by David Page, Digital Marketing Consultant at Elfsight — developer of customizable & coding-free website widgets
Brand awareness and recognition are a major goal of marketing. To improve sales cycles and cash flow performance, get more loyal customers, your brand should have a solid and trusted name.
“Brand awareness” and “brand recognition” are terms that are often used interchangeably but they are not the same. Let’s find out the difference.
What is Brand Awareness?
How familiar your target audience with your brand? How well do they recognize it? This is brand awareness. Creating brand awareness is the key to the online promotion of your business.
The goal of brand awareness is to make your target audience familiar with your brand, its name, logo, characteristics, and cultivate their trust. Products and services with a high level of brand awareness are not “just another business” but industry names.
The following Equity Model or Customer-Based Brand Equity (CBBE) Model by Kevin Keller is a step-by-step guide into building a brand awareness strategy.
The concept is simple — to build a strong brand, you must shape how customers feel and think about it. Customers subconsciously ask themselves the four questions presented in the diagram. Learn more about these 4 steps from the following comprehensive article by MindTools:
Keller's Brand Equity ModelBuilding a Powerful Brand
Building a Powerful Brand Do you know what makes a brand strong? And if you had to make yours stronger, would you know…
When your brand can answer the highest question in the pyramid and deliver the resonance, then your business is moving in the right direction.
What is Brand Recognition?
While brand awareness is merely a knowledge that a brand is present on the market, brand recognition is the extent to which target audience is able to recognize the brand by its attributes. Color schemes, logos, visuals, the voice of your brand are the pieces that contribute to the brand’s image and perception.
The higher rate of brand recognition, the more dominant this brand on its market
Brand recognition is associated with a promise of quality experience — an essential attribute to acquire for every business. At its best, brand recognition can make your company name synonymous with whatever service or product you might provide (e.g. Google it).
So brand recognition and brand awareness go hand-in-hand, so let’s talk about how you can boost them both.
Brand Awareness & Recognition Strategies
Connect With Influencers
Influencer marketing is a truly powerful tool for increasing brand awareness. Influencers from your niche have an established audience that knows and trusts them. Once the influencer mentions some brand, it’s expanding its reach and increases brand awareness.
Branding is an important part of your business. Its goal is to provide customers with a consistent experience and help them distinguish your brand from others. Branding comprises the visual identity of a brand (e.g. logo, color scheme), communications (e.g. unique customer support experience) and more.
Consistency is an essential part of building brand awareness and recognition strategy. It means that your company should deliver the same experience through consistent tone, colors, logo, voice.
Consistency is a mother of mastery
Invest in SEO
Search engines are what stands between your online business and your customers. That’s why it’s essential that you follow their rules to appear higher in the search engine results, gain more visibility, attract new audiences and convert them into customers. Otherwise, if your online presence is poor, you are unlikely to survive long.
The majority of consumers don’t look past the first page of search results
Learn more about SEO practices from my recent piece:
Ultimate SEO Guide 2019
Search engines are what stands between your online business and your customers. That’s why it’s essential that you…
Introduce Referral Programs
Expand your reach with referral programs. Users will gladly spread the word about your brand if you offer them a perk. A perfect example is the Dropbox referral program — it offers 500MB of extra storage space for every friend invited. Referral programs greatly increase brand awareness, bring you more customers and save your money.
Use Guest Posting
Along with influencer marketing, guest posting is another great way to use a loyal audience of another brand or blogger to boost awareness of your brand. Deliver quality content on other blogs and websites and you’ll be introduced to new audiences and make a lasting impression.
Invest in SMM
Do you have business accounts on Facebooks, Twitter, Instagram and other social media channels?
“As of 2019, internet users spent approximately 43 minutes per day on Facebook, 28 minutes on Snapchat, and 27 minutes on Instagram” — Investopedia
Your brand doesn’t need to be present everywhere — you choose what channel suit your business best. If your business doesn’t have Twitter and Facebook, you don’t look reliable to your customers. Also mind that consistency should be a part of your SMM strategy.
Create and Share Infographics
Visual communication is a definite marketing trend in the Net for several years already. It’s no wonder —for brands and businesses, visuals are a great tool to deliver value and boost brand awareness. Infographics are easily shared far and wide, making them a great tool for brand building and thought leadership.
Provide Exemplary Customer Service
Customer service is a part of the voice of your company, its branding and consistency strategy. It’s obvious that your company should provide excellent customer service, speaking through your brand voice. Customer support experience is a part of the overall impression of your brand.
Along with infographics, your company may produce other valuable materials that provide value to your target audience. Offer them free ebooks, all sorts of templates, designs and more in exchange for their contacts. Use these contacts to make calls, send emails and lead your audience further down the purchase funnel. Mutually beneficial trade, isn’t it?
Hold Social Media Contests
Run social media contests where you ask your audience to share some photos or other unique content featuring your brand (a.k.a. user-generated content). In order to get the most likes, comments and shares, contestants will share their content across the social media, their family and friend, building your brand awareness as a result.
Launch Remarketing Campaigns
Remarketing is a strategy to launch ads to users who visited your website but left before converting. These ads are placed all across the Web. So after your website visitor left your website, they are going to frequently come across your branded ads.
Paid Social Advertisement
Run paid ads on social media platforms like Quora and Facebook. It’s relatively cheap and helps your brand get seen on social. When users will be ready to make a purchase, they will be more likely to consider your brand.
While brand recognition makes sure that your company gets the attention it deserves, brand awareness will help to cultivate loyalty in your customers that helps you to reap all the benefits associated with employee advocates, repeat customers, and word of mouth marketing.
Do you know any other approaches? Please, share in the comments!