Brand awareness is a trendy buzz word in marketing these days, but it’s not a new concept. Instead, it’s actually been a long-time vital component of a successful business and marketing strategy.
What is Brand Awareness?
According to ThriveHive, “brand awareness is the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers and correctly associated with a particular product or service.”
In other words, brand awareness is making sure consumers know what your business is about and therefore want to engage with it. When your target audience is able to recognize your brand and know what you’re selling, then you’ve reached a high level of brand awareness.
Here’s a fun brain game: Do you use a tissue or a Kleenex? When need to look something up quickly on-line, do you Google it? What about when you’re thirsty? Do you order a Coke? These big name brands have literally become common household nouns and verbs. While most companies will never reach these levels of brand awareness, it’s still important to understand the need amongst your potential customer base. (By the way, check out these 50 everyday words that started out as brands – who knew?!)
Why Does it Matter?
Brand awareness matters because it fosters trust, creates connections to every day actions, and builds brand equity. The more familiar consumers are with your brand, the more likely they are to purchase it. If the brand is already associated with every day actions (like “Googling”), then marketing is being dong for you. The stronger the brand awareness, the more likely your brand will have perceived value. This translates to more sales and potentially higher price points.
Of course, that’s if you have positive brand awareness. Negative brand awareness will have the exact opposite effect, which is yet another reason to proactively focus on what your customers know about you and their experiences with you.
Establish Positive Brand Awareness
Establishing positive brand awareness is not a quick process. As with most things when it comes to marketing, it’s more like a marathon than a sprint. That might not even be the best analogy because there’s not really a finish line. You’ll need to continually refocus your efforts and adjust to your results.
Tips To Get You Started
- Define your brand and create a brand identity. This goes beyond a description of your products – this is who you company is, what it stands for, and what it feels like to engage with your brand.
- Socialize frequently and equally online and in person. According to HubSpot, over 50% of your brand reputation comes from online sociability. That’s huge!
- Tell your story by creating a narrative around your brand. Create interest, action, visuals – make your customers want to see and hear everything about you. Need some further guidance? Check out these helpful tips on writing a short story.
- Make sharing your brand easy and simple. Whether it’s on social media or helping customers send referrals by word of mouth, eliminate any unnecessary steps.
- Offer free stuff. This can be anything from free content to free advice to free services to free products and more. Be generous.
- Sponsor relevant events. Find out where your audience is and become a known name there.
- Explore new “territory”. Think podcasts, direct mailers, email marketing, print advertising, TV commercials – anything that you haven’t tried yet but has the potential to reach your target audience.
Unfortunately, measuring the success of your brand awareness efforts isn’t an exact science and there isn’t one specific metric that provides concrete results. However, you can identify certain criteria that, when put together, will help you measure how you’re doing.
To begin, monitor your website traffic. By setting up Google Analytics, you’ll have access to all kinds of information about visitors to your site. Over time, you’ll be able to identify traffic trends and how that correlates to brand awareness.
Social Media Analytics
Next, track your social media analytics for each channel. By taking time to see where your audience is engaging, you’ll be able to take advantage of that information to further enhance your brand awareness.
Third Party Apps
We also recommend the use of third party apps, such as Google Alerts, to monitor what’s trending online and on social media channels, not to mention what folks are saying about you. These will give you the power to join in on the conversation or shift the conversation in a positive direction.
While becoming a common household name may or may not be your ultimate goal, brand awareness applies to companies of all sizes. With a dedicated effort, you may just find yourself being the next Q-Tip or Band-Aid!
Jenny Green, Co-Owner of Fisher Green Creative, specializes in digital strategy development, social media marketing, and SEO for small businesses. Away from helping clients or studying the latest marketing trends, Jenny volunteers her time coaching youth soccer, enjoys a cold craft IPA, and works to save the elephants. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn or email.