Using terms like Google instead of search engine, iPhone instead of smartphone, Kleenex instead of tissue, and Starbucks instead of coffee is not a coincidence. It also isn’t something that happens overnight. These brands or products have an incredibly high level of brand awareness. So much so, in fact, that they have essentially become part of the fabric of our culture.
While every brand will not reach that level of awareness (and that is okay), striving for it is not a bad thing. It’s actually a great thing and an increasingly important thing in today’s crowded markets. There is no shortage of ecommerce brands, SaaS companies, and blogs out there. What are you doing to stand out and be memorable in the eyes of your target audience?
Brand awareness is one important piece of the puzzle, and that is what we are talking about today. Having a complete brand awareness strategy in place is a must-have. But why is it so important, how do you measure it, and most importantly, how do you increase it? We’re sharing our top tips and information on everything you need to know.
If you haven’t given brand awareness much thought, don’t worry. It’s never too late to get started. If you have focused on it before, or currently are, hopefully these tips will give you some fresh ideas for increasing your brand awareness even more.
What is Brand Awareness?
It’s important to start out with a basic understanding of just want brand awareness is. While it isn’t an incredibly difficult concept to understand, it’s good to define the term so that you understand fully what you are trying to achieve for your own brand.
We like the way that WordStream defines it, saying “Brand awareness is the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers and correctly associated with its particular product or service.”
The important part here is that a potential customer doesn’t just recognize your brand, they can also correctly associate you with your actual products or services. You’ve likely encountered at least one brand where you recognize their branding and logo, but you have no idea what they sell. All things considered, that type of brand awareness is useless.
When a potential customer is shopping around for a new product or service, if they don’t realize that your brand offers what they are looking for, it doesn’t matter that they would recognize your logo somewhere. They need to understand what you sell! That combination is brand awareness.
Importance of Brand Awareness
As you can see in the chart above, increasing brand awareness is a big priority, if not the top priority, for marketers. And like we touched on above, it’s incredibly important. Brand awareness takes a person beyond basic brand recognition and includes important information about your business like what products or services you offer, what your values are, how you treat your customers, and more.
All of this matters for a few reasons. For one, it can help to push customers further along the buyer’s journey. Once they have a true awareness of your brand you can provide them with additional information that can help them make a final decision.
Brand awareness will also help you develop things like trust, customer loyalty, brand equity, and more.
What do all of these amount to? Longevity. Like we said earlier, you need to stand out from other brands in order to attract customers. And not just customers who will shop with you once. You want customers for life. Attracting new customers costs five times more than retaining existing ones.
With a high level of brand awareness, customers will happily shop with you over and over again. At this point, there is a high amount of trust between you and the customer and an awareness of the value of your brand. These customers will also serve as some of your biggest advocates, something we will discuss in further detail later.
How to Measure Brand Awareness
As you can imagine, this is not the easiest metric to measure quantitatively. There is not some universal scale that will give your brand a rating on what level of brand awareness you have achieved. It also isn’t as easy as measuring other things such as website traffic, leads generated, or social media followers.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas to monitor that will help give you an idea of how well your brand awareness efforts are working.
Here are some key areas to focus on when measuring your overall brand awareness:
Social listening: Social media is important, and for brand awareness, look beyond standard social metrics like follows and likes. Instead, use a social listening tool like BuzzSumo to help you keep up with what is happening on social media off of your profile. Typically, the more social activity that is going on, the more brand awareness you likely have.
Survey responses: You know your brand inside and out. To get a real measure of how well your efforts are paying off, go to your customers and ask! Surveys are a great way to check in with your audience and see if they have an accurate understanding of your brand and your products or services. This can also help you determine how your customers feel about your brand as a whole.
Branded keyword results: How much traffic are your branded keywords getting? This is a great indicator of how well your audience knows about your brand and the products or services that you provide. While you want new users to discover you via search, it is also good to see if there is a solid number of intentional searches for your brand.
As with anything, we recommend setting up some goals and a realistic timeline (you aren’t going to see results overnight!) Check in with your efforts and see how you are performing. If it appears that things are not working, adjust your strategy. What works for one brand might not work for you.
As for what to actually do to increase your brand awareness? Let’s get to our top tips and suggestions!
Increasing Brand Awareness
1. Develop a strong brand voice
Having a distinct brand voice is one of the best ways to build up brand awareness over time. Your audience will come to expect this voice across all of your marketing and social materials- web push notifications, email campaigns, YouTube videos, Instagram stories, and more.
More than likely you have at least a few competitors, and chances are, their products might be just as good as yours. If that is the case (or even if it is not) your brand voice or personality can help to set you apart.
This isn’t to say that the quality of your products or services doesn’t matter. Of course it does! However, it is no longer enough to simply have the best product. By developing a strong brand voice and infusing it into your marketing, you will build up an engaged audience that enjoys your content, remembers your brand and products, and most importantly, buys them!
2. Create shareable content
Creating quality shareable content is a great way to boost brand awareness. One of the prime examples of highly shareable content is infographics. Combining practical information with eye-catching visuals, infographics are highly shared across social media and blog posts. In fact, on social media, they receive 3 times more shares than other types of content, and when featured in blog articles, those articles receive 170% more links and receive 72% more views.
By including your brand logo on your infographic, this is a great way to not only increase brand awareness but also further assert yourself as a thought leader in your industry. As people share your infographic on social or include it in their own blog posts, they are helping to spread the word about your brand and the expertise that you have on a particular subject.
3. Create strong partnerships with other brands
Similar to influencer marketing (which could certainly help as well), partnering with a brand that has a similar audience to yours is an excellent way to boost your brand awareness (and your sales, it’s a win-win).
In this case, the key here is to select a brand that doesn’t just have a similar target demographic, but also has a similar brand voice. Aligning yourself with similar brands can work wonders to boost awareness to individuals who are likely to appreciate who you are as a brand as well as the products that you have to offer.
In the above example, activewear company Popflex Active partnered with haircare company Hairitage. The goal? A ‘self-care giveaway’ that promotes the products they sell, as well as the brand voice for both companies. It is a great way to spread their brands to new audiences, especially during a time when people are spending more time in activewear and are focused on self-care more than ever.
4. Create a freemium option
This is a perfect option for all you SaaS brands out there! The key here is to offer a level of your product that gives users access to main features for free with the addition of some type of watermark. This is a fair compromise for users who get access to your software for free while you get free advertising in return.
Numerous brands have taken advantage of this freemium opportunity, including Hello Bar (as pictured above) as well as Trello, Hubspot, and others. Even if someone decides to stick with your free option indefinitely, that means you will have that marketing spot indefinitely. Another great example of a win-win situation that will earn you major brand awareness in the long run.
5. Invest in Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
Finally, don’t forget about the power of word-of-mouth marketing. We’ve talked about it before and will continue to do so because it is so powerful for a variety of reasons, including boosting brand awareness. Research shows that nearly 75% of consumers list word-of-mouth as a top influence when making a purchase.
Not only can word-of-mouth marketing help boost your sales, it will also help to improve your brand awareness as more people recommend your brand as the perfect solution for a given problem.
Isn’t that how you give most recommendations? If a friend or family member is complaining about a problem and you know of a product or service that will help them, you share the recommendation. This works wonders for businesses.
Not only is the person more likely to trust their friend or family member (92% are more trusting, in fact), they are also learning about your brand and what you offer. Even if they don’t end up giving you a try, they have developed that knowledge and could either give you a try in the future or recommend you to another person in their circle.
There are a few ways that you can nudge your customers along and encourage them to spread the word about your business. One of the most popular ways is by setting up a referral or rewards program, like the example above.
This is a simple and easy way to reward your customers for spreading the word about your business. This is especially great for new businesses but is effective for just about anyone. What this will do is help speed up the word-of-mouth process and therefore, your overall brand awareness.
Brand awareness is something that every brand should focus time and energy on. Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for decades, developing a solid brand awareness strategy is something that will absolutely pay off.
While results won’t happen overnight, and they may not be as easy to quantify, that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth your time. The improvement in your trust, brand equity, happy customers, and more is something that will set you apart from your competition and ensure you will stay in business for years to come.
Are you looking to incorporate web push notifications into your overall marketing strategy? If so, you can start today for free with Aimtell, or you can learn more by reading our Beginner’s Guide.