Brand Awareness Test:
How many of the brands below do you recognize after a quick glance?
What did you recognize about each brand before even reading the name? Maybe the logo, the color or font choice? These big brands spent a significant amount of time and money to make sure they are recognized easily, and to communicate what they stand for as a company.
So, what is brand awareness, and how can you use it to grow your company?
What is brand awareness?
Brand awareness is about building a reputation. If customers can’t identify who you are, it’s not likely they’re going to be interested in your product. With brand awareness, people can look at your logo or company name and know instantly what you represent. They remember you. This can help you get new leads or customers, stand out amongst the competition, and retain old customers as your company grows.
Above brand awareness is brand recognition. Once a customer knows your name and what you represent, your next step should be providing knowledge of your products and services. What is the general image of your business that you’d like to portray?
Think of a brand you recognize instantly just from their logo. When you see the big, golden arches of the McDonalds logo, you instantly know who they are and what they serve, maybe you’re even compelled to head over to your nearest location and pick up your favorite order.
In order to achieve brand recognition, you first have to get customers to brand awareness. This will help you find new customers and generate leads and close sales.
Building brand awareness for your business
It will take strategy and time to get to the place where you’ve built brand awareness. You’ll have to earn their trust, and expand your reach to multiple platforms. When developing an outreach strategy, you want to try and come up with something unique that will make you stand out from competitors. Keep in mind your target audience as you strategize and focus on customer engagement as well as brand recall.
Understanding your target audience is an important focus point when it comes to building your brand awareness. Who are the people you want to engage with the most and how do those people interact with content? Build your brand around this market, as you want these customers to eagerly engage with your brand.
Another important focus with brand awareness is brand recall. Consistency throughout all platforms is the key to brand recall. Because of the many different ways in which customers can be engaged online, you’ll want to be aware of the best tactics to use that will target the customers you actually want to interact with.
Steps to implement in your branding strategy
Be consistent. Besides what might seem obvious, helping people remember your brand through various platforms, consistency can also help in SEO. If you utilize Google My Business (which everyone should use when building your online presence), your name, address and phone number, or “NAP” is displayed when someone searched your business. This information should be the same across every platform you use.
For example, if you own a paper company and your Google My Business name is Westlake Hills Paper Company, but your Yelp name is The Paper Company of Westlake Hills, that could cause confusion when your business is searched. Customers might think that these are two different paper companies.
Brand awareness means you’re building customer trust. Therefore, consistency is essential. Keeping your colors, logos and content consistent throughout various platforms makes sure that customers see you as reliable, which will give you a higher ranking when it comes to web searches.
Invest in advertising. It is almost impossible to get your name out there unless you invest in advertising. Two of the best ways to engage with potential customers is through social media and Google advertising.
As you’ve probably seen from casual browsing, there are ads on almost every social media platform. If you’re interested in running ads in places like Facebook or Twitter, try to include some kind of media, like a photo or video. This will give your audience more context for what you are advertising and an easy way to grab attention. You will also want to make sure your logo is included in the ad, even it is small. In order to build brand awareness, you’ll want to get your logo any and everywhere you can.
There’s also the option to run ads on Google with AdWords. With this strategy, you can use either display or search ads. Search ads will be text based, and are the ones you’ve seen when searching for something on Google. Display ads will show up as banners or side bars on websites.
Building brand awareness through these types of ads means you have to be specific about using target words associated with your brand and images that reflect what your brand represents. Each ad must have a cohesive style wherever they are placed, so that each customer who sees them will recognize your brand without confusion. Use of the same types of imagery, fonts, colors and logos across all advertising will help lead to significant brand awareness. If you decide not to use online advertising, you’re missing out an a large audience and the opportunity to build your brand awareness.
Your social media presence. More than just advertising through ads, it is critical now to have some kind of social media presence. Finding consistent topics to discuss and posting regularly are all parts of boosting your brands visibility.
Interacting with customers is also a plus. Reply to comments on your company’s Facebook page. If you want to be seen as more than just a business, but a place where people can get answers to questions related to the products you sell, be interactive! Being seen as a helpful brand that maintains a great social media presence is all part of the road to brand recognition.
Having more than one social media account allows you access to even more potential customers. Creating a hashtag on Twitter or Instagram and can help you to continue building brand awareness. Hashtags are used to help put various subjects into easy to discover categories. By using generic, niche and branded hashtags, you can get more eyes to your page and your products and services. If may take a while, but if you are consistent in posting unique content specific to your brand, you can eventually curate a following and get the word about you!
It’s important to use consistent colors, photos and fonts throughout your various social media channels to help build your brand awareness. With Twitter you can personalize the colors used on your profile and on Instagram you can create a theme by posting photos that all have a similar tone or color scheme. A clean Instagram page and consistent posting on Twitter can go a long way in building trust in your brand.
Pinterest is also a great place to give insight into your brand. Curating interesting visual content associated with your brand can be key to giving customers insight into your brand. Videos, photos of your products, gifs and infographics are a great way to increase awareness and trust with potential customers.
Partner with larger brands. Partnering with similar, bigger brands can help significantly in building brand awareness. Collaborating on a product or doing giveaways with a more established partner is a great way to add to your brand awareness.
Finding brands you want to work with is as simple as turning to social media. Most established companies have a social media platform now, and you can easily find and engage with them there. Frequent engagement can help you build a relationship with a company you’d like to potentially partner with. Dong Instagram giveaways is a great way to build brand awareness and get your name out there, as well as meeting others who are in similar industries.
In order to participate in an Instagram giveaway, for example, users might have to follow both brands. This could increase your follower count and make more people aware of who you are and what you do. By partnering with brands similar to or associated with your product, you get to reach a new audience already curated by the brand you’ve partnered with. It’s a win win for everyone!
Refer a friend. Having a referral program is another great way to reach out to potential customers through customers you already have. Having a loyal customer be rewarded for sharing the news about your brand is a great way for you increase brand awareness and get the word out there about what you do and the services you offer.
You trust your friends, and it’s likely that you’ll trust their recommendations. A company well known for their referral system is Blue Apron, a meal subscription service. In fact, a big part of their brand is their referral program. If you refer a friend to their services, you both get a discount, so everybody wins! This is a way to let your customers do the advertising for you, and rewarding them for their loyalty.
Offer a free trial. Who doesn’t like to get cool stuff for free? Giving customers the opportunity to test your products before they commit to it is a great way to win them over early, and build brand awareness.
For example, a company like Spotify offers its customers a free version of their services without requiring any upfront payment information. Their free version includes ads and not all of the paid features are included, but it does customers the opportunity to “test drive” the product without the pressure of commitment. Spotify went from 30 million paid customers in March 2016 to 70 million paid customers in January 2018.
Free trials can be a great benefit in helping customers see what you offer without commitment and building trust within a potential customer base.
Give back. Now is a better time than any is spread positivity! Replying to positive reviews, responding to comments or answering questions on social media is a helpful way to build a positive brand identity. You can even get involved in your local community while building brand awareness. For example, Dominoes created a campaign called “Paving for Pizza” where they fixed potholes in neighborhoods. Not only did they make a positive impact, but they were able to incorporate their logo. Your business might not have the budget for such a campaign, but doing good for your local community can go a long way in getting the word out about your brand.
Provide information. Giving your customers insight into the knowledge your company possess and how you can benefit them is yet another way to increase brand awareness. Keeping a blog updated can be difficult if you’re also trying to run a business, but there are blog writing services available that may be able to offer you a better solution. When blogging, don’t just focus on keywords or metatags but ensure that the information you’re providing for your readers is useful.
Entertain your customers. Running a business can be very serious … business! But, never underestimate the power of a little fun. Creating content that targets your audience on a person level through humor can be a great way to connect and standout. Letting down your “hair” and letting your customers see your business as relatable is a great way to build brand awareness.
Retargeting. Brand awareness means that when someone sees your company, logo, ads, etc., they know who you are, what you represent and what you sell. If you want to win back customers who possibly visited your site but never committed, you have to implement a retargeting strategy. You can find a way to see where a customer might have been turned around. If you know this information, you can build a retargeting strategy around winning back these customers.
Retargeting can be implemented in a variety of ways. Gathering data from customers who visit your site, and then using that data to retarget them through social media or Google ads. Abandoned cart emails is one of the more popular ways to retarget customers. You can inform them that they’ve left something behind on your site, and encourage them to continue shopping.
It is rare that customers become loyal to a brand upon first interaction. This why retargeting can be crucial to helping build your brand. You could be missing out on potential sales by not trying to win back customers you’ve lost. By reaching out you can build relationships with those potential customers.
Brands with high level brand awareness
Once you’ve attained the level of brand awareness that you’re looking for, you have to work to stay at that level. Even big, well known brands are constantly trying to find interesting ad strategies to make sure they are reinventing themselves and staying relevant. Being recognized by a motto, like Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ or the phrase “Google it” doesn’t come easy! Companies like Nike are selling more than clothes or shoes, they are selling an experience. Google introduced Google Doodles to help enhance their brand, and now customers can see their creative work displayed on the most used search engine on the internet. They often replace their logo to celebrate history, holidays and engage with users in a personal way. Their colors are so iconic that sometimes you don’t even need to see the letters “Google” to associate it with the brand.
Building brand awareness is about more than just pasting your logo on ads across the internet and hoping enough people see it. Instead, it is about crafting your business into something that is more than just a place to trade goods and services. With your colors, logo, typography and photography, you can tell customers who you are and what you can provide for them that no other company can. Being intentional about your branding across all platforms can help pave the road to success!
Need help building your brand? You’re in the right place. Contact us for a brand consultation.