7 Simple Ways to Build Brand Awareness
By definition I think Brand Awareness is the degree to which a customer or potential customer can correctly associate a company with a specific product or service. Creating brand awareness is the foundation of any successful marketing program.
When you think of a brand you think of two things: 1. Prediction of what to expect and 2. Emotional power of that expectation. Period. It’s that simple.
You can draw parallels from well known and respected companies both large and small – locally, regionally, nationally and globally. The one thing they have in common is that their brands have evolved over time by being consistent and true to themselves.
To often I’ve been asked to augment brand awareness from small business but they want to go from relative obscurity to great awareness overnight and skip all the steps in between. Loyalty, trust and the riches that come with it is something that is earned over time. I like to tell business owners that increasing the value of your brand is one of the best ways to combat competition from the internet where many competitors emerge and battle long established businesses by simply throwing lots of money at a virtual presence. We see this all the time in Retail, Service and in the Hospitality sectors.
Here are some simple tips to help build your brand. Many of these you can actually only accomplished on your own and some you may need to solicit help if you don’t have the resources to tackle on your own.
1. Provide Truly Exceptional Customer Service
Seems obvious, treat your customers or clients well and they’ll keep coming back and tell their friends to do the same. Testimonials about exceptional customer service are one of the single most powerful tools you as a business owner have to both keep and attract new business. Make this a priority.
2. Be Consistent with Your Look
Be as consistent as possible with all aspects of your brand including your overall look and feel. Some things may seem obvious to you, but your audience can be easily confused. If your brand has evolved over time and you are using a hodge podge of looks and messages in your daily course of business it may be working against you. Consistency is a key ingredient to being dependable and building a reliable experience. That stability helps form stronger connections with your clients and customers, which in turn raises awareness. I include this in your list because it is something that is relatively easy to fix and will provide benefits to your brand immediately.
Be real. Remind your customers that there are actual people behind your brand who work there and share your passion for your brand. Trash the corporate speak and be as real as possible. Don’t give your audience less credit than they deserve because they can sniff out a scam a mile away and are now empowered more than ever before and so are their friends. Your customers REMEMBER when they are treated with respect and dignity and being genuine in every way goes far in building those relationships.
While powerful, the web isn’t the only thing that drives your business and builds equity in your brand. Having seminars, workshops, industry experts, shows, educational events, cooking classes, tastings, sponsorships or partnerships with complimentary businesses not only educates your audience, it inspires and educates and they will associate that experience with your brand. The events don’t have to be grandiose and they will also give you topics to promote on your website and social channels that are not a direct “self-serving” solicitation.
5. Who’s Your Buddy?
Finding complimentary partners is a really effective way to build your brand and I’m genuinely surprised why it’s not used more. Every business has partners that they rely on for a variety of things or business they use personally whom they admire. It’s a super effective way to introduce your business to a much broader audience that you’ve probably not touched before and spread the tasks of promoting one another. Look for opportunities to Co-Brand your business in your local community first and spread outward depending upon the scope of your business.
Today it’s a given that most all business entities have a presence on social media. But being somewhere and doing something useful are two totally different things. Using your presence on Social Media wisely to help build your brand is key to success. Let your staff directly involved with your customers manage your social accounts so they can see first hand the issues they face and be more responsive to their requests and comments. Depending on your business you can both offer another exceptional element to your customer service and humanize your company at the same time. Let’s face it, at its most basic level business is nothing more than a series of relationships. Letting your audience have a closer look at your brand and interact goes a long way to developing a more personal experience. Consider the 70/20/10 rule on social media. It states that you should spend 70% of your time adding value and brand building with your posts, sharing posts and ideas of others 20% of the time and promoting you or your business only 10% of the time.
7. Behind Closed Doors (BCD)
Give your clients a look behind your closed doors of your business to show them how your company both works and plays. There’s lots of value in BCD content. It humanizes your business, shows you know how to have fun, establishes common ground with your audience, shows you know how to have fun and you do sometimes make mistakes. To build real relationships this kind of content is really important.
If you want to discuss any of these tactics to increase your brand awareness give Imagica a call at (941) 350-9064 for a simple, honest assessment. We look forward to hearing from you.