Marketing 101: Brand Awareness
From pouring your Kelloggs in the morning to lacing up your Nikes for a run to driving your Toyota while listening to your favorite Pandora station, brands are ever-present in our life. Seriously, try and think of one product that you use on a daily basis that isn’t specifically branded.
In fact, over the years brands have become a point of contention for some people. Think about it, we can all name a friend or two who are die-hard “brand slaves”. The folks who are all things apple and have to have their tv, phone, laptop, and even watch all correlate to the same brand. Or those who choose to split hairs over the trucks they drive and would “never be caught dead in a Ford”. No matter your position in life, brands have a major influence on your day-to-day decisions and choices. Especially when it comes to your buying power as a consumer.
What is Brand Awareness?
So we are all “aware” of brands and their constant impact on our lives, but what does brand awareness mean to you and your company? Well to keep things short and sweet, Investopedia defines brand awareness as: “Brand awareness is a marketing term that describes the degree of consumer recognition of a product by its name.” While I do think that definition sums up the concept of brand awareness, there is one glaring mistake. “Name”. Gone are the days of “namewashing” marketing and now brands all over the world are recognizable by their colors, logos, or style/font alone. For example, if you saw a checkmark on a blank white shirt your first thought is Nike. Additionally, I could pick out Tide laundry detergent off of a shelf from three miles away due to their distinct, and copyrighted, bright orange and dark blue branding.
Okay, that’s easy enough right? While Brand Awareness is a simple concept in and of itself, there is a multitude of ways to build your brand, some more creative than others. Just like my pops likes to constantly remind me, not all whiskey is bourbon, but all bourbon is whiskey. The same can be said for brand awareness, not all of your brand awareness is derived from your marketing, but all of your marketing efforts make up your brand.
How To Build Brand Awareness
Now that we’ve got the philosophy behind us, how do we get our hands dirty and start building brand awareness? Well, unfortunately, I not only have a character limit, but also my boss would kill me if I gave away all the marketing secrets on the first date. So let’s dip our toes, shall we? The waters’ just fine!
- Take the Time to Really Nail Your Branding
- Uhhh duh that’s why you’re reading this article… No seriously, take some time and reflect on WHO your company is WHY you do what you do. The HOW part will come with time but in order to build a successful brand you have to start with a solid foundation. Yes, I am talking about everything that is Branding 101: colors, logos, slogans, language, mascots, etc. You are not going to be the next “I can’t believe it’s not butter” or “Red Robin, YUM” but you need to establish an identity that fits YOU and YOUR brand. Everyone thinks you have to be cool or catchy or funny to drive sales, but just remember to do what fits for you, trust me it’s way better than force-feeding your customers a bunch of corniness. It is critically important to include your team members on this as when it comes to branding there is no such thing as too many cooks in the kitchen. Believe me, I have spent hours designing what I thought was a super sick advertisement just for my coworkers to tell me how goofy it looked. Collaboration is key when it comes to day one branding.
- Humanize Your Brand
- While this may seem like a no-brainer, it can be difficult for companies to adopt. Your company sells to human beings, at the end of the day whether you like them or not you have to do your best to separate yourself from just another company selling products or services. Tell a story, give your brand life, create some connection between you and your customer on a more personal level. I’m not saying you have to save the whales or end world hunger but brands that attach themselves to passions will ALWAYS perform better. A great example of this is Tom’s brand shoes. I may be biased here, but those are some wacky-looking shoes. BUT their brand exploded almost overnight after launching their charitable program, donating one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. By no means do you have to launch a charity on day one, as humanizing your brand can be done in a variety of ways. Holding a luncheon for your team and posting it on social media, partnering with local companies in your area for community events, or even volunteering as a group. There are endless ways to show your customers that your company is run by real people with real passions rather than profit-driven robots.
- Get Out and Get Social
- Post everything! I mean everything. There is no such thing as bad press. One of the issues I often run into with my clients is that they don’t think what they are doing is important enough to warrant a social media post. To which I tell them, some people post every single meal they consume or just have to tell the world when they had a good bowel movement. What I’m getting at is that your customers are interested in your brand. Whether it’s an office birthday party or even just hitting happy hour with your team members, POST IT. This goes hand in hand with humanizing your brand. Additionally, this can work wonders with co-marketing efforts with other organizations in your area, hello it doubles if not triples your impressions if you are tagging other local businesses.
Build Your Brand with Arts Cube
Now I told you I wasn’t going to give everything away on the first date, but if this foundational research has tickled your fancy and you would like to learn more about building your brand, contact Arts Cube today. Actually, just contact me so I can get all the credit. I have yet to finish my Marketing 101 ebook for your viewing pleasure, but there is one thing I can offer you: a phone call. Yes, a phone call, you can do them anywhere at any time that’s the beauty of it. Let’s chat, you can pick my brain for ideas, ask me any questions about your brand, and maybe we can finally discuss your car’s extended warranty I’ve been trying to reach you about. Just kidding.