Brand awareness represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognize it. Brands with high brand awareness are generally referred to as “trending”, “buzzworthy” or simply “popular”. Building brand awareness is valuable when marketing and promoting your company and products, especially in the early stages of a business.
Importance of Building Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is important because it is the very first step in the marketing funnel, and a crucial foundation to eventually acquire customers. Brand awareness refers to people’s ability to recall and recognize your business. There are several reasons why it is important to build and increase brand awareness:
1. Brand awareness fosters trust
When customers rely more on extensive research and opinions of family and friends, than your marketing, before making a purchase, brand trust is everything. Once a customer bonds with your brand, they’re more likely to make a repeat purchase with little or no forethought — which then bridges the gap between trust and loyalty.
Brand awareness establishes that brand trust. When you put a face to your brand name, consumers can trust easier. Your efforts towards building brand awareness give your brand a personality and outlet to be sincere, receive feedback, and tell a story. These are all ways we humans build trust with one another. The human-brand relationship is no different.
2. Brand awareness builds association
When you have a cut, you put on a Band-Aid. When you have a pressing question, you Google it. When you need to make copies of a document, you Xerox it. Notice how some of the words above are capitalized. These are brand names that have become verbs.
Band-Aid should be referred to as bandage, Google as a search engine, and Xerox as a copier. But it’s more fun to refer to the brand itself, even if we are not using the specific product.
That’s what brand awareness does. It associates actions and products with particular brands, subconsciously encouraging us replace verbs with brand names.
3. Brand awareness builds brand equity
Brand equity describes a brand’s value, which is determined by consumer experiences with and overall perception of the brand. Positive experiences and perception equal positive brand equity, and the same goes for negative notions.
Here are a few valuable things that come from positive brand equity:
- Higher prices due to higher perceived value
- A higher stock price
- The ability to expand business through product or service line extensions
- Greater social impact due to brand name value
Once a consumer is aware of a brand, they start to recognize it without assistance, seek it out to make a purchase, begin to prefer it over other similar brands, and establish a loyalty that not only spurs on other purchases but also inspires recommendations to family and friends.
That’s why brand awareness is so important. It establishes trust with your customers, creates positive associations, and builds invaluable brand equity that allows your brand to become a household name and consumer staple.
How to Establish Brand Awareness?
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is brand awareness. People are not going to automatically know your brand after seeing your logo/name once or twice. You have to work for it by building a strategy, earning customers’ trust and making your presence known on multiple channels. This strategy should be unique and creative so that you can beat out your competitors.
Focusing on brand recall is the core of building brand awareness. The key to brand recall is being consistent on all platforms. There are so many ways you can engage your customers online — from advertising on social media to blogging.
Here are some ways to building a solid brand awareness foundation and make a lasting impact with your audience:
Be a person, not a company
Treat your audience like a friend. Discover their hobbies, passions, likes and dislikes, and more. Also pay attention to how they speak, what they like to talk about, and what stuff gets them exited.
These are the traits your brand should determine and promote about itself. To leave an impact with your audience, you’ve got to define yourself as more than a company that sells stuff. How else would you define yourself? What words would you use if you had to introduce your brand to a new friend?
Introvert or extrovert, all humans benefit from social contact and spending time with one another. It’s how we stay connected, learn new things and become known by others.
The same goes for your brand. If you only attempt to connect with others when trying to make a sale or get support, you won’t be known as anything beyond a business with a singular attention (and the same goes for a person).
To raise brand awareness, you’ve got to be social. Post on social media about things unrelated to your product or services. Interact with your audience by asking them questions, commenting on posts, or retweeting or sharing content you like. Treat your social accounts as if you were a person trying to make friends, not a business trying to make money.
Research shows that over 50% of brand reputation comes from online sociability. Being social leads to greater awareness and simply being known.
Tell a narrative
Storytelling is an incredibly powerful marketing tactic, whether you’re marketing products or promoting your brand, because it gives something real for your audience to latch onto.
Crafting a narrative around your brand humanizes it and gives it depth. Weaving a narrative into your marketing inherently markets your brand alongside your products or services.
What should your narrative be about? Anything as long as it’s true. It can be a narrative of your founder, the tale of how your business had it’s first product idea, or how your small business made it in the big world.
People like hearing stories about each other. Authenticity is impactful, and it can lead to a big boost in brand awareness.
Make sharing easy
Whatever your industry, product offering or marketing strategies, make it easy for your audience to share your content. This could be blog posts, sponsored content, social media posts, or product pages.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective way to establish trust and familiarity among customers. If someone sees a friend or family member is recommending a product or service, they’ll take notice of the products… and brand.
If you make it easy to post about your stuff, consumers will raise brand awareness for you by simply clicking “share”.Brand awareness is all about impact. Click To Tweet
It’s about interacting with your audience in ways that not only ask for money, participation, or loyalty.
How to Increase Brand Awareness?
Expand your already established brand awareness and build on that strong foundation. What can you do as a brand to campaign for awareness and constantly increase it?
Here are a few campaign ideas to boost your brand awareness:
Give your brand a personality
Treating your brand as a person and defining your narrative are the first steps to give your brand a personality. The next step is to infuse this personality into your marketing efforts.
When you market your products and services with personality, you can’t but help boost your brand awareness because your brand will shine right through. Sure, your consumers will take note of the products and services you’re marketing, but they’ll also experience your personality through your advertising.
This is a great strategy when mixing your traditional marketing campaigns with brand awareness campaigns. They don’t always have to be one and the same, but they definitely can be.
Use native advertising
Employing native advertising is one of the most effective ways of increasing brand awareness and winning over new customers. Since they fit right into their surrounding content and borrow credibility from the host publishing sites, native ads help you reach people where they’re already reading and engaging.
Say you serve up native ads on publications like The Times of India or The Financial Express, you gain the access and trust of their large reader base by providing recommended content at the end of their articles.
Run Facebook and Instagram ads
On Facebook and Instagram, you can launch brand awareness campaigns that improve your reach and recall. Facebook recommends using video and carousal ads (which include a series of media) to target users who might be interested in your messaging. In fact, you can target audiences by categories such as age, location, gender, interest and device. You can also create ‘lookalike’ audiences of people similar to your existing audience, so you can reach those who are most likely to convert.
Get involved in the community
Becoming more of an active presence in your local area can be a great brand awareness strategy. By attending meetings and celebrations, making charitable donations, sponsoring events, and more, you can strongly reinforce your branding in the community.
Sponsorships and donations to good causes and social issues can be great for attracting media coverage for your business. The positive vibes can also influence the happiness of your staff, turning them into proud evangelists for the company.
Building and growing brand awareness is a never ending process just as maintaining a friendship or relationship never really ends.
Boosting your brand awareness through campaigns and community involvement gives you a chance to dabble in marketing and advertising opportunities you’d otherwise not invest in — meaning new powerful ways to connect with your audience.
How to Measure Brand Awareness
How do you know if your brand awareness efforts are working? How do you know if you need to change direction, top the competition, or fix a crisis? Just like other marketing metrics, you measure it.
Brand awareness can’t be measured in the traditional sense. But you can review activities and metrics that help you gauge where your brand strength in terms of popularity and consumer awareness.
Here are a few ways to gauge your brand awareness and learn where you can tweak your efforts:
Quantitative Brand Awareness Measures
These numbers can help you paint the overall picture of your brand awareness:
Direct traffic is the result of people intentionally typing in your URL and visiting your website. Your direct traffic number will tell you how much your marketing is prompting people to visit your website. This is an important metric, as many customers today discover brands through social media, ads, or by typing keywords related to your brand or product. When consumers go directly to your website, it shows they were aware of your brand beforehand.
Organic traffic is the unpaid traffic you earn from search engines. SEO has already played a role in building brand awareness, but this has significantly changed over the years. There is definitely a correlation between brand awareness and organic rankings.
A Google patent reveals how search engines gauge the brand authority of a product/service by benchmarking it against the non-branded volume of searches for the keyword.
By utilizing the way people navigate the web and integrating this into marketing channels, brands can take advantage of brand authority, increasing the quality score signal within each of the product search markets to generate attention across the non-brand aware keywords.
Engagement refers to followers, likes, retweets, comments and more. It’s a reflection of how many people are aware of your brand and socialize with it, as well as how impactful your content is.
Qualitative Brand Awareness Measures
This step is, where your brand awareness ‘score’ gets a little murky. But 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 your brand grows, it’s internet real estate will expand beyond your website, so keep an eye on that.
Social listening is monitoring social media for organic mentions and engagement. Who’s tagging your brand, mentioning it in comments, or using your hashtag in their posts? These tools help you discover that. The more your audience is discussing your brand on social media, the more they’re aware of it.
Running brand awareness surveys
Getting direct feedback from your customers and audience can be incredibly helpful with not only understanding who knows of your brand but also what they think of it.
iEntrepreneur: Your Trusted Partner in Creating a Brand Awareness Strategy
iEntrepreneur is an integrated digital marketing agency that combines several strategies to help generate awareness for startups and SMEs. Our careful approach focuses on the uniqueness of your brand and leverages digital methods including social media, SEO, SEM and digital marketing.
When you trust iEntrepreneur to create your brand awareness strategy, you’ll experience an uptick in lead generation, business growth and profit margins. Ready to learn more?
Get in touch with us. Today!