Whether you are offering a service or a product, your company needs brand awareness to generate sales and customer loyalty. In recent years, online reviews have climbed to the top of the list for impacting purchase decisions from consumers. Product and service reviews can have a huge impact, both positive and negative, on your brand awareness. For example, positive reviews create confidence in potential customers and place your product or service in a positive light. This can result in quicker conversions for your business. A negative review has the opposite effect, giving a potential customer a reason to continue to explore the competition.
Brand awareness by definition is the extent to which consumers are familiar with the distinctive qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services. Without first investing resources into your company’s brand awareness, you should not expect to be profitable right out of the gate. Brand awareness comes in many forms whether it be a logo, a mission statement, digital campaigns, social media, content creation, or other distinctive guidelines that set your company apart from the rest. Additionally, only utilizing one or two avenues to increase exposure will likely not have much return, if any. It is important to work on building multiple streams at once, and to focus both on long term and short term strategies that will pay off in a variety of ways, but ultimately gain your company more visibility amongst your target audience.
When Launching A Company, How Much Should Be Invested Into Brand Awareness?
Brand Awareness works like the turtle racing the hare. To increase brand awareness and customer confidence, your company needs to have a presence in your specific market at all times. When it comes to building your brand, you can’t take a break! A rule of thumb is to invest 8-10% of your gross revenue on advertising. If you are just starting your company, now isn’t the time to hold back. Your advertising spend should be based on research and expected revenue of your first year in business, and you may even want to increase your spend up to 20%. A new company stepping into an identified market automatically has competition and reputable brands to compete with. Increasing your advertising spend in the first year to build brand awareness can have compounding effects that result in an increase in conversions for years to come. One of the most famous lines you’ll hear from someone who works in marketing is, “You have to spend money to make money,” and that is absolutely correct when offering a service or a product in a competitive market.
“Ultimately, the business that can spend the most to acquire a customer wins.”Dan Kennedy
I Understand Brand Awareness is Important, But What’s The Best Approach?
The best approach to build brand awareness is using a multistep strategy. Another line we have all heard a million times is, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This is extremely important when marketing your brand for long term recognition. When deciding on what platforms you are going to use to market your brand it’s important to know your target audience. Research and development is an early part of the process that will help you identify your audience and excel in the advertising space.
Finding Your Target Audience
Without identifying whom you want to reach, there will be a waste in advertising spend. For example, let’s say you are marketing a Senior-Living Home. At first glance you may think you should be marketing to a demographic of people 60 years of age and up. People in this age range tend to shy away from digital platforms, so you decide to advertise in print & media, a high cost marketing channel. But through proper research and development prior to investing advertising spend you may find out new truths about your target audience. Are people looking to enter Senior Living really doing the work themselves? The answer is probably not. Targeting the children of elderly people through social media and popular search engines may result in more leads at a lower cost.
Test marketing is the best way to find your audience at the lowest cost to increase your brand awareness. If you are just launching a brand and have an allocated budget you should create multiple campaigns with various demographics that resonate with your product or service. This will allow you to identify the correct demographic to scale up your advertising budget, resulting in the best chance of making conversions.
How Do I Measure Brand Awareness With Clear KPI’s?
Unfortunately Brand Awareness and measurable KPI’s don’t always go hand in hand. The main goal for Brand Awareness is for potential customers to be able to recognize your brand for the long term. Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola is a great example. Through repetition and constant presence in the market customers choose a side when it comes to Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola. Do they know exactly which advertisement made them make the decision? The answer is no, but they choose a side and become loyal to a brand. This is the ultimate goal for acquisition of customers for long term sustainability.
Measuring Brand Awareness Through Conversation:
An important question to ask yourself is: do people know your brand in conversation?
If you bring up your product or service in conversation and it is immediately recognized that means you have great brand awareness. People know your brand and don’t need a visual aid.
If you are speaking with your target demographic and they don’t recognize the product or service, that is an indication that you need more presence in your market and an increase in advertising to promote your brand.
Measuring Brand Awareness Through Social Media Platforms:
Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, are great ways to get insight on the growth of your brand awareness.
Look for an increase in the following: Engagement, Follows, Likes, Comments, Shares and Hashtags.
An increase in the above means not only are people viewing your product or service, but they are resonating with it. If someone is sharing your content, they are advertising for you! They like what you are doing so much that they want to share it with their own following. This is a good measurement for where your brand awareness is.
The Focus For Brand Awareness Advertising
When marketing to increase brand awareness it’s important to know what to focus on. The best way to first introduce your brand is counter-intuitive; You’ll want to omit a call to action. You don’t want to tell your audience to make a purchase before they know who you are. Call to Action is defined as – a piece of content intended to induce a viewer, reader, or listener to perform a specific act, typically taking the form of an instruction or directive. To build brand awareness it’s important to promote your business as a whole. Avoid copy offering an incentive or only highlighting an individual product in your product line (this will come in Phase 2 of your marketing strategy). First we need to introduce our brand and build confidence with our target audience.
The Big 3 For Brand Awareness
1. COMPANY LOGO
Your brand logo is a defining characteristic of your company. It should be prominent in all marketing efforts to increase brand awareness. If you provide multiple services or products, your logo creates unity. This helps your audience to identify your brand outside of the digital marketing space and in the real world.
A company slogan goes hand in hand with your logo. It is the second part that emphasises your brand’s focus and values. An example would be the Nike slogan “Just Do It.” Nike’s vision is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Its mission statement is to “do everything possible to expand human potential.” The slogan of “Just Do It” ties together core values in a quick and catchy way to resonate with their audience.
3. CORE VALUES
Focusing on your company’s core values is a great way to build brand awareness and confidence in the consumer. When marketing to increase brand awareness it is important to identify your company’s core values, have them structured in your brand guidelines and implemented in marketing campaigns. Before telling your audience to “BUY NOW,” inform them who you are, what you represent, and how you operate. Promoting your company’s core values is a top way to increase customer loyalty.
Increasing Brand Awareness Requires A Consistent Presence In Your Market
The last point to mention when increasing a company’s brand awareness is repetition. To increase your brand awareness it will require a consistent presence on your marketing platforms. If you are expecting to see a dramatic increase in brand awareness after a one month campaign, you will be disappointed. The most essential part of brand awareness is repetition. If you have a marketing budget for the year, a certain percent should be strictly for brand awareness. If you are a new company entering a competitive space, you will need to give more allocation to brand awareness campaigns. Investing in brand awareness campaigns leads to loyal customers and free advertising over time through word of mouth, reviews, and other forms of content sharing. It allows your product to be more identifiable on a shelf next to your competitors, increasing your chance of a conversion. With strong brand awareness, you will have more conversions when expanding your marketing campaigns to promote incentives through a call to action such as “15% off sale” or “Limited Time – Buy 1 Get 1 Free”. The increase is due to the consumer already identifying with your brand and its values. The incentive now works as “icing on the cake.” The consumer already has been introduced to your brand and can now take advantage of a special.
To learn more about working with our marketing agency to build brand awareness. Call (310) 456-1784 or inquire online and a Marketing Account Executive will be in touch!
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