Brand awareness and recognition – why is it so important?
I don’t know, why don’t you Google it. From the comfort of your jacuzzi, while you hoover the lounge.
Not quite sure how you’re meant to do those 3 things at the same time, but I think you get my point.
Brand awareness, in short, is selling you and your company, before selling a product.
The more you build up your authority and recognition through a series of non-sales related marketing strategies, the more your name becomes synonymous with the product you’re selling.
It doesn’t happen overnight, and it isn’t going to bring you an immediate ROI (return on investment) but investing in your brand is invaluable and shouldn’t be overlooked in your marketing.
Think of it this way – everyone has heard of McDonald’s, but they still spend hundreds of thousands a year on their brand marketing. That’s because they recognise the importance of continual communication with their market.
No one is expecting you to fork out millions from the get go, there are simple ways you can start to increase your brand awareness and begin building that recognition.
Step One: Building Brand Recognition
If no one has heard of you, then no one is going to buy from you. Simple really.
There’s no quick way to build brand recognition, and it won’t happen overnight, but if done correctly it could be more effective than all your sales campaigns put together.
The top companies like the ones I have mentioned above have managed to make their name completely synonymous with what they’re selling. This is incredible marketing done on a massive scale, built up over decades.
But we don’t all have millions to spend on these things, and there are loads of ways to build recognition in your niche without breaking the bank.
Research the most effective social media platform for your niche and run a small campaign on there without any intention of it driving sales.
First sit down and make a list. Answer these questions before you go further:
What need or desire does my brand fulfil?
What kind of questions do consumers have that lead them to me?
Why should they choose me/my brand over others?
Once you’ve established that, your campaign should focus on answering those needs and desires.
Say, for example, your niche is selling CRM software.
You want to show first, before even mentioning products, prices or sales, that you are the company that understands this industry best. Share posts like videos about your history and longevity.
Highlight past successes and use testimonials to put yourself out there as a leading brand. Show you understand your customer’s needs.
Step Two: Establish Authority In Your Industry
So, people have started to recognise your name and attach it to CRM software. Now you need to establish your authority in the field of building CRM software. What sets you apart and how can you show you know what you are talking about.
This is the next step of your brand awareness marketing. It can be done a variety of ways but two essential things your company needs is strong email marketing, and an informative, research-driven blog.
Keep your customers up to date – send your mailing list helpful information, changing trends of thought, updates on what you’ve been developing and why your systems are top of the line. Show them that your company knows what the consumer needs and adapts to meet their needs.
A blog can be a great way to back up these email blasts and really help establish your authority in the industry.
Using our CRM company example, you could publish articles on the different types of CRM’s, useful features, the importance of a CRM to every business etc. Show you understand not only your industry but the wider understanding of where your system fits in the business world.
Displaying this level of understanding establishes trust in your brand and faith in your products. You are showing you know more than your competitors- therefore your product should be better refined.
Step Three: Becoming a Thought Leader
From establishing authority to becoming a thought leader in your field.
This is a long-term brand awareness goal.
Become the best, or the go-to in your field by demonstrating knowledge and quality above that of your competitors.
An effective technique can be marketing white papers. If you can get a case study – for example a comparison piece of your system vs. a competitor, and if that study leans in your favour; then that will speak more about your product than any sales piece.
Particularly if you can get a third party to complete a study for you as it gives the study more value than if it was coming from your company directly.
Collaboration is key! Talk to industry experts, ask them to write for you, get involved in industry discussions.
Putting yourself out there as a brand not just a product will have a bigger impact and more long-term effects.
So, there you have it. Brand awareness doesn’t happen overnight, but it should be an essential part of any marketing strategy.