering up with a brand like this would lead to people associating your brand with that one. And if they find this brand trustworthy, they are more likely to think the same about your brand as well.
Alternatively, you can also partner with local brands to hold joint seminars and conferences. Sponsor local sports teams and organize charity events. This would lend you the exposure you need to make the people aware of your brand.
- Give Out Freebies
When it comes to a reward, who doesn’t love free stuff? Don’t’ shy away from offering free stuff. Give your audience a taste of what you are offering them—without the commitment of payment. This would not only increase trust in your brand, but it would also make your brand name go around faster.
If you decide to offer a subscription service, the freebies can come in the form of a free trial. This ensures that those people who are only slightly aware of your brand name get to try out your services for free—even if it is for a short time.
On the other hand, if you are offering a product, you can hand out free samples. Doing so would increase the chances of your brand getting noticed and appreciated as well.
- Provide Authentic, Valuable and Real Experiences
This is perhaps the crux of the whole marketing campaign. A realistic, authentic experience given by brands goes a long way in developing a strong brand reputation. Remember, people are not just looking for a product to buy when they are fulfilling a need. They want valuable and lasting experiences as well.
One way to achieve this brand authenticity is to focus on the customer or user first, instead of your brand. Take time out to know your customer. This includes gathering up information on what strikes a chord with them and what makes them tick. You can find this out through social media surveys and social group gatherings, as well as for analytics from the product sales. In addition, you can also harness valuable content to stay updated on what your customer wants by offering them infographics, and posts that give out a favorable appeal. You can hire a translation and localization company to translate your message in multiple languages. This will all add up in lending an appreciable awareness for your brand.
Creating a Brand Campaign
Finally, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when you are running a brand campaign for your company. A few of the strategies for a successful brand campaign are:
- Focus on time, not money
When you set out to start a brand campaign, a mistake you should try to avoid is to invest too much money at the start of the campaign. Instead of wasting money to build up the brand frequency, focus on developing your brand message over time, giving customers ample time to process your brand offering.
- Make it easy for customers
It is a fact that customers cannot take multiple messages from one advertisement. Don’t expect customers to make a connection between an abstract concept and the product you are offering. Make it easy for them by letting them know that what you are offering them is new.
- Plan multiple touchpoints
Customers who are exposed to multiple touchpoints – for example, television and social media are more likely to be positively influenced by your brand. Go for establishing these touchpoints by maintaining a strong social media presence, collaborating with media companies, and investing in advertisements.
The Last Word
Your brand is the voice of your company. Remember to know what your customer really wants, instead of thinking of ways to make money. This includes lending them the valuable experience that they really want. Only by fulfilling that ‘need’, you can guarantee successful brand awareness for your brand and make that connection that will have a lasting impact on their minds.