Brand development is a journey. Unfortunately, it’s one that many marketers overlook. As a result, without a defined brand awareness strategy, their business remains in the shadows, while their rivals overtake them.

How familiar are people with your brand? Do they know what you have to offer or are you another unmemorable clone in the overcrowded online playing field?

A brand awareness strategy is a crucial element of successful marketing in 2020. It has the potential to transform your business from a complete unknown to an established market leader. Conversely, a laissez-faire attitude to promoting your brand will only serve to hamper your growth and success.

And without brand awareness, you can’t ever hope to achieve brand recognition.

Which makes us wonder:

What’s the difference between brand awareness and brand recognition? And why is either one important?

In this article, we’ll explore these nuances, and give you the brand awareness strategy tips you need to plant your company firmly in the minds of the people you’re trying to reach.

What is Brand Awareness?

Brand awareness is the level of familiarity your target audience has with your brand, and the knowledge they have of your business, your products, and your values. For example, when you hear “Apple”, you think of cutting-edge tech gadgets and slick advertising. The value of brand awareness is most apparent in the early stages of a new business venture, as you need to spread the word about your company, and its products or services.

What Is a Brand Awareness Strategy?

A brand awareness strategy is a marketing plan or tactic that aims to help a business spread its brand message, grow its audience, and ultimately, establish greater brand recognition in its target market.

A successful strategy will consider several key factors, such as the needs and interests of your consumers, your existing competitors, and the products and services you offer. There are lots of ways to do this. You just need to work out the most effective strategy for your particular brand, audience, and product or service.

With a strong brand awareness strategy, you can embed your brand into people’s lives, influencing their purchasing habits and online interactions so that they become loyal to your brand. Better yet, they help amplify your brand message, so you can achieve widespread brand recognition.

The Importance of Brand Recognition

So, what is the difference between brand awareness and brand recognition?

Brand awareness is the force that drives the entire narrative of your brand. Everything from your logo, slogan, and colors to your brand messaging and voice count here. There should be consistency and unity across all marketing channels so that you communicate with prospects in a way that resonates with them.

Over time, as you implement this brand awareness strategy, people will start to associate your brand with the products and services you provide. The pinnacle of successful brand awareness marketing is when you achieve brand recognition.

Brand recognition is when your brand becomes synonymous with the service it provides. Here are some fantastic examples of brand recognition:

  • “Do you have any Tupperware for my leftover pizza?”
  • “I’ve cut my finger on the lid, pass me a Kleenex
  • “Okay, it’s pretty bad, do you have a Band-Aid?”
  • “I think I’m going to faint, Google the nearest doctor’s surgery.”
  • “It’s an emergency, call an Uber!”

You get the picture.

Research into search engine marketing indicates that 82% of people will opt for a brand they are familiar with, even if that brand is ranked lower in the search engine results page.

Initially, a brand awareness strategy is all about making the best first impression on potential new customers. As people become more familiar with your business, brand recognition settles in and begins to breed trust.

Without that trust, you will never make sales, which means your company will struggle to grow or even turn a profit. However, with brand recognition as a long-term goal, your business stands to gain a lot along the way, as there are some excellent benefits of running a brand awareness campaign.

Source: Unsplash

5 Undeniable Benefits of a Brand Awareness Campaign

  • 1. Increases Customer Recognition
  • 2. Fosters Customer Loyalty
  • 3. Guides Your Brand Voice
  • 4. Stirs Up Excitement for New Products
  • 5. Attracts New Talent

So, just what can a strong brand awareness campaign achieve? Yes, we know brand recognition is the ultimate goal, but what will that really do for your business?

Let’s take a closer look.

1. Increases Customer Recognition

In the midst of all the competition, having unmistakable colors or typography that immediately triggers an impulse in people is an incredible advantage. People gravitate towards the familiar, and good brand awareness strategy will help you forge that connection with your target audience.

2. Fosters Customer Loyalty

When consumers start recognizing your brand, and become acquainted with your products or services, they’ll soon begin following you. More people will begin to view you as a credible, professional business. Better yet, they will spend more.

A well-conceived brand awareness strategy fosters customer loyalty, and that helps your brand build a large, active customer base that makes your company more sustainable in the long-term.

3. Guides Your Brand Voice

Establishing your brand voice takes time as you need to get several key elements in place, such as:

  • Company philosophy
  • Logo and colors
  • Typography
  • Website

After you have everything set, brand recognition can happen, and then all marketing decisions will be easier to make going forward.

4. Stirs Up Excitement for New Products

If Tony the Tiger appears on the screen, people tend to perk up as they know the brand already. That makes it easier for Kellogg’s to launch a new twist on their beloved Frosties cereal. When you have a strategy that plays to your strengths, you can connect with more people, creating warm leads ahead of major product launches.

5. Attracts New Talent

Brand awareness doesn’t just make waves with potential customers – it can also help you gain valuable new employees. A business that does brand marketing really well will soon be noticed by people in the industry, so you can turn the heads of graphic designers, web developers, brand strategists, and social media marketers.

These people will want to work with a brand at the top of its game, and so the better your strategy is, the more success you will have in attracting creative power to your team.

9 Brand Awareness Strategy Ideas for Small Businesses

  • #1: Partner with Other Known Brands
  • #2: Use Referrals
  • #3: Launch Your Service as a Closed Beta Version
  • #4: Align Your Value Proposition With the Customers’ Needs
  • #5: Engage More People With Video Content
  • #6: Offer a Freemium Service
  • #7: Harness Social Proof to Persuade More People
  • #8: Follow-Up with Remarketing
  • #9: Narrow Your Focus with Account-Based Marketing

So, now that you understand why you should have a strategy, it’s time you learned how it’s done. It is pretty daunting in the current digital landscape. The sheer range of tools and channels available to marketers today can make it feel like you are walking into a labyrinth. It can be hard to know if your efforts are taking you closer to your goals at all.

Thankfully, we can learn from the successes of others. In the examples below, we’ll explore nine marketing hacks that these companies have already used to turbocharge their brand awareness strategy in the recent past.

#1: Partner with Other Known Brands

The Japanese clothing company Uniqlo doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed. In an effort to spread, they began sponsoring free admissions to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

By doing this, the company pushes its brand name to a new audience and generates a buzz around their company. This will soon come back to them as it will pique the curiosity of more people through word-of-mouth marketing.

Key Takeaway

Aligning yourself with a respected brand or business will help you inherit the image and reputation of that brand. The long-term effect is that, the more brand awareness campaigns you run, the more brand advocates you gain from outside your normal target demographic.

Marketing Tool Tip

BuzzSumo allows you to analyze popular content, so you can see what type of content your target audience likes and shares the most. You can use this to find engaging brands and hot topics.

#2: Use Referrals

We’re sure you’ve heard of Dropbox. The free sharing and storage service is massively popular, and one of the reasons for that is their use of referrals. The company made it easy for their users to refer the service to friends via email or social media.

The incentive here was that you would get more space for every sign-up that you helped Dropbox acquire. Marketing guru, Neil Patel reports that this strategy led to a 60% surge in sign-ups.

Key Takeaway

Think about how your products can leverage self-promotion. What would your existing customers want in return for referring their friends?

Marketing Tool Tip

InviteBox helps you spread brand awareness by adding referral boxes on your website.

#3: Launch Your Service as a Closed Beta Version

OptinMonster research found that more than 60% of millennials make reactive purchases because of the fear of missing out (FOMO).

So, how can this help your brand build greater awareness and brand recognition?

Well, you could take a leaf out of Evernote’s book. The collaborative notebook app launched a beta version for a few months, encouraging people to send invitations if they wanted access to this new service. The campaign worked, bringing over 120,000 sign-ups within a few months.

Key Takeaway

Sometimes exclusivity is the best way of inciting interest with brand awareness campaigns. People want to feel special, and nobody likes the idea of missing out. By making sharing mandatory before access is granted, products and services gain a higher perceived value. Furthermore, this spreads it at zero cost.

Marketing Tool Tip

Beta Testing allows you to test the waters and collect user data before scaling your product.

#4: Align Your Value Proposition With the Customers’ Needs

Today, personalization is paramount. It all starts with great audience personas, which give you a clear picture of what it is that your customers actually want and need. By drilling down to find what is truly valuable to the people you are trying to serve, you can align your brand messaging so that all your brand awareness strategy efforts are unified with the customers’ pain points in mind.

Major brands like Amazon and Netflix have nailed personalization to offer customers a tailored service, which caters directly to their desires. This generates a fantastic return, driving more sales.

Key Takeaway

Adopt a customer-centric approach with your strategy, and you will soon become a recognized solution for the problems of your target audience.

Marketing Tool Tip

EngageBay allows you to segment your audience and create personalized email sequences that speak directly to the needs of each customer.

#5: Engage More People With Video Content

It’s not easy to stand out from the sea of competition. Video marketing is on the rise because it is more captivating, and it allows companies a platform to interact and engage with customers in ways that text or images simply can’t do. Research shows that putting a video on your landing page can boost conversions by as much as 80%.

Key Takeaway

Get on the video trend this year to boost audience engagement. People want to watch videos, so you’re losing out if you refuse to embrace this channel.

Marketing Tool Tip

Google Analytics can be used to track page views and video interactions.

#6: Offer a Freemium Service

Over the past few years, the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry has skyrocketed. By 2020, more than 70% of companies expect all their apps to be in the cloud.

Many brands in this space have been able to build brand awareness through the use of a freemium service. By offering a free-forever, restricted version of their product, companies have got their brand name out there.

Slack did this to great effect, and the free service stoked the fires enough to convince many consumers to eventually buy the full premium service. In fact, the strategy worked so well that Slack achieved 30% conversion rates on its freemium users.

Key Takeaway

Offer a freemium product or service to show people your company is willing to give something valuable and useful away for nothing. People will talk about it, and brand awareness will grow.

Marketing Tool Tip

Sprout Social can be used to monitor audience engagement and interest on your social media channels. These insights will be crucial in setting up the perfect freemium offer.

#7: Harness Social Proof to Persuade More People

Most consumers trust the opinions of friends and family members, and actively consult them prior to making a purchase. People care about the experiences and opinions of others and place more value on those than they do on the word of a company. Therefore, when you see positive reviews on a website, it influences your decisions.

Yelp is a popular recommendation site where users can glean insights from the experiences and opinions of others for all sorts of things, from restaurants and shopping to nightlife and entertainment. The brand took humanization to a new level by allowing users to create their own profiles. This put a face to the names, and nurtured a community, making reviews even more trustworthy.

Key Takeaway

Strive to make the user experience on your site more personal. During your campaign, if you can create a community around your brand, it will drive trust and loyalty, which are key prerequisites for brand recognition.

Marketing Tool Tip

Taggstar claims to boost conversion rates by 12% purely by using their tools to leverage social proof on your website.

#8: Follow-Up with Remarketing

Do you know how online advertising and marketing work?

There are a lot of newcomers to the game that believe it goes something like this:

  1. A consumer needs a certain product or service.
  2. They search for solutions online, evaluating the available choices.
  3. They make a decision to buy from one brand and eventually convert on that website.

In truth, it’s rarely as direct as this. The customer journey involves quite a few steps, making it a little more like this:

  1. A consumer needs a certain product or service.
  2. They search for solutions online, evaluating the available choices.
  3. They hesitate and decide against taking any action.
  4. They continue to research their options. They start to narrow things down, focusing on a few options that they trust or gravitate towards for some reason.
  5. Finally, they revert to the brand they favor most before converting.

Many companies miss out on the fact that the majority of consumers hesitate. As little as 2% of people are prepared to buy on their first visit to a website.

If you can follow up with people after they express some interest, you can maximize your conversion rates. When you collect more user data, you can refine the accuracy of your retargeting ads, making it more likely that you will seal the deal with people after they leave your website.

Key Takeaway

People need time to make a decision, and that can involve several visits to the same site. When visitors leave your site, the sale is not dead. It all depends on how you follow up.

Marketing Tool Tip

Google Ads is all about targeting a specific audience, narrowing your focus to increase brand awareness on certain devices or locations.

#9: Narrow Your Focus with Account-Based Marketing

The case for aligning your sales and marketing departments is overwhelming, as it can deliver a nice 209% growth in revenue. Not too shabby. Account-based marketing seeks to coordinate the activities of these two teams so that you can drive tangible results in a more efficient, cost-effective way.

Kristen Wendel led an ABM charge for Version One, helping them spread brand awareness and engage more customers, eventually converting 20% of their top accounts.

Key Takeaway

Focus on account-based marketing to get a better return on investment (ROI), as your most promising leads often lead to the biggest profits.

Marketing Tool Tip

Leadfeeder shows you what companies visit your website. You can turn your attention to the leads that may reap big rewards.

Pro tip: Use a tool like Rebrandly URL Shortener to shorten and brand the links you create and share online. Using branded links will improve your brand visibility and at the same time turn your links into a promotion for your brand.

Brand Awareness Campaigns: The Fast and Smart Way to Build a Global Audience

As you can see, there is no shortage of marketing technology to help a brand build the awareness and recognition they need to establish a sustainable customer base. The trouble is, even the most motivated marketers can feel overwhelmed by all the apps, tools, and tricks they need to learn.

Wouldn’t it be much easier to just have one centralized platform that incorporated everything you need? Imagine how easy your campaign would be to manage then.

Well, luckily, such platforms exist. In an era when customer relationships matter more than ever before, a unified CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform is an increasingly attractive option.

Here’s how an all-in-one platform can help you ramp up your brand awareness strategy.

It Streamlines Operations

Gathering consumer data and information about your target audience is much easier when it’s all organized together. Rather than using several analytics tools for content, social media, and search performance, you can bring everything into one CRM. This makes it more convenient to analyze and take action on data, as everything is instantly available.

It Enhances Communication

Remember we said personalization matters? Well, when your customers contact your business, they’ll appreciate it when your employees can pick up where they left off. For every lead, a cloud CRM platform will give you a holistic view of:

  • Their customer journey
  • Their previous interactions with your brand
  • Their personal interests

This will make it easier to tailor your messaging and remarketing throughout your campaign. As word spread about your great service, so too will trust in your brand.

It Saves Time Through Automation

Marketing automation is a big aspect of a unified platform. You can use it to put tedious tasks on autopilot, saving your resources for more important things. Better yet, automation can help your email marketing efforts, making segmentation easier and more effective.

It Improves Data Analysis and Reporting

Data is not to be ignored nowadays. Instead of wasting time and money with guesswork, you can draw valuable insights from data to guide your marketing. A CRM platform makes this even easier, as you can glean quick insights from data visualizations on your dashboard.

Source: Pexels

A Strong Brand Awareness Strategy Makes Your Business Unforgettable

A brand awareness strategy gives your team the blueprint to build your business on multiple channels. From social media to email, mobile to video, your brand voice needs to be consistent and compelling. As you establish that voice on a wider scale, you will reach a broader audience, and have a chance to win their trust.

For that reason, branding cannot be an afterthought. Your marketing team needs to devise a clear and coherent brand awareness strategy that will guide every campaign towards the ultimate goal:

Brand recognition. 

Once you have that, you’ll be unstoppable.