A well-established brand has more power than the product or a service it has set out to advertise and sell. That, in a nutshell, is what brand awareness strategies eventually accomplish.
Case in point:
When you’re paying with a credit card, you’re referring to it not as a “credit card’, but as Visa. During summer heatwaves, you’re enjoying your popsicle, not freezer pops. Band-aid is what you use to stop the cut from bleeding - not plastic bandage. Barely anyone ever says “lip balm” - it’s chapstick or nothing.
All these products have one thing in common: their branded names have replaced the generic terms used for them. They have got immense brand recognition - the ultimate objective and fantasy of every proprietor and enterprise owner.
Before brand recognition comes brand awareness…
...and that’s the indicator that 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 (mind the emphasis) people aware of it is what happens when your labor’s fruit becomes part of their daily life and habits. A brand is making a promise that only it can fulfill.
Boosting revenue figures may be one objective…
...but the long-term benefits of having a well-established brand exceed any short term earnings. They’re about becoming synonymous with value, emotion or a movement.
There are ways to build a brand that is traditionally effective and then there are those that are blazing a trail in our digital day and age. This guide looks at both.
What Is Brand Awareness And How Is It Measured?
Branding creates emotional and visual connections. It can, indeed, be just a more effective logo or a Facebook cover image, but even when it’s just that - it’s still way more than that.
- It states your mission.
- It bridges the gap between you and the general public.
- It makes your business trending and popular.
- It fosters trust because people will make purchases again and again once they form a bond with your brand. Put a face (and a voice) to your brand and you have a personality that is easier to relate to.
Brand awareness forms connections between your product and your business. Socializing, being a person instead of a corporation is the way to go when forming a meaningful connection with customers that goes beyond just one single purchase.
Brand awareness methods can be measured - and they should be, otherwise, how’d you know your strategy is working?
In general, measuring how well your brand awareness strategies work can be done in two ways:
1. Quantitative Measuring:
- Direct traffic
- Site traffic
- User engagement
2. Qualitative Measuring:
- Set up Google Alerts to see how much you’re talked about online
- Monitoring social media management tools
- Making brand awareness surveys
Why Brand Awareness Matters And What Are Its Benefits?
- Customer loyalty: When a business has a well-established brand, it helps bridge a gap between it and its customers (target audience) - the gap in understanding, first and foremost. The brand makes a product and a service much more relatable and humane. The trick to this is also advocating the values of your business with honesty and integrity which people will recognize. Ties thus created with customers increase their levels of loyalty. Which, in turn increases interactivity and engagement between the two parties.
- Visibility and brand recognition: Brand awareness increase (ideally) leads to two interchangeable outcomes: visibility and recognition. A brand that’s visible and recognizable becomes your target audience’s choice and go-to. Its familiarity is tantamount in a sea of choices consumers are faced with every day. Having clear visibility becomes an advertisement in itself, leading to being noticed by the majority of the public.
- Market advantage: The above is a natural overture to becoming more advantageous on the market. Credibility leads to competitiveness, even prestige. When a brand is more competitive, revenue from purchase volumes rises, as does ROI.
- Products “sell themselves” Brands sell products and services before they even appear. Just look at the craze every time Apple releases a new iPhone - the camping outside their stores and other forms of utmost consumer devotion. That’s because, even before a product appears, a brand alone makes a promise, a guarantee of its quality and worth.
- Your business is recognized for something more important than products: Lastly, we are living in an age in which consumers are buying and opting for services more intelligently, more ethically, more compassionately. Communicating values and topical themes, contributing to the zeitgeist, means a lot to a contemporary client which sees your brand as a champion of our times. The brand built on community and belonging and living its beliefs will always be lauded.
15 Brand Awareness Strategies That Are Effective And Easy To Apply
1. Brand Awareness Is About Consistency In Voice and Image
Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
Always a number 1 spot on any given branding awareness list of suggestions. People respond negatively to a change if it’s frequent and seemingly aimless. The brand image must not change over and over. Your target audience must be able to recognize your brand in 1, 5, 10, 50 years time.
An important thing to note:
Another aspect of consistency, especially relevant in the digital age, is the tone of voice and 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. Finding that balance is an art in itself and can be achieved with the most success by experts in this area.
94% of the world’s population recognizes the Coca-Cola logo.
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.
Don’t neglect offline media outlets, publications and print. All too often enterprises forget that, despite living in the age of internet and smartphones, other, traditional ways of advertising, still exist and these are great platforms for showcasing your brand’s consistent identity.
2. Social Media Is Your Friend
The safest and surest way to raise your business’ profile is by utilizing social media in your brand awareness startegies. It’s like having open access to a directory of hundreds of millions of potential customers - all for free!
Having a page on each platform is a must, naturally…
...but it should get more serious than just having a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter etc page and posting there. Engage with your audience through comments and messages, engage with other brands as well, utilize social media ads, don’t be afraid to try out various advertising campaigns on trial and error basis until you get it right.
Through ads on, say, Facebook, you can target very specific demographics and potentially find thousands of new loyal customers.
Another social media-related thing to consider is contests! Numerous businesses resort to this method of 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 most of the social media is teaming up with influencers in your industry. These social media celebrities wield a huge power in that they have a massive fan following and are a good source of vast amount of totally new potential customers for you. They endorsing your brand would give you exposure to millions!
- Especially effective on Twitter which thrives on hashtags: create your own custom hashtag! 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 with posts promoting new products/services, company news, events, contests etc.
3. Customer And Product Satisfaction Is Number One
81% Of US residents ask for their friends' recommendation for a purchase of a product
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!
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 rep will be heard long and wide and spread like wildfire, and you don’t want that. Customers that are satisfied will leave positive reviews, however, and will recommend your services to everyone.
A famous example that serves as words to live/conduct business by is that of Warby Parker, whose owner sat on a train with a man that left his glasses in a sitting compartment. The owner not only returned the glasses to the man - he made a brand new pair! That’s building brand awareness in the most direct way possible - and it cannot fail to impress.
4. Advertise On The Channels That Are Right For You
77% of Twitter users appreciate a brand more when their tweet is responded to. Acknowledge your customers!
Each specific advertising channel has a unique audience. Some are more 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 product or service makes the biggest impact. There are branding agencies that can help you with this, as they have the necessary expertise and experience in determining this.
5. Partnership With Other Brands (Co-branding)
A brilliant way to stir more attention and increase brand awareness is to conjure a partnership with another brand.
This also builds your business by exposing it to the audience that “belongs” to the partnering brand. There have been 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 GoPro and Red Bull tie-up for Stratos. BMW & Louis Vuitton created a historic The Art of Travel campaign together. And who could forget Starbuck’s and Spotify’s music ecosystem co-branding campaign!
This strategy is particularly effective for smaller businesses that depend on visibility and success in local communities is teaming up with local businesses. That can be holding joint events, sponsorship of local sports teams or festivities, donating to charities etc.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Freebies
This is a guerilla act, somewhat: refrain from thinking that handing out free stuff would somehow cheapen and devalue your brand. Quite the contrary!
People love free things and they see these giveaways as a nice token of generosity. And when it comes from a brand - usually not associated with anything remotely generous, unfortunately - this gives you extra points!
Don’t forget to stamp your business’ name and/or logo on whatever you’re handing out, though!
7. Google AdSense Auto Ads
Google’s AdSense Auto ads help publishers by pointing to the optimal place for them to create ads. AutoAds uses machine learning technology to place itself on sites best suited for your brand where they can reach the right demographics very quickly.
AdSense Auto Ads are an almost ideal way to achieve that most difficult of all things: finding the right audience.
8. Remarketing Campaigns
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 site. And almost immediately, you start seeing ads for the items you’ve looked at every site you visit.
That’s remarketing. And they’re inviting you to return to the online shop and convert - that is, buy a product.
Apart from the obvious - having your products’ ads virtually everywhere your casual visitors go online - remarketing campaigns send out the impression that your brand is huge, capable of producing all these ads all across the internet. And of course, you get to increase your site conversions!
9. Referral Programs
Referral programs are, according to ReferralCandy.com, ways to “reward existing customers for snaring word-of-mouth and incentivize new customers to try out your brand.” You should incorporate them into your brand awareness strategies because they ultimately increase revenue long-term.
These are systematic processes that can automate rewards payout and can be tracked easily. There are dozens of historic, absolutely mind-boggling examples of awesome referral programs throughout recent history (such as PayPal’s free money giveaway, DropBox’s giving away of extra storage space for anyone who refers their friend to them, Amazon Prime’s $5 discount on next purchase for every friend joined, etc.
10. Live Your Beliefs
You’ve heard it many times - the distinction between a job and a calling. Your brand needs to be more than a job for 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 house-sharing brand got a huge backing by venture capitalist Peter Thiel who granted Cheskey an important piece of advice:
To keep the culture intact.
He explained that, once they get too big, companies corrupt their cultures, making the companies lose their way. Chesky’s internal e-mail to his employees quickly went viral and became one of the cornerstones of “living your belief” philosophy.
“There are days when it’s easy to feel the pressure of our own growth expectations. Other days when we need to ship 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 brand belief’s very core is contained in its slogan “Belong Anywhere”.
11. Focus On Values And Emotions
89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values. (Source:SmallBizGenius)
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.
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, brands’ “emotional seduction” is the key to making a brand great - not awareness and relevance. Of course, in order to be able 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. Younger audiences - and, increasingly, older ones too - use the language of the internet more and more. And that means using a lot of emojis in your messaging. Don’t be afraid to adopt this manner of speaking on your social media platforms!
12. Build A Brand On Community And Belonging
13% of consumers would pay 31-50% more for your products or services if they were under the impression that your business is making a positive impact on the world. (Source:SmallBizGenius)
Belonging is one of five basic needs, as described by psychologist Abraham Maslow.
People’s identity and the sense of self is largely dependant on the feeling of community and belonging. 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 are taken by a brand that puts emphasis on this way of thinking. 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…
...it becomes an extension of a persona!
13. Offline Campaigns
Digital age’s most imminent trap is that it may put you in a state of mind where you believe that nothing outside online marketing matters.
Offline marketing campaigns, such as mail (snail mail, not email), print materials, billboards, posters, brochures, branded handouts etc. really help increase brand awareness.
14. Utilize Podcasts
Podcasts are very handy and popular today: it’s an instant way to stay on top of things and people listen to them as they commute to work or travel. You can consider starting your own podcast and interview industry experts, develop relationships with others in your field etc.
This 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, so to speak.
Try getting in touch with famous podcasters who would like to welcome you to their show. These individuals or teams behind a certain podcast have a fine following that can partly become yours and raise your brand awareness if you play your cards right during the guest shows.
Sephora’s #LIPSTORIES and Dell’s Trailblazers are some of the examples of great podcasts.
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 good, compelling storytelling.
John Bates, Executive Speaking Success and Business Coaching CEO, argues that “if you can’t properly convey a story then your products are not going to appeal to your audience”. He claims that our brains value stories more than anything.
He shares some tips for business storytelling and classifies them as:
- The need for a story to have: circumstance, curiosity, characters, conversationist and conflict
- Forget bragging - instead, relate to your audience
- Spark the emotions of your audience
- Get the audience engaged through the senses
- Start the story in the middle
- Give the people what matters
Elements Of Brand Experience: Why It’s Important For Brands To Have A Purpose
On a final note, let us 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 experiences associated with it.
He calls this context The Brand Experience Environment and it consists of:
- Understanding the customers (by helping them get their job done, encouraging their engagement and managing their expectations)
- Fine-tuning your perspective (by embracing transparency, adopting a holistic mindset, competing primarily through value, not price, having patience and accepting a loss of control)
- Considering the mechanics of delivery (by creating an emotional connection, facilitating co-creation and delivering omnichannel experiences)
- Adopting a data-driven approach (by obtaining quantitative insights and measuring holistically)
Once the context of a brand and its experiences are understood…
...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”.
Getting to building a brand from the ground up, or rebranding it, is responsible work. The 15 strategies for brand awareness increase listed in this article have enough case studies and successful experiences by top companies to be backed with this hard evidence of their effectiveness.
Branding is best left to professionals. At our site, you will locate directories of different branding agencies according to a number of different criteria and parameters, such as their location industry and expertise.
Find the one that is suitable for your niche and, with some hard work and patience, branding recognition may be within your grasp. Good luck!
Top 5 Agencies To Provide You With Effective Brand Awareness Strategies
These five highly specialized agencies work with clients nationwide to develop market-leading branding strategies and awareness campaigns:
1. Simply Explainer
Simply Explainer is a video production company specialized in -as the name suggests- explainer videos using superior animation styles. The company works with businesses across industries to help them increase product and brand awareness, build interest and boost conversions.
A full-service digital marketing and advertising agency, DVS can use either a focused or an omnichannel approach to brand awareness strategies. The agency's highly-skilled teams help clients across industries select the right channels and campaigns for maximum payoff.
3. Maracaibo Media Group
Maracaibo Media Group is an award-winning team of New York-based public relations specialist. They help clients nationwide grow their brand awareness by identifying the stories that resonate and leveraging the company's deep industry connections to reach larger audiences.
4. Morad Media Inc.
Morad Media Inc. is a Canadian creative digital agency specialized in design, web development and digital marketing. The agency works with local and US clients in various industries, building tailored brand awareness strategies for greater and better brand recognition.
BAERING is a public relations agency specialized in strategic communication and reputation management. The agency strategically combines marketing tactics, from PR and video to complete brand identity reboot, to help clients reach greater audiences and improve brand retention.