If you have trouble understanding exactly what the term brand awareness means, you’ve come to the right place. More than likely when you are busy going about you’re day you may have heard people commenting on their favorite brands, saying things such as “I’m a Coke person.” or “I only buy Adidas.” This is exactly the kind of thing that brand awareness can cause.
It will cause a brand to embed itself into people’s lifestyles and purchasing habits, to the point that they no longer think twice about becoming a customer again and again. The point of this guide is to not only help you better understand brand awareness, but to also help you to build campaigns that will continuously grow and morph according to your business.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
What Is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is a representation of how familiar your target audience is with your brand, and how well they recognize it. Brands with a high brand awareness are better known as trending, or more simply popular. Establishing your brand awareness is a crucial and valuable part of marketing and promoting your business, especially so in the earlier stages.
It may seem like a vague concept, and the reality is that this is true. If you’re one of those marketers or business owners who likes to gauge your success with neat and tidy numbers, then brand awareness may aggravate your nerves more than a little.
However just because it isn’t a metric that can be carefully monitored doesn’t mean that it isn’t valuable. Brand awareness is incredibly important for business success and overall marketing goals. Need proof? Let’s go over some reasons.
Brand Awareness Fosters Trust.
We live in a world where consumer’s rely heavily on extensive research and the opinion of others before making even a simple purchase, meaning that brand trust is everything to a business. Once a consumer bonds to your brand, they are much more likely to make repeat purchases with little to know forethought, which creates a link between trust and loyalty.
Brand awareness establishes that trust. When you put a proverbial face to your brand that makes consumers all the more likely to trust. Putting effort into brand awareness, will give your brand a personality and outlet to be sincere, as well as receive feedback, and tell a story. These are all ways that we, as humans, build trust with one another. The human-brand relationship isn’t any different.
Brand Awareness Creates Association.
There is a good chance that you’ve found yourself using a brands name more often then the associated verb, you may say that you’re wearing your Nike’s, or drinking a Pepsi. Instead of wearing shoes and drinking a soda/pop.
This is what brand awareness does it associates actions and products with specific brands, causing us to unknowingly replace common words with brand names. And before you know it something as simple as walking done the street is doing the marketing for you.
Brand Awareness Builds Brand Equity.
Brand equity describes a brands value, which is determined by consumer experiences and the overall perception of a brand. Positive experiences and perception equate to positive brand equity, with negative notions working the same way.
Here are some of the things that come with positive brand equity.
* Higher prices due to higher perceived value.
* Higher stock price.
* The ability to expand business through product or service line extensions.
* Greater social impact due to brand name value.
Now you may be asking how does a brand establish and grow their brand equity? Simple, by building brand awareness and consistently promoting positive experiences with the brand. Remember, brand awareness is the founding of brand equity.
Once a consumer is aware of a brand, they will begin to recognize it without assistance, and proceed to seek it out to make a purchase, followed by starting to prefer it over other similar brands, and establish a loyalty that not only assures future purchases but also recommendations to friends and family.
This is the base of why brand awareness is so important. Establishing trust with your customers, creating positive associations, and building invaluable brand equity that allows your brand to become a household name and consumer staple.
How To Establish Brand Awareness.
Bringing recognition to your brand among your audience, or the general public isn’t something that happens overnight. It also takes more than just a simple advertisement or marketing campaign.
A strong brand awareness comes from the multiple simultaneous efforts that extend beyond trying to get paying customers.
If you expect to raise awareness of your brand by just running a few advertisements on Facebook you’re not going to get very far. Not only will the customer be more focused on the product as opposed to the brand itself, but your unlikely to get much impact beyond that of a simple sale.
Let’s take some time and go over some ways to establish a solid brand awareness foundation while also making a lasting impact with your audience.
Be A Person, Not A Company.
Treat your customers with the same amount of care you would a friend, get to know them learn their hobbies, passions, likes, dislikes, how they speak, and what kind of things get them excited.
These are the kinds of traits your company should try to promote about itself. In order to leave an impact on customers you need to define yourself as more than just a company that sells things. Think of all the ways you could define yourself, what words would you use to introduce your brand to a new friend?
Whether they’re introverted or extroverted, all humans benefit from social interaction and spending time with one another. It’s how we stay connected, learn new things, and become known by others.
This goes for your brand as well, if you don’t take the time to connect with your customer base beyond that of making a simple sale, then you’ll only ever be known as a business with a singular intention.
If you wish to raise awareness about your brand, then you have to be social. Post to social media about things unrelated to your business. Interact with your customer base, whether through asking or answering questions, commenting on posts, or retweeting and sharing content that you enjoy. Take the time to treat your social accounts like you’re a person out to make friends not a company out to make money.
50% of brand reputation comes from online sociability. Taking the time to be social leads to greater brand awareness overall.
Tell A Narrative.
Story telling is a powerful marketing tactic, both when it comes to marketing products or promoting a brand. The reasoning behind this is that it gives your customers something real to latch onto.
By creating a narrative around your brand, you effectively humanize it and give it depth. Weaving this narrative into your marketing allows you to promote your brand, and your products or services at the same time.
The good news is that your narrative can be about almost anything, as long as it’s true. Make it about your founder, the first idea your company followed through with, or even how your small company managed to make it with the big boys.
Make Sharing Easy.
No matter the industry, product, or marketing strategy, it is crucial that you make it easy for your audience to share your content. Blog posts, sponsored content, videos, social media posts, or product pages, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s shareable.
Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to establish trust and familiarity among your customer base. If someone sees that a friend or family member is sharing or recommending your product or services, they will take notice of that product, and by extension your brand.
If you make it easy to post about your stuff, then building brand awareness is as easy as consumers hitting the share button.
Brand awareness is all about impact.
It’s interacting with your customer’s in a way that doesn’t just ask for money, participation, or loyalty.
Say you meet a new person on the street who wants to be your friend, if the first thing they did was ask for any of the above, there is a good chance that you won’t be taking them seriously. Not only is it a shallow approach to friendship, but it doesn’t leave a lasting impression.
The same rules apply to raising brand awareness.
How To Increase Brand Awareness.
What if you’ve already established your brand awareness and are just looking for ways to increase it further, building onto an already strong foundation? What can you do as a brand to campaign for awareness and constantly increase it?
Below are a few ideas to help with just that.
Freemium is a basic business model that involves giving away basic products or product lines for free, and only charging for products deemed premium. This is a relatively popular pricing strategy for software companies.
By offering a freemium option, you are allowing your customers to try before they buy. Letting them get a taste of your brand and business practices before making a purchase.
It’s common to offer freemium, under the condition that the company’s watermark be shown on any public facing parts. This makes it a win-win situation, with the customer getting a free product and your brand getting free advertising in turn.
Depending on your type of business freemium may very well be the best way to raise awareness of your brand among your audience.
Create Free Content.
In this modern age creating content is easier than ever, which is a good thing seeing as how today’s consumers turn to the internet for any and all questions, concerns, and DIY projects.
Content is an easy and fun way to raise awareness or your brand. This is a great option as it allows you to show personality as well as share opinions and positioning on issues, two major components to personifying and humanizing your brand.
Content also doesn’t just have to be in written form, it can be videos, infographics, podcasts, and more. Written content like blogs and guides may be the easiest form of free content but they are far from the only option.
You also aren’t restrained by only putting content on your own website, guest posting and sponsored content provide plenty of opportunities to get in front of new audiences and diversify the content you create.
If your brand isn’t creating content, you may be missing out on some major brand awareness opportunities. Content provides an amazing way to connect with your audience while putting your brand out there.
Throughout your life how many festivals, concerts, fairs, and exhibitions have you attended? Typically events such as these are only possible through the help of brand sponsorship’s.
Sponsoring events is a guaranteed way to get your brand in front of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people that fall into your targeted audience. From banners to water bottles, your brand name will be everywhere if you sponsor an event.
Sponsoring also allows you to pin your brand name on an event that matches your personality, interests, and passions, giving consumers a way to associate your brand with those aesthetics.
Give Your Brand A Personality.
Treating your brand as a person and defining your narrative are important first steps to giving your brand a personality. The following step should be infusing this personality into your marketing efforts.
When you market your products and services with personality, your brand will truly begin to shine boosting your brand awareness exponentially. Of course customers will pay attention to what you are marketing but they’ll also experience your personality through your advertising.
This strategy is great when mixing traditional marketing campaigns with brand awareness campaigns. They don’t always have to be one and the same, but they can be.
Produce A Podcast.
Within the last year the amount of people listening to podcasts has increased by six million. It’s safe to say that podcasts play an important role in our lives, as well as our marketing efforts.
It used to be that creating podcasts was a complicated process, only able to be created by those with a studio and fancy microphone. However, that has changed, it’s incredibly easy to create and release a podcast, and doing so can do wonders for your brand awareness efforts.
The reason they work so well is because podcasts, whether written or visual content, provide a way to connect with your audience authentically. As opposed to blatantly promoting your product of service, podcasts give you the opportunity to educate, inform, entertain, or advise your client base and build trust by doing so.
How To Measure Brand Awareness.
Brand awareness can’t be measured, at least not using typical methods, however you can still review activities and metrics that’ll help you gauge where your brand stands in terms of popularity and consumer awareness.
I’ll list a few examples for you all.
Quantitative Brand Awareness Measures.
These numbers will help you paint an overall picture of your brand awareness. To measure quantitatively, check out these metrics.
* Direct Traffic.
Direct traffic is the result of people intentionally typing in your URL and visiting your website. The direct traffic number will tell you exactly how much your marketing is prompting people to visit your website. This metric is important, as many consumers today discover brands through social media, advertisements, or typing in keywords related to your brand or product. When customers go directly to your site it means that they knew about your brand beforehand.
* Site Traffic Numbers.
This number just reflects your overall site traffic, which tells you how much of the general population is checking out your content and spending time with your brand. It won’t quite tell you where people came from, but that doesn’t matter, because they’re aware of your brand enough to check it out.
Engagement can refer to followers, likes, retweets, comments, and more. It’s a reflection of how many people are aware of your brand and interact with it, as well as how much of an impact your content is having.
Qualitative Brand Awareness Measures.
At this point your brand awareness score gets a little murky. However these tactics can still help you gauge who and how many people are aware of your brand. To measure qualitatively, try.
* Searching Google And Setting Up Google Alerts.
Doing this gets you up to speed with how your brand is being talked about online. It will alert you to any news or mentions by third party press. As you brand continues to grow, its internet real estate will expand beyond your website, so keep an eye on that.
Social listening involves monitoring social media management tools for organic mentions and engagement. Who’s tagging your brand, mentioning it in comments, or using your hashtag in their posts? These tools can help you discover that. The more your audience is discussing your brand on social media, they more they’re aware of it.
* Running Brand Awareness Surveys.
This process involves getting direct feedback from your customers and audience and can be incredibly helpful with not only understanding who knows of your brand but also what they think of it. You can release surveys and share them on social media or directly with your customers.
These quantitative and qualitative metrics will help you understand your brand awareness among your audience and the general public. It’ll never be a perfect number, but keeping an eye on this measure will help influence campaigns and stay connected to your audience.