Let me ask you a question. When you need a napkin, do you ask for a napkin or a Kleenex? A phenomenon called a proprietary eponym when the company name replaces the actual generic name of a product or service explains why you can use a brand name instead of the object, and everyone successfully understands what you want. And an example of Kleenex is not the only one: Coca-Cola, Pampers, Lacalut, and so on. How does it happen, and why? It is all about brand awareness when people associate a company name and brand with the products or services it offers, all people are aware of it, so there is no reason to clarify or specify the product itself. Would you like people to recognize the things you offer to the market as easily as they do with brands like Nike, Coco-Cola, and Kleenex? If the answer is yes, then building brand awareness is a №1 task you should concentrate your time, effort, and investments. Further in this article, we will explain why increasing brand awareness comprises 80% of the marketers’ biggest goals, what it is, and what you can do to build a brand and compete in the conditions of modern business rat races.
What is Brand Awareness?
The term brand awareness relates to the level of audience awareness (including your target audience) about your company, brand, products, or services you offer. The higher this level is, the easier and less costly will become your marketing campaigns. Of course, if you are a newbie in the business or run a small local company, it will be challenging to reach the brand awareness score of Nike, Addidas, Pepsi, McDonald’s, or Victoria’s Secret. However, step by step, with a constant and consistent strategy, you will manage to develop marketing tactics that will help you to build brand awareness among your potential customers, strengthening your positions on the market. What exactly can it give to your business?
- target audience is acknowledged of what your company stands for;
- people deliberately choose your products or services over other proposals due to loyalty to your brand;
- potential customers type in queries with your company or brand name in search engines.
The last indicator is especially important, indicating that people are already aware of your brand and are looking on the Internet to get to know more about it or maybe even buy something from you. It’s thousands of times better than if they were looking for a specific product or service and in such a way came across your company.
Brand Recognition vs. Brand Awareness
Many business owners may confuse these 2 concepts as they are interrelated and very close. Thus, brand recognition measures the extent to which people can identify your company and brand by the colors of your logo, packaging, and other visual attributes that build a brand and distinguish it from other competitors.
Brand awareness is way higher than brand recognition. When people are aware of your brand, they are not simply acquainted with your logo and name. They know your products or services, your company policy, main ideas, social position, and so on. Your company is associated with certain concepts and feelings rather than mere colors and fonts.
The Importance of Brand Awareness
Well, first of all, if you want to build brand awareness, you need to elaborate on a brand. It is obvious, actually. Make sure you work on your brand development, choosing the right colors, fonts, logos, moto, packaging, website design, business cards, and other stuff that contribute to one common idea and message you want to deliver to the world.
However, having a consistent full-fledged brand does not automatically mean you will increase brand awareness. To reach the goal, you will need to use the means of traditional and digital marketing strategies, work on your social visibility and social position, take an active part in various events, take care of your online reputation, and do many more things on the way to building brand awareness. Let us dig deeper into all of the available ways you can use to make your business name stand out among the competitors and win you more potential customers.
How to Build Brand Awareness?
Confusing the concepts of brand recognition and brand awareness, many businesses may put great efforts into increasing the visibility of their company name, wrapping the whole city with their billboards, flyers, and logos on everything you can think of. But does it compulsory contributes to brand awareness. Of course, no. If people know your business name, it does not guarantee they have even the slightest idea of what you do, your products or services, not to mention a global message. Is Nike just about sneakers and clothes? It is definitely not. It is about a strong and healthy body, sport spirit, achievements, and motivations. Is McDonald’s just about food? Again no. It is about friendly gatherings, warm family weekends, tasty vibes. They carry the atmosphere and story behind these brands, which you also should create and develop. Many companies offer products and services, but not all of them offer special vibes you get when buying these very products and services. Let us examine the tools and methods that can help you move from recognition to brand awareness.
Strategies and Examples of Building Brand Awareness
In this article, we will present you with 18 interesting marketing strategies that should establish a great connection with your target audience, increase your expertise in the market, and help you reach your main aim – build brand awareness.
1. Referral programs
This simple marketing trick may save you thousands of dollars on your advertising and still increase the awareness of your brand if you manage to build the right strategy. Why may a referral program become a great way to boost brand awareness? There are 2 answers to this question. First, people are very likely to share any kind of info if they know it is beneficial for them, and they will get additional perks for this. Second, the recommendations from friends and family are often regarded as a trusted source of information, and people tend to trust their close ones much more than they do to online ads and billboards. This offer allows you to increase your target audience and get more new customers even without putting in much effort. People will do everything instead of you.
2. Impressive guest content
Great content is key, and content marketing is still a great way to get credibility from search engines and widen the audiences. Of course, you should work on the quality of your blog posts, share with your customers interesting and useful information, provide visual examples because a strong brand is about quality and reliability.
Also, do not neglect the possibilities of content marketing with guest blog posting. Sharing articles on reliable and well-known online platforms with a high reputation may considerably boost and increase brand awareness. If you come up with something especially great, known as a viral blog post that people will share to their social media accounts, it’s in the bag.
We live in the era of visualization and fast data-consuming. So what corresponds to these requirements better than infographics, bright and informative images that both catch the customers’ attention and carry info value? This kind of content usually receives more views from the Internet users, likes, and reposts as it is a fast and effective way to get useful data in a few seconds. So, do not spare your time, effort, and money for creating infographic blog posts that can attract many new customers, increase your website or social media pages’ visibility, boost sales, and increase brand awareness.
4. Freemium with credit
This advice is especially useful for business types that offer online services, applications, and software. One way to boost your brand awareness and get more people to know about you is to provide a free version of your product or service with a watermark or credit line. In such a way, people who do not want to update to a premium version will advertise your brand among their colleagues, family, and friends even without realizing it. A great example of this digital strategy is a popular application for photo editing FaceApp. Its free version already includes quite a variety of tools to edit photographs what makes a considerable number of people use it. However, if you do not upgrade to premium, all edited images will contain a watermark with the app name, promoting your brand among different audiences and note, without any marketing efforts from your site.
5. Local partnerships
If you are an owner of a small local business, marketing tactics that suppose getting your brand involving in different local events like festivals, sports events, competitions, and other stuff of a kind will widen your potential audiences who have high chances to make a purchase later on, establish long-term relations, and become your loyal customers.
6. Car wraps
In the beginning, I’ve said you should not have big hopes for visual elements such as billboards when looking for ways to increase brand awareness. Although it is no way the main marketing strategy, it does not mean you should completely abandon it. If you use such a trick as a complementary technique to your basic advertising strategy, it may bring you lots of benefits. So, an idea with car wraps is quite an interesting one. Remember these red trucks of Coca-Cola that bring happiness and joy during the Christmas holidays? This truck has helped build brand awareness for the company, perhaps as much as the drink itself.
People adore free stuff. There are multiple ways you can use this option to let more people know about your business and make them make a purchase. One way is to use notebooks, pens, copybooks, cups, scarfs, and similar stuff, design them in the colors of your logo, print your business name, and give them away at various festivals, and so on. Another way is to organize giveaways on your social media pages where the prizes will be either free stuff like chancellery or even your products.
8. Social media contests
If you want to boost awareness, brand marketing can use such a tool as contestant spirit, which not compulsory should be connected even to the sphere you work in. Use your social media accounts potential (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) and launch any kind of contests (the cutest pet, best poem, picture, whatever), and let users vote for the winner. Many of the participants are likely to share the links to their social media profiles, send them to their family and friends, unconsciously promoting you and boosting your brand awareness. It is a win-win situation.
9. Social focus
The variety of social media accounts on the Internet impresses (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik-Tok, etc.). All these are extremely cool platforms for generating potential leads and getting new customers. However, it does not compulsory mean you should develop all of them. Many business owners make the same mistake defocusing their resources for a few networks simultaneously. We do not say it is bad, and you should choose and stick to one single platform. No way. But to make sure you do not waste your time, money, and effort, study your target audience and try to find out where it mainly “hangs around”. Thus, a photo-heavy website may concentrate on developing Instagram and/or Pinterest social media accounts. Twitter shows better efficiency for B2 B-oriented business projects.
10. LinkedIn publishing
LinkedIn is an incredible platform if you want to increase brand awareness not just among ordinary customers but the business community as well. It also offers a possibility of posting long pieces of text, so you can make blog posts here and establish your professional expertise, gathering like-minded people and expanding your potential target audiences. You can share these publications with your other social media accounts. If the information you offer to your readers is topical, innovative, and useful, you may win such perks that your audience will repost your publications and promote your brand among other communities.
11. Pro storytelling
Stories are cool for developing a holistic concept of your brand. They should be engaging, emotionally involving, eye-catching, and consistent. Let us return to the already known story of Coca-Cola and a red truck that brings happiness, joy, and a Christmas mood. The product is associated with a story, and the story is associated with certain positive emotions, so when people buy a bottle of Coca-Cola, they feel they are buying not just a drink. They buy a mood, vibes, and atmosphere.
Think of your product or service and the emotions it may evoke in people and base your whole advertising campaign on the basis of emotional ground.
12. Unique personality
In the crowd of alike brands, it so important to stand out among the competitors. How to do it when all the abundance of colors, shades, logos, mottos have just overwhelmed the market and do not give that effect they gave just like 20 years ago. Companies like Old Spice, M&M’s, Twix, and others, which have elaborated eye-catching, exciting, sometimes even ridiculous and absurd plots for their ads videos and banners but still managed to reach the goal – make people remember them and did it quite successfully.
The educational aspect is always super beneficial and always drags lots of attention from different audiences. That is why many brands do not neglect this opportunity to interview experts from their niche, bring to discussion hot controversial topics, attracting more and more customers. Moreover, it may help establish connections with other business owners, find partners, investors, start new interesting projects, attract other companies’ audiences, develop your social media accounts, and become an expert in the field.
14. PPC advertising
Pay-per-click ads are one of the fastest and effective marketing tools to boost your sales from search engines. However, it may become a potent component of your brand awareness strategy building. Thus, when displayed in search engine results, these ads are always related to the search query, meaning the potential customer already has a direct interest in the field or even products you offer to the market.
The more people will Google this topic, the more they will be displayed to your ads, and even if they do not click on them, they will still memorize your logo, colors, and so on, meaning your brand awareness will increase among the target audience.
15. Remarketing campaigns
Unfortunately, many businessmen do not appreciate all the power of remarketing campaigns. Remarketing ads are targeted at the Internet users who have already visited your website but left it without making the target action (it can be various, but in most cases, it is making a purchase).
If the potential customer was on your website, it indicates his/her awareness of your business, products/services your offer, and that this is a potential buyer who was making an investigation. It is your direct target audience. For some reason, the visit did not finish with a purchase or order of service (it may be because customers are not ready to buy on the spot, did not have enough money to conduct a purchase, whatever). If you use remarketing ads, the website visitor will be exposed to advertisements with your content on other platforms/websites he/she visits because the search engine will qualify your ads as relevant to the person’s interests.
Such high visibility will help to greatly increase brand awareness among your target audience and convert, of course.
16. Paid social advertising
Unfortunately, organic traffic from search engines is getting more and more difficult to receive due to high competitiveness and complicated, constantly changing algorithms of work of search systems, especially Google. As many businesses are not ready to wait for customers and revenue they expect to get from organic search and their websites, they use such an option as paid advertising on social media.
With all these wide audiences of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, there are lots of chances to get more customers and fast sales. Furthermore, with such a large number of users spending time on their social media account, it is one way to build brand awareness, even if they do not buy from you right away, they will know and recognize you soon.
This marketing strategy may be slippery and suitable definitely not for all brands. However, if you choose some social controversial issue and take a certain position on the matter, it may become a unique opportunity to stand out and create some hype around yourself, increasing people’s awareness. Still, the reaction of the audience will not always be positive, so think twice whether you want to drag this negative attitude or not, are you ready to take all the risks, and what for you need it.
There are many brands whose founder or co-founder deliberately takes part in various scandals (like Jeffrey Star cosmetics, for example) just to create noise around their name and products. Although they drag lots of criticism, their brands are flourishing.
18. Influencer marketing
The same as family and friends, influencers and experts who possess a recognized authority in the sphere can greatly influence the choice of your audience and help in building brand awareness. If you are new to the market, it is crucial to find a business to which you will act like a complementary part rather than a competitor. You can use the network of your partner to expand your own and strengthen your brand awareness strategy.
How Do You Measure Brand Awareness?
Now, when you are aware of a big part of marketing tools you can use to open new opportunities and help build brand awareness, you might get interested in how you can measure it. It is obvious most of the strategies will demand your time, effort, financial investments, and creativity sometimes, so it is natural you should know how to estimate whether it was worth it.
Most of these methods involve various promotional platforms, so the indicators of effectiveness will vary. Thus, if you stressed the promotion in the search engines, you will have to analyze the increase in the organic traffic to your webpages. The success of social media campaigns can be measured via the level of your audience engagement with the content you share. However, the increase in the number of subscribers, likes, comments, website visitors, and what is even more important, sales and customers, is undeniable proof you are moving in the right direction of building brand awareness.
Brand awareness is a mega potential marketing tool. When you want to buy sports shoes, what brand are you likely to choose: Nike or the one you see for the first time? Even if the price is too seductive, 80% of customers will choose brands they are already aware of. So, become one of those well-known and trusted brands.
Of course, it is challenging to build a brand now, when the market is so densely overwhelmed with brands. However, it does not mean you should not try. Maybe, you will not reach the level of Coca-Cola or Nike (not all businesses even aim at doing this), but step by step, you will increase the brand awareness among your potential audience, strengthen your position on the market, get more loyal customers, boost sales, and grow. Although in the beginning, it demands many resources, this marketing strategy is rewarding, and you will notice that when your brand gets highly recognized even locally, you will have to spend less on ads and marketing.
Building a correct brand awareness strategy is a long and time-consuming way that demands patience and knowledge. To save your time and money, it is wise to use the help of professional marketers and concentrate your powers on something you do best. So, now you are armed with the most topical modern ideas on increasing brand awareness that may help you scale and grow your marketing potentials for the future perspective. I hope it was useful for you, and good luck with your awareness-increasing campaign.
If you need professional help, Intltech marketing specialists are always happy to hear from you and provide you with free business consultation.