Increasing brand awareness is more than choosing the right name and buying a few ads, it is about building a relationship with consumers. With the complexities of building awareness and a truly great brand it can be overwhelming.
To help you navigate the maze of building your brand we have outline 5 steps to help you successfully increase brand awareness.
The name of your brand has a huge impact on your success! When choosing a brand name make sure that it provides instant clarity. When people see your brand’s name they should have an idea of what kind of services or products you offer. Examples of brand names that do a good job of providing clarity include EverNote, DevShip, and ValueCoder.
Be careful not to use words or jargon that will be out dated in the next 5-10+ years. There is nothing worse than building brand awareness only to have the name you selected be outdated as technology or trends change. When thinking about your brand name ask yourself if it could be eternal. Will the brand name still work? Will it accurately reflect the changing services or products you will offer over the next 5-10+ years?
A great design does wonders for increasing brand awareness. We are visual creatures and the color scheme, typography and logo you select for your brand will impact how people respond. Design is so important to increasing brand awareness that elements such as color alone have been shown to increase brand recognition by 73%.
The font used in your branding also has an impact. Out of the top brands in the world, around 63% use the SANS font type making it one of the most popular fonts with leading brands. Interestingly, the SERIF font type is only used by around 8% of the world’s top brands including Google.
Another important component of your brand’s design is the use of a logo or lack there of. The majority of top brands use a logo accompanied with the brand name (56%). However, a couple very iconic brands such as Apple have chosen to use a logo without their brand name with a lot of success. When starting out or trying to increase brand awareness it is probably best to have a logo accompanies with your brand’s name.
Correctly positioning your brand is one of the most important components to successfully increase brand awareness. Take your time to really think about how you want to position your brand. Once people are aware of your brand it can be challenging to shift your positioning.
The first step is to think about the attributes of what your services or products provide customers. This should be kept simple, to the point and focused on the most valuable attributes. DropBox‘s positioning of Your Stuff, Anywhere and Buffer‘s A Smarter Way to Share are two great examples of brand taglines that effectively communicate the attributes of their products.
Truly great brands stand for something! They are more than the sum of their products or services. Figure out the values that are important to your brand and incorporate them in your efforts to increase brand awareness. You may even want to add a statement of your brand’s core values to your website. A great example of this is Moz.com with their TAGFEE Code that lays out the values they believe in as a brand.
When people are aware of your brand they will have an expectation that they will need to meet. In your efforts to increase brand awareness make sure you are not setting yourself up to not deliver on your customers expectations. Think about the experience you provide to customers and make sure their expectations are inline with your brand’s positioning. SimplyMeasured‘s brand name and positioning as a provider of Easy Social Media Analytics and Measurement is a perfect example. Consumers have an expectation that they offer an easy to use solution for analyzing and measuring social media campaigns.
If you do a good job increasing brand awareness consumers should instantly recognize your brand. This will help you stand out from competing brands.
The first step to establish brand recognition is to build a presence with your target demographic. Make sure you choose the right target demographic for your brand because establishing a presence takes time and money. Find the experts, news sources and events that can provide your brand the opportunity to be front and center. Brands like Moz.com do a great job at building a presence with their target demographic of startups and tech companies in their hometown of Seattle. If you read GeekWire, the leading tech/startup magazine in Seattle and attend local events or conferences you likely to notice their presence.
Once you have begun establishing a presence it is important to build awareness around the problem your brand solves and the solution you offer consumers. Take the time to share your expertise, contribute useful advice and become an active participant in your target demographic’s community. This will help to establish your brand as a credible expert and a valued member of the community as opposed to a brand focused only on selling a service or product. For example, Moz.com’s CEO Rand Fishkin regularly speaks online marketing best practices at conferences, helped create inbound.org for sharing marketing tips and regularly posts informative videos each week as part of Moz.com’s Whiteboard Friday series.
No matter how great of a job you do building brand awareness, if your brand gets a bad reputation you’ll be facing an uphill battle. Keep in mind these words of wisdom from entrepreneurial Jedi Benjamin Franklin, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Protecting your brand’s reputation is a team effort.
Brands are not built by marketing and pr teams but an entire company. Having a culture of integrity is a critical component to building and maintaining positive brand awareness. With social media and smartphones one unhappy customer can have a big impact on your brand’s reputation. Just take a look at what happened to United Airlines when they broke a passengers guitar and he was unable to get it replaced after 9 months of trying to work with customer service. The music video he produced about the negative experience, United Breaks Guitars has more than 12 million views on YouTube to date.
All it takes is one mistake to cause damage to your brand’s reputation. It is important to stress the importance of consistency to your entire team in their interactions with consumers and in the delivery of your service or product. With increased brand awareness people will be more vocal about your brand. If you consistently do a great job they will be singing the praises of your brand.
After reading about how to increase brand awareness you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. Building great brands is complex and challenging but once you have a little experience under your belt it gets easier. Just remember that it task time to master the art of building brands. With a strong vision, planning, consistent effort and a little luck you should see brand awareness grow consistently.
Remember that building a truly great brand is a journey that takes time but brings a big reward!