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 the techniques that are blazing a trail in our digital day and age. This guide looks at both.
What Is Brand Awareness?
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:
- State your business values, mission, vision and purpose
- Bridge the gap between your company and the general public
- Make your business trending and popular both online and off-line
- Foster trust and build a strong bond between your customers and your brand
- Put a brand face (and a voice) on to show the personality that is easier to relate to
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:
- When you’re paying with a credit card, you’re not calling it a "credit card" but simply – Visa
- During summer heatwaves, you’re enjoying your popsicle, not freezer pops
- A Band-aid is what you use to stop the cut from bleeding, not a 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've got immense brand recognition – the ultimate goal of every proprietor and enterprise owner.
How Is Awareness Measured?
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:
- Direct traffic coming from Google and other search engines
- Website traffic including the number of visitors, time on page, bounce rates, etc.
- User engagement including likes, shares, comments on social platforms, forums, etc.
2. Qualitative Measuring:
- Setting up Google Alerts to see how much your brand's been talked about online
- Social media listening and monitoring with social media management tools
- Running brand awareness surveys to get feedback directly from your audience
Why Does Brand Awareness Matter?
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.
What Are The Benefits of Brand Awareness?
These are the key benefits of brand awareness:
- Customer loyalty: Having a well-established brand helps you reach your target audience and make your products or services 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 customer interactivity and engagement.
- Visibility and brand recognition: Brand awareness increase can lead to two outcomes: visibility and recognition. When you have a visible and recognizable brand, it's more likely to become your audience’s choice. 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.
- Credibility and market advantage: Visibility and recognition help you build brand credibility, 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": Well-established brands sell products and services before they even appear. Just look at the craze every time Apple releases a new iPhone. That’s because a brand makes a promise, a guarantee of products' quality and worth, even before they appear.
- Values beyond products: Today, more than ever, consumers are buying more intelligently, more ethically, more compassionately. Communicating values and topical themes, contributing to the zeitgeist, means a lot to consumers and clients who see your brand as a champion of our times. The brand built on community and belonging by living its beliefs will always be lauded.
15 Brand Awareness Strategies That Are Effective And Easy To Apply
1. Keep Consistency In Voice And Image
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.
2. Use All Aspects Of Social Media
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:
- Engage with your followers through comments and messages
- Engage or partner with other brands from your community
- Use social media ads to expand your reach and grow brand visibility
- Try various advertising and engagement techniques to see what's working
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.
3. Enhance Customer Satisfaction
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.
4. Advertise On The Right Channels
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.
5. Partner With Other Brands
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:
- GoPro & Red Bull tying up for the Stratos project
- BMW & Louis Vuitton creating The Art of Travel campaign together
- Starbucks & Spotify running the Music Ecosystem co-branding campaign
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.
6. Don’t Shy Away From Freebies
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.
7. Use Google AdSense Auto Ads
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.
8. Leverage 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 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.
9. Create Powerful Referral Programs
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:
- PayPal’s money giveaways as referral awards
- Dropbox’s giveaway of extra storage space for anyone who refers their friend to them
- Amazon Prime’s $5 discount on the next purchase for every friend joined
10. Live Your Beliefs
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".
11. Focus On Values And Emotions
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.
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.
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.
13. Don't Forget Offline Campaigns
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.
14. Consider Starting A Podcast
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.
15. Build Narratives Around Your Brand
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:
- A story needs 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 all the senses
- Start the story in the middle and build from there
- Show your values, show people what matters to you
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.
Elements Of Brand Experience: Why It’s Important For Brands To Have A Purpose
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:
- 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 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.
Branding is best left to professionals. You can browse directories on our website to search branding agencies based on their location, industry and expertise.
To get you going, we listed the top five branding agencies that can help you apply brand awareness strategies and strengthen your brand.
Top 5 Agencies To Help You With Executing 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 various animation styles. The company works with businesses across industries to help them increase product and brand awareness, build interest and boost conversions.
As 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.