It might sound like just another marketing term, but brand awareness is central to the success of any business. And, unlike some of the trickier terminology, it’s easy to understand. Brand awareness is simply the degree to which consumers recognise your products, services or brand itself by its name, design and personality.
We all know brands that do this type of recognition well. Nike, for example, rarely need to use their brand name in advertising or comms because we all know what the swoosh means. Even ‘just do it’, their slogan, is enough to conjure a sense of the brand. Coca-Cola had enough brand visibility to take the main logo off their bottles for the immensely successful ‘Share a coke’ campaign. Instead, shelves were filled with bottles featuring the names of friends and family in the brand’s classic swirling font.
But building such strong branding takes time and, more importantly, it takes intention. Those brands haven’t gained such recognition and international visibility through inaction. Investment, thought and a deliberate brand awareness campaign are vital.
"Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business"
- Steven Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media
Though most businesses have a brand in some form from the very beginning, shaping that brand is an ongoing process. Awareness campaigns, which might run as single long-term strategies or shorter periods of focused action, are key to making sure your brand remains appealing to your audience and remains visible in their daily lives. So, what’s the first step in creating a brand awareness campaign?
Find your audience
A simple truth which is yet to be proven wrong: untargeted campaigns are campaigns that waste money. Despite that, only 44% of marketers actually develop buyer personas before launching awareness campaigns, and research suggest that an enormous 85% of those who do aren’t using them effectively. Without question, your first step must be to map out exactly who you are trying to reach and why.
Research is essential to that process. Choosing the ideal age, gender, location, salary, disposable income, industry and more for your customer, is a common mistake. You can’t wish an audience into loving your product. Instead, dedicate resource to discovering who already purchases from you, then use the data to expand that group. Our dedicated Research & Insights team are experts in just that.
Create a personality (and share it!)
Being professional has its place, but when you’re building brand awareness, personality is far more important. Give your business a rounded voice and you’ll find it much easier to connect with customers. Make that voice unique and you’ll soon find your brand becoming more recognisable.
If your brand were a person, how would it speak? What would get it excited? How would you introduce it to a friend? That personality is vital to building visibility, particularly in digital spaces. Innocent, for example, are hugely successful in sharing their brand on Twitter because their fun, silly, creative voice is present in every post.
It’s 2021. To build recognition for your brand, you’ve got to get on social media. There’s no question. But a successful brand awareness campaign demands more than simply being present on all the major apps. You need to curate a space that showcases your brand purpose and which, vitally, your audience wants to be part of.
Over 50% of brand reputation comes from online activity like interaction on social channels. This is the space where you have some freedom to show more of your brand beyond the usual marketing collateral. To do this effectively, it’s important to interact, so comment on posts, ask your audience questions and share content that resonates with your brand. Our Social team are experts when it comes to building a social strategy which seems natural but get results – that’s the perfect way to increase your brand’s visibility.
Tell some stories
Storytelling is a powerful marketing tactic, and it has an incredible impact on brand awareness too. Sharing stories from across your business – from employees, customers and top-level execs – gives your audience something authentic to latch onto and a reason to invest their time, money and emotion in your brand.
Use editorial professionals to craft stories that showcase your brand, and you gain new opportunities to share your brand’s personality and make your position on important issues clear. Both are essential when crafting a brand awareness campaign.
Measure, measure, measure
Just as you wouldn’t launch a campaign without an audience in mind, it makes little sense to embark on such a project without measuring the results. Not only will this help justify any spend to higher-ups, it can help to pin down which activations your target audience respond to best.
Keep track of all the quantitative measures you can. Have sales improved? What about website visits? Shares or comments on social media? But don’t lose sight of the valuable, though less easily measured, signs of success too.
Set up Google alerts to see how your business is being discussed online or send out brand awareness surveys to get a sense of what potential customers already know about you. A particularly useful measure, and one that our own Research & Insights team use often, is social listening. Understanding how people discuss your brand is key to discovering how visible, well-liked and understood your brand is. For more tips on how to measure the results of your brand awareness campaign check out our blog here.
So, what does success look like for a great brand awareness campaign? It’s different for every brand, but generally a great campaign will result in customers choosing your brand over others, even if you’re not the cheapest option. It will mean people type your name into Google, rather than broad search terms. It will mean social media users seek you out and engage with your content.
Ultimately, it will mean that people know who you are and trust your brand. That can have incredible business results as consumers show overwhelming preference for high awareness brands and brand awareness, perceived quality and brand equity are closely linked. It’s an investment worth making.
Check out our blog for some great examples of brand awareness campaigns that think outside the box.
If you’re looking to launch a brand awareness campaign, why not reach out to our Campaign division today? The team provides all the services you might need, including marketing expertise, social media, design, editorial and more under one roof. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org