A successful, well-established brand is immediately recognizable, loved and cherished by its customers, sometimes even the whole world.
This, in a nutshell, is what brand awareness strategies can help you accomplish with your brand.
When you have brand recognition, it's easier to grow brand awareness, which actually suggests how famous your product is and how familiar your target audience is with its characteristics and qualities.
Having a recognizable brand and all the right people aware of it is what happens when the fruit of your labor becomes part of their daily life and habits. Your brand is making a promise that only it can fulfill.
There are traditionally effective tactics to build a brand and there are techniques that are blazing a trail in our digital day and age. This guide looks at both.
Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
Consistency is a #1 strategy for leveling up your branding awareness. People respond negatively to a change if it’s frequent and seemingly aimless.
A purposeful rebranding is completely okay, but you shouldn't frequently change your brand image over and over again. Your target audience must be able to recognize your brand in 10 or 50 years' time.
That's why having a brand book to document your brand style and visual identity is always a good idea.
A good example of a consistent brand is Coca-Cola, whose logo and the image hasn’t changed all that much ever since its establishment in the late XIX century.
Did you know that 94% of the world’s population recognizes the Coca-Cola logo?
Besides the logo, other aspects of consistency are a brand voice and the image in media. Every channel your brand is communicating on must have its own unique "zing", but must also not deviate too much from the standards you set in your branding process.
The safest and surest way to raise your business branding to the next level is by utilizing social media in your brand awareness strategies. It’s like having open access to a directory of hundreds of millions of potential customers - all for free!
Having a page on relevant platforms is a must, but you should get more serious than just having a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter page created.
Besides regularly posting content that is useful, helpful and interesting to your audience, you should also:
Another social media-related thing to consider are contests, quizzes and giveaways. Numerous businesses resort to this method for raising brand exposure. One way to do this is to ask your followers to share your post and tag their friends in the comments.
A good idea for making the most of social media is partnering with influencers in your industry. These social media celebrities wield huge power in a massive fan base and are a good source of new potential customers for you. Them endorsing your brand could give you exposure to millions of people.
Plus, you should create your own custom, branded hashtags. This tactic is especially effective on Instagram and Twitter. Sure, it may take some time for it to catch on and take off, but it’s worth waiting and working on it. Use it on posts promoting new products or services, company news, events, contests, etc.
It’s uncanny what damage to your brand one SINGLE bad customer experience can do. Plenty of people vow to never have anything to do with a brand responsible for a bad experience.
Worse still, they tell their friends about it, who vow the same – and just like that, you’re in a pickle!
To avoid all that, always go above and beyond to provide your consumers with the best customer experience. That should be engraved in your business’ ethical code.
If you mess something up or provide sub-par service – make amends by giving away something for free, or replacing the product or giving a huge discount.
Having unsatisfied customers is risky in the age of internet reviews. A bad reputation will be heard long and wide and spread like wildfire, and you don’t want that.
On the other hand, customers who are satisfied and better yet – delighted by your products or services – will be happy to leave positive reviews and recommend you to everyone.
A famous example that serves as words to do business by is that of an eyeglasses company Warby Parker. As the story goes, the owner sat on a train with a man who left his glasses in a sitting compartment and he not only returned the glasses to the man – he made a brand new pair for him.
That is building brand awareness in the most direct way possible and it cannot fail to impress. That's what you should aim for.
77% of Twitter users appreciate a brand more when their tweet is responded to. Acknowledge your customers!
However, this doesn't mean that you should invest only in Twitter advertising.
Each advertising channel has a unique audience. And you should choose the channels where your ideal customers spend most of their time.
Some of the social platforms are prone to gathering younger demographics, some are more “hip” than others. There are platforms and channels that cater to the needs of a group of people that lean towards a certain political value.
The crucial thing is to do research and to find out where your target audience is. That way, your products and services will make the biggest impact, even within omnichannel marketing campaigns.
You can do this yourself with a tool like GrowthBar or you can hire a branding agency that can help you with this, as they have the necessary expertise and experience in determining this.
A brilliant way to stir more attention and increase brand awareness is to conjure a partnership with other brands that share your values, views or vision. Or, those can be local companies from your community that you want to engage with and support.
This can build your brand awareness by exposing it to the audience that "belongs" to partnering brands. There are many examples of brands teaming up together in order to bring a very special marketing campaign or a one-off product.
Some of the most memorable examples of this were:
Co-branding can be a particularly effective strategy for smaller businesses, especially to grow visibility and impact in local communities. This can be done by holding joint events, sponsoring events, supporting local sports teams or festivities, donating to charities, etc.
Refrain from thinking that handing out free stuff would somehow cheapen and devalue your brand. Quite the contrary!
People love free things and they'll see your freebies and giveaways as a nice token of generosity. Coming from their beloved brand (yours!) earns extra points.
Don’t forget to stamp your business name and logo on whatever you’re handing out, though.
Google’s AdSense Auto ads help publishers by pointing to the optimal place for them to create ads.
This type of dynamic ads use algorithms based on machine learning to appear on websites best suited for your brand to help you reach the right demographics and to do it quickly.
AdSense Auto ads are an almost ideal way to achieve that most difficult of all things: finding the right audience and placing your products and services right in front of them.
You’ve encountered this yourself: you visit a website – say an online shop – just to have a look at a few items, browsing some clothes. Then you leave the website. But almost immediately, you start seeing ads for the items you’ve looked at every other site you visit.
That’s remarketing. And those ads are inviting you to return to that online shop and buy.
Apart from the obvious – having your ads virtually everywhere your potential customers go online – remarketing campaigns send out the impression that your brand is huge, capable of producing all these advertisements across the internet. And of course, you get to increase your conversion rates.
Referral programs are a sure-fire tactic to reward existing customers for recommending you and incentivize new customers to try out your products or services. Plus, these programs can ultimately increase your revenue in the long-term.
Referral (or loyalty) programs are systematic processes that can automate rewards payout and can easily be tracked.
There are dozens of mind-boggling examples of awesome referral programs throughout recent history.
Some of the examples are:
Your business needs to be more than a job to you and your employees – it has to be a calling.
A famous example of Airbnb’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Chesky, illustrates this point the best.
His world-renowned brand got a huge backing from venture capitalist Peter Thiel who granted Cheskey an important piece of advice: Keep the company culture intact. As Thiel explained, once they get too big, companies corrupt their culture and lose their way.
Based on that, Chesky sent an email to his employees that quickly went viral and became one of the cornerstones of the "living your belief" philosophy.
Here is the part of the email Chesky sent:
"There are days when it’s easy to feel the pressure of our own growth expectations. Other days when we need to ship the product. Others still where we are dealing with the latest government relations issue. It’s easy to get consumed by these. And they are all very important. But compared to culture, they are relatively short term. These problems will come and go. But culture is forever.”
Airbnb’s core brand belief is contained in its slogan "Belong Anywhere".
They say that people buy on emotion and justify with logic. Branding based on values and emotions, especially in marketing, develops meaningful relationships with customers.
In fact, 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.
Emotional branding has taken on a whole new level of science.
Honda, for instance, tracks facial and eye movements and changes to detect activation of emotions in humans when they watch their commercials. They are using this to better optimize their branding.
Consumers see their favorite brands as an extension of their individuality and style. If your business forms an emotional bond with your clients, you’re halfway to the top.
In some ways, such "emotional seduction" is the key to making a brand great – not its relevance.
Of course, to convey the right emotion, you need to know your audience head-to-toe: who is into your brand, what is their demographic, is there one particular emotion that fits your brand?
Let emotions speak through the language your audience understands.
For example, if you are targeting younger audiences, keep in mind that they use the language of the internet more and more.
That means you should be using a lot of emojis in your messaging, too. Don’t be afraid to adopt this manner of speaking on your social media platforms, email marketing campaigns and other channels.
94% of global consumers consider it important that the companies they engage with have a strong purpose.
Belonging is one of five basic needs, as described by psychologist Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
People’s identity and the sense of self is largely dependant on the feeling of community and belonging. And the world is already one large community, so to speak: modern technology and social networks are bringing us all closer together.
Fluid identities that stem from this situation open up people for more choices than ever before. If a brand utilizes this sense of "me" and "we" in a proper way, by connecting to bigger collectives, it shares values and common purpose.
As it was discussed in a section above, people identify through the labels they consume as they symbolize who they are, in a way.
Affiliations to certain groups and lifestyles are made consciously and subconsciously by the people who take brands with this way of thinking in consideration.
Your business, with a brand positioned with the community and belonging in mind, will be seen as a lot more than a provider of a product or a service – it will become an extension of people's lives.
The digital age’s most imminent trap is that it might get you to believe nothing outside online marketing matters.
Offline marketing campaigns, such as direct mail, print materials, billboards, posters, brochures, branded handouts and other tactics can truly help you increase brand awareness.
Also, don’t neglect offline media outlets and print publications.
All too often enterprises forget that, despite living in the age of the internet and smartphones, traditional ways of advertising still exist and offer platforms for showcasing your brand’s consistent identity.
Podcasts are increasingly popular today: they help people stay on top of things, get industry insights quickly, learn from experts and more.
You can also consider starting your own (business) podcast to interview industry experts, develop relationships with peers and grow brand authority, credibility and awareness.
Using podcasts as a brand awareness strategy is especially effective in an industry or a niche that doesn’t have many podcasts, to begin with, so you can make yourself a famous podcasting star overnight (ideally).
Also, you can get in touch with popular podcast hosts who would like to welcome you to their show.
Being a guest of a popular podcast can put you in front of their (typically large) audience and help you grow brand recognition and awareness.
For truly going an extra mile with raising your brand awareness, aim for being memorable and nothing sticks to the collective and individual memory as a good, compelling story.
As John Bates, Executive Speaking Success and Business Coaching CEO, explains: "If you can’t properly convey a story then your products are not going to appeal to your audience."
He also claims that our brains value stories more than anything.
John Bates shares some tips for business storytelling:
When you start building meaningful narratives around your brand, storytelling can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level, build trust and grow brand awareness.
Since you're here, let's review the basics of brand awareness and why you should focus on building awareness for your business.
Brand awareness is the level of association and recognition your target audience has towards your products, services and overall business.
Building brand awareness can help you:
Brand awareness forms a connection between your business and your audience's feelings about your business.
To form a meaningful connection that goes beyond just one single purchase, try socializing, networking and, generally, behaving more like a person than like a company.
Think of it this way:
All these products have one thing in common: their branded names have replaced the generic terms used for them. They've got immense brand recognition – the ultimate goal of every proprietor and enterprise owner.
You should always measure your brand awareness because, otherwise, how’d you know your strategies are working?
There are two measuring methods for brand awareness strategies:
1. Quantitative Measuring:
2. Qualitative Measuring:
Nurturing a high level of brand awareness is important because it helps you create emotional connections with your audience.
You can, indeed, add a more effective logo or an on-brand Facebook cover image, but your brand image is still going to be way more than that.
These are the key benefits of brand awareness:
On a final note, let's discuss the importance of brand experiences and how to make them better.
Darren Coleman of Branding Strategy Insider argues that it is vital to think of the context of your brand and the experiences associated with it.
He calls this context The Brand Experience Environment and it consists of:
Once you understand the context of a brand and its experiences, there remains one final thing to comprehend: brand positioning is not the same as brand purpose.
Brands often confuse purpose for something admirable in regards to social and community contexts, as something "good for the society," as Syl Saller of Diageo writes.
Mistaking purpose for a position leads to brands losing their ability to compete and be different from the rest. The purpose of the brand is contained in its culture and strategy, not in campaigns driven by "impassioned points of view."
Building a brand from the ground up, or rebranding it, is responsible work.
The 15 brand awareness strategies listed in this article have enough case studies and successful experiences by top companies to be backed with this hard evidence of their effectiveness.
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