Brand awareness is one of the main things a business should consider, for the company itself, as well as its products or services. By definition, it is how familiar your customers, or potential customers, are with you. Your audience should be able to recognize your brand and accurately attribute it to what you provide.
Within the business world, it’s a marketing term that shows consumer recognition of a product by its name. Whether promoting new or reviving old, it’s the parts of a brand that distinguish it from others and brings it to the consumers’ attention. These qualities are what sets a product apart and make it more recognizable. Brand awareness can help customers understand what a product is as well as how to use it. Social media is a useful tool for this.
Brand Awareness in Sales
By increasing the awareness of your brand and its products or services, sales can increase as well. Even if an off-brand version of a product is cheaper, people tend to place more trust in the brands they know. Because of this trust and familiarity, your target audience is more likely to spend the extra money on your company’s product.
For instance, in the soft drink industry, when packaging is removed most products are very similar to each other. However, companies such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi use advertising and other marketing strategies to win sales. By using these techniques their brand awareness increases, which help to increase their brand sales. This high brand awareness acts as an “economic moat” by stopping competitors from gaining new customers.
The height of brand awareness is when brand names become well known household names. For example, when people ask for a Kleenex instead of a tissue or a Coke versus a cola. These are instances of a brand awareness campaign so powerful that the brand name has replaced the product’s name.
What Success Looks Like
Brand awareness is less concrete than most forms of marketing. As a result, it is often more challenging to measure or know when it’s working and you’re reaching your target audience. However, there are some methods for seeing the impact of your branding campaigns.
- Consumers know what your business is known for
- Social media users know your ad is going to be worthwhile when it pops up on their feed
- Consumers choose your brand over others, even if the competing product is cheaper
- Consumers search for your business name or specific brand-related terms
What is a “Brand”?
Before you can promote a brand, you should first understand what a brand is. How is it made, and why it is important?
A brand includes a company’s name, logo, offerings, discounts, and content all rolled into one. It is all the unique qualities that set your company, and its products, apart from others. Without a well-known brand, all the effort and money in the world spent on advertising and content, amounts to little or no value.
Therefore, it is important to build your brand and strengthen awareness. By doing so, you can increase familiarity with your consumers. And as a result, trust grows and consumers are more likely to choose your brand over another. This can create a ripple effect and other marketing techniques can become easier benefit from.
For example, it becomes less difficult to:
- Promote your brand across multiple channels
- Successfully introduce new products or services
- Build a strong reputation with your target audience
- Find and keep customers
If you follow this guide to build a strong brand, and do promotions to increase brand awareness, the base for other marketing strategies is laid. For instance, part of direct marketing is to build your target audience and generate leads. When you have a high brand awareness, this becomes easier as more people know who you are and what products or services you offer.
Brand Awareness: How is it Used?
For the most part, increased exposure through over-priced mass advertising won’t lead to higher brand awareness. Putting up billboards in every state, which costs thousands of dollars, doesn’t necessarily bring you the same visibility as a personal post on a company’s Facebook page. Brand awareness is about a deeper connection. It’s about not just knowing what a company is or does, but how it can help you to best solve your current problem.
Some of the best, and most effective, ways to carry out a brand awareness campaign are much simpler than expected.
- Create a custom hashtag on Instagram
- Participate in or sponsor local events
- Post regularly from your brand page
- Run display ads on Google Display Network
In reality, brand awareness campaigns aren’t about how much money you spend, but how much thought is put into the advertisement. However, all of these methods start from three important characteristics in their execution.
- Eye-catching visuals
- Advertising in the right places (targeting)
- Developing a distinct voice
These characteristics are key to the success of a brand awareness campaign. There are multiple ways to go about it but it’s important to remember these three point, no matter which method of advertising is chosen.
The Power of Social Media
In 2019, it was found that the average person spends 38 minutes per day on Facebook, 26 minutes per day on Snapchat, and 27 minutes per day on Instagram. A lot of brand awareness promoting is done on these platforms as a result. Consumers can create new forms of promotion through their discussions. They are able to debate what products or services they like, or don’t like, and why.
Examples of brand awareness strategies using these platforms include targeted ads on Facebook or Instagram. These are the most common as they create a higher response rate with Millennial and Gen Z audiences. The most productive brands provide a link in certain posts, or on the company’s social media page, so consumers can easily connect to the company website.
Important Considerations to Remember
When using social media in your campaign it is very important to respond to negative reviews and present a real-time solution. People don’t want to hear that you may be sorry for an inconvenience. They want to know how you’re going to fix it. It reflects poorly on a company when they can’t, or won’t, do either, and can leave your potential customers with a bad taste in their mouth. It is important that you and your consumers not only view, but interact with each other through social media content. Brand awareness can increase in the best way through this mutual communication.
Though print media, such as newspapers or magazines, don’t have the power they once did, they’re still useful in increasing your company’s brand awareness. Strategically placing ads in targeted sections of a newspaper can grab attention. Specialized publications act in the same manner. This attention then provides, and increases, brand awareness.
For example, a finance company may be trading on the forex (FX). Therefore, they advertise in a finance magazine that deals with global trade and currencies. This can then increase brand awareness among possible investors. However, if the advertisement is placed in a Home Goods magazine, it is less likely to reach consumers who will be more receptive to it.
This type of brand awareness campaign usually involves advertising inside specific stores. In-store advertisements give consumers the opportunity to impulse buy products. For instance, if a company is marketing a new candy bar they’ll want to distribute it at point-of-sale (POS) locations, which can result in brand awareness.
Advertising at certain events can also help to increase your brand awareness. This includes charitable events, sporting events, or fundraisers. When you use your company name or logo during these types of gatherings it can increase your brand awareness.
For example, a health insurance company may provide free company-branded health packets at a charity marathon. As a result, consumers may now associate that brand with an act of goodwill. This then provides a community feeling and not only does the company’s image benefit, but their brand awareness increases as well.
Brand Awareness: How Does it Apply to My Business?
Brand awareness applies to your business as it is part of the foundation for growing your customer-base. It works to cast a wide net, reaching many individuals while nurturing those most interested. This helps to not only grow your audience, but to generate new leads as well.
By consistently reminding the public of your brand it keeps you in the mind of your targeted audience. This works in your favor as people are more familiar and comfortable with brands they know, leading them to choose you over your competitors more often.
Furthermore, by putting your name out there and making your business known, website traffic is more likely to increase as well. When your brand and what services it offers are well known, both are more likely to be intentionally searched on Google, rather than stumbled on accidentally.
Also, using this method helps your company build its brand affinity. Brand affinity is when consumers believe that a particular brand shares the same values as them. This is a deeper emotional connection between customer and brand. This mutual relationship benefits a brand by winning consumer loyalty, and often for long lengths of time.
Direct Marketing vs Brand Awareness
Direct marketing and brand awareness are very similar, and you can’t have one without the other. However, they are also very different, and whichever tactic you choose should be driven by the company’s end goal. There are three key differences between the two that will be further explained below:
- Action vs long-term
Direct Marketing: Action-Based Marketing
This is an action style of marketing. Direct marketing draws out an immediate response from a customer by presenting a follow-up action. For example, an email that has a “buy now” option or a “click here” link would be a form of an action-based marketing campaign. Through various techniques, direct marketing has a desired result in accordance with the company’s goals.
Brand Awareness: Long-Term Marketing
Brand awareness is less about an immediate response or actual sale, and more about building the relationship between customer and brand. It is the goal of long-term rather than instantaneous success in advertisement and marketing. Consequently, with patience and time, its tactics enable a company to build up both the image and value of a brand.
Furthermore, brand awareness is about creating “top-of-mind” awareness within your customer base. This can create an instant mental connection in your consumers’ minds between a product or service and your brand.
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Measuring Direct Marketing vs Measuring Brand Awareness
Both direct marketing and brand awareness are measurable in their own way. However, the actual measuring differs depending on which technique is being used.
Direct Marketing: Measurable
As a result of its straightforward techniques, direct marketing is clearly measurable. For example, you can count the open rate on an email, or the number of consumers who clicked a specific link or bought a particular product. This gives direct marketing a very A+B=C feel, which can be beneficial depending on a company’s goal.
Additionally, direct marketing measures all the steps involved in gaining those turnovers for your company. This includes how much it cost to gain your consumers’ attention in the first place, to get a click, and then to turn that attention into an order. Anything clickable or measurable falls within the world of direct marketing. Whether it be Google, Facebook, or YouTube Ads, webinars, email marketing, or a website.
Brand Awareness: Less Measurable
Brand awareness is about patience and consistency. It should not expect any immediate action or an instant turnover. However, it is helpful for future sales and having repeat customers. It builds your reputation as a company and demonstrates a sense of community by increasing both awareness and engagement. In other words, brand awareness assesses the relationship between companies and consumers, instead of numbers. For instance, a Facebook post about tips to saving money that shows the interactions in the comment section. This shows a mutual relationship and is one way to measure brand awareness with your audience.
Goal Differentiation in Direct Marketing and Brand Awareness
Direct Marketing: Buying and Selling
As a result of providing immediate follow-up actions, direct marketing has a clear goal of helping customers buy a product. In other words, its ultimate goal is to make a sale. This is achieved through many different tactics and techniques that work to generate demand and increase sales for a company. A direct marketing campaign also has a sense of urgency and importance which further helps to increase the amount and consistency of sales.
Brand Awareness: Choosing
On a different side of the marketing coin, brand awareness and its goal is to help consumers recognize a product or service, not necessarily buy it. It comes down to the company’s culture and can be as small as how a representative answers the phone. Brand awareness is about connecting with your audience at a different level, which then helps them choose what products might best suits their needs.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is the relationship between a company and its consumers. It’s how familiar they are with a brand, including what products or services they offer. It’s important that a brand sets itself apart, creates an idea of quality that distinguish it from others in the field. This can gain consumer attention, earning your company a level of brand awareness.
Sales can increase because people tend to trust the brands they know versus ones they don’t. When given the choice between a familiar brand and an unknown one, people tend to go for the ones they know. This holds true even when the competitor’s offer may be cheaper. An “economic moat” is then created, preventing competitors from succeeding in the market themselves. When a brand becomes prominent enough it can even become a household name, effectively replacing its generic term in people’s minds.
How do You Use Brand Awareness?
With brand awareness, the more personal it is the deeper the connection it builds. It’s important that such campaigns contain three things: eye-catching visuals, advertisements in the right places (targeting), and a distinct brand voice.
Social media is where some of the most energy should be focused to create brand awareness. This is due to its accessibility, as well as versatility. Consumers are able to create awareness through discussions and participating in debates on different products. However, it is important when dealing with social media, that you quickly address any complaints and provide real-time solutions.
Other options exist for brand awareness campaigns such as: print media, physical locations, and event sponsorship. Print media includes newspapers or magazines and involves placing targeted advertisements. Physical locations usually involve in-store advertising, allowing for consumer impulse buys. Event sponsorship includes charitable events, sporting events, or fundraisers and works to increase a brand’s visibility.
How Does Brand Awareness Apply to My Business?
For any company that uses it, brand awareness can benefit both company and consumers. As a business, it helps increase the number of customers that know your brand, while nurturing those who are most interested. It also works to bring in new customers by generating leads.
As a marketing strategy, it keeps your company’s brand top-of-mind for consumers. This leads to familiarity and trust, making them more likely to choose you instead of a competitor. Additionally, your company’s website traffic can increase due to more people intentionally searching for your brand or company on Google.
How do Direct Marketing and Brand Awareness Differ?
Direct marketing and brand awareness, though similar, have three key differences in how they work. The first is the nature of how they operate. Direct marketing is an action-based type of marketing that wants an immediate response by presenting follow-up actions. In contrast, brand awareness is playing the long game; it involves building a relationship with your consumers, requiring both patience and time.
Secondly is measurability, which is very different between the two. Direct marketing is clearly measurable and has a very A+B=C feel to it. Brand awareness is more about assessing the relationship between your brand and your consumers and is not as easily calculable.
Third and last, the goals of the two marketing techniques greatly differ. Direct marketing is about helping consumers make a purchase, whereas brand awareness helps customers choose what to buy.
Which tactic is chosen depends on the goals of the company and the campaign. It’s best to figure out what your wishes are as a company before settling on a chosen method.
For more information on brand awareness, and how to implement it into your marketing campaign, please contact us here or through the form below.
Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More