Increasing Brand Awareness
You hear it all of the time- people referring to a soft drink as a Coke, a tissue as a Kleenex, or a bandage as a Band-Aid. Brands like these have become so popular and well-known that they have replaced generic terms in today’s language. While there is no quick fix for becoming a household name, raising your brand awareness can help boost your business and give you a reputation as a reputable company. Getting started in raising your brand awareness is more simple than you might think.
Why create brand awareness: The more familiar a customer is with your brand, the more likely they are to trust it. Customers are likely to do a lot of research before purchasing a product, and having a brand that many people have heard of and trust is a great way to bring in new customers. Brand awareness also creates association with your product, and can lead to your company becoming the “go-to” brand for your product or service.
Brand recognition vs brand recall: When starting to get your company’s name more well known, customers will likely recognize your name and logo before they are able to recall them. For example, say a customer buys a new hair product that they like. They go on to tell one of their friends about it, but cannot remember the exact name of the product or brand. However, when they return to the store they purchased the product from, they are able to easily pick it out of all the options. This is an example of brand recognition, and an important first step. After you have customers wanting your product and recognizing your logo, packing, etc, you want them to be able to recall your brand. An example of this would be if the same two friends from the first example were discussing the same new hair product, but this time the first friend could tell the second the name of the brand, as well as a description of stand out features of the logo or packing. Coca-Cola is a great example of a brand that most people are able to recall by their iconic logo. Both brand recognition and brand recall are types of brand awareness.
Building brand awareness: There are many ways you can go about creating brand awareness. Using social proof is a great way to get started. Utilize the opinions of others in promoting your brand, and making others more aware of who you are and what you stand for. By getting positive feedback from celebrities, experts in your field, or even positive reviews from everyday customers, you will raise brand awareness. Referral programs are another simple way to get started. Giving your customers a discount or freebie uses word-of-mouth marketing to raise brand awareness for new customers from their friends, who are a trusted source. By offering them something in return, they are more likely to invite their friends to purchase your product or service. Sand Cloud is a popular brand known for their beach towels and Ambassador program. Every time an Ambassador’s friend uses their code, they get a discount on their product, and the Ambassador also gets a discount. Leaving a product review also gets customers a discount on their next purchase, encouraging more purchases from Sand Cloud.
Depending on what kind of product you sell, sponsoring events, athletes or celebrities is an option as well. Red Bull is a well known energy drink that has worked to raise brand awareness as a drink for those daring and adventurous. While there are many other energy drinks on the market, Red Bull’s brand awareness through event sponsorship and athlete sponsorship has made them a leader in energy drinks. Creating a brand personality will help you decide on the type of events and people you would do best to sponsor.
“Freemium” is another popular method to draw in customers and raise brand awareness. Brands such as Canva and Spotify offer free versions of their services, with limited access to features. This allows customers to try the services out before committing to them. Often free versions of services help promote your business by announcing on social networks that a new user has joined, or adding a watermark to media they create. If a customer likes your service enough to pay for it, chances are that they are also sharing your business with their friends.
While brand awareness can seem a bit vague and hard to measure at times, it can have a major impact on your sales and marketing efforts. Gaining customers and keeping up a positive image is easier and more rewarding the more developed you get, and having a brand that stands out to people is the first step.