Has anyone heard of you? Your mom doesn't count.
WHAT IS BRAND AWARENESS?
Brand awareness is a measure of how well your audience knows you exist. Your own team may be so gung-ho about your brand that it's basically a cult, but when you venture into the overgrown jungle of the internet, does anyone know who you are?
Brand awareness is fundamentally important in marketing your company, as well as its products and services. If your audience isn't even aware of you, you can't come to mind when they need the solution you provide.
Certain brands have dominated the global consciousness to the point that nobody could see their logo and not know who they are — think two golden arches, a piece of fruit with a bite taken out of it, or a green mermaid. These are companies that have managed not only to achieve incredible brand awareness, but have leveraged the power of their brand to achieve global domination (or something close.)
Why is brand awareness important?
Despite being an intangible asset, brand awareness adds very real value to your company. Brand awareness is important for a few reasons:
- Brand awareness creates trust.
When you have built a reputation and set a certain level of quality with your products or services, your brand will become associated with that quality in your audience's mind. Customers are more likely to return to brands that they trust, so a strong brand can work to reinforce that positive connection.
- Brand awareness can outperform other metrics.
Often, people just go with what they know. Even if a competitor has a better product than you, if your audience is more familiar with your brand, they may opt for the known quantity over the unknown.
- Good brand awareness will work for you.
Ever seen people flock to a viral brand? People want to be associated with brands they love, and those loyal fans can become a powerful marketing medium — and one that won't cost you anything.
How do you build brand awareness?
Let's say you run a business called Cakes for Canines. Even though you have minimal brand awareness today, fear not! The future is bright. It's never too late (or too early) to start building brand awareness. Here are a few steps:
Define your brand.
Your brand is more than the product or service you sell. In addition to letting people know what Cakes for Canines does, what is its backstory? What does Cakes for Canines stand for (besides dog treats for all)? Give potential customers something to relate to and identify with — a reason to want to support your brand.
Take advantage of free marketing opportunities.
Give out your dog desserts for free at local events. Put a sign in the back window of your car. Use social media. Make t-shirts and force your whole family to wear them to a sports game. Heck, put a t-shirt on your dog when you take them to the park. There are plenty of creative ways to get your brand out there and start building a presence. From there, you can leverage formal marketing tactics and word-of-mouth to keep growing.
Ask for referrals and work with other businesses to do this.
Working together with other businesses via partnerships is a great way to build a clientele base and brand awareness at the same time. Find businesses that align with your own in some way, and work together to build awareness for one another. With Cakes for Canines, this might be a local pet store, a dog apparel brand, or another business that shares the demographic of people that love their dogs.
How do you measure brand awareness?
Brand awareness is slightly more nebulous than other types of marketing. There are a few useful metrics that can help you get on your way.
- Direct Traffic. This tells you how many people showed up to your website without being referred there (i.e. they typed in the URL). Since they had to know you exist already, it's a great way to measure awareness.
- Survey Results. Surveying your target demographic can help you understand how well people know who you are, as well as what they think of you.
- Social Listening. See how often your brand gets shared, tagged, followed, etc. on the different platforms that you use.
While it's not totally straightforward, brand awareness isn't rocket science either. These are just a few definitive ways that you can help understand your level of brand awareness.
What is a brand awareness strategy?
Now that you know the types of tactics are available and how you can measure them, it's time to build out a brand awareness strategy:
- Decide what tactics you want to use.
- Determine how you will measure the success of those tactics.
- Conduct a review of your strategy and its results.
It's simple enough to get started on brand awareness. Before you know it, and with the right moves, Cakes for Canines might be the next iconic global brand. Because if there is one thing that we can agree on globally, it's being the person that our animal thinks we are.
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