First impressions can be brutal!
In fact, on average, it takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember your brand.
However, companies with good brand awareness have established levels of familiarity and trust that dramatically influence these first impressions.
In this guide, we’ll explain the best ways to increase brand awareness, why brand awareness is essential, and some helpful strategies to get seen by your target audience.
Ready? Let’s get into it!
How to Increase Brand Awareness
There’s no quick fix for how to increase brand awareness.
You can’t just run an ad and suddenly become a household name.
Brand awareness campaigns must take place across multiple channels and go beyond your money-making efforts.
Before we get into our tips to boost brand awareness, it’s a good idea to go over the four key pillars of building brand awareness:
Brand awareness works a lot like making friends.
You have to humanize the company/consumer relationship.
Expand your company’s personality beyond its products, and see your customers as more than wallets full of money.
When you meet a new friend, you want to know what they’re passionate about, what they like doing, and what they don’t like.
These humanizing elements should then be included in your brand profile and perpetuated throughout your messaging.
With that said, here are a few suggestions for humanizing your brand:
- Share valuable and engaging content
- Be transparent about your story
- Stay true to your brand voice
- Focus on building relationships
- Take your audience behind the scenes
- Show gratitude
Social media makes it easy for your business to connect with its audience in ways that go beyond pushing products.
You can share various content and interactions that make your business seem more human.
This works even better if you use your social media accounts like you’re trying to make new friends and find like-minded people rather than simply promoting your products.
Use your brand social media accounts to actually socialize!
Interact with your target audience, brands, and influencers.
Here are a few ways you can socialize as a brand:
- Like posts
- Leave comments
- Ask questions
- Re-share audience content
The more present you are, the more people know about you.
Tell a story
A brand story provides context and a human edge to your company.
The story could be about how your first product came to be or an underdog tale about how your small business hit the big time.
Whether your audience finds something in the story that they relate to or something that inspires them, you’ll have created a personal bond that will last.
Here are some tips for telling a story through your brand:
- Have an idea of what you want to express
- Have a clear vision
- Use emotional hooks
- Narrow your expertise
- Find your narrative
- Keep it Simple
- Stay human
We can all agree that the pinnacle of brand awareness is when your brand name is top-of-mind in a real-world conversation.
This kind of word-of-mouth marketing is irreplaceable, as recommendations from friends come with a great degree of authority.
Consumers are more likely to trust a brand or product if they see their friends and family using it.
Once again, social media makes word-of-mouth marketing easier than ever by allowing people to share your posts.
Here’s how to share your brand by word-of-mouth:
- Use your own mouth, speak to your customers personally
- Set up some word-of-mouth triggers
- Use visual triggers
- Create or do something unique
- Emotional provocation
- Encourage user-generated content
- Push reviews and ratings
- Create a referral program
What are the Benefits of Brand Awareness?
94% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand they are emotionally engaged with.
Brand trust has long been associated with market success, and brand awareness is the key to achieving it.
Here are a few benefits to increasing your brand awareness:
A huge part of brand trust is the consumer’s belief that you will reliably follow through on your promises.
You need consumers to know that what you say you will do matches up to what you do.
A great way of reassuring consumers is through social proof.
In modern times, active customer review pages and social media accounts have become central to brand awareness strategies.
Social media has become consumers’ go-to place to find out which brands to trust.
Consumers are 37% more likely to buy a product if other social media users have recommended it.
Channels like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter act like crowdsourcing for honest opinions.
A quick browse on your social media page, tagged posts, brand hashtags, and comments will tell a consumer whether you and your product can be trusted.
How to increase brand awareness with customer loyalty
Having a set of beliefs and values for your company that you perpetuate through your branding and messaging will help create valuable bonds with your target audience.
Use social media and marketing campaigns to shout about the causes you care about and support.
After all, 77% of consumers buy from brands that share the same values as they do.
Here are a few tips for increasing brand awareness with customer loyalty:
- Try a reward system for existing customers
- Freebies, flash sales, and giveaways can keep your customers loyal
- Have fantastic customer service
- Increase brand reach with advertising
- Give your brand a personality
It builds brand association
We all know certain brands that have become household names. We even use them like verbs or nouns when we speak.
Brand association is the mental connection between a brand and a concept.
The more you establish brand awareness, creating a strong link between your branding and the purpose of your products, the more consumers will associate your brand with a certain action or need.
Consequently, when they next need to fulfill that certain action or need – they’ll be more likely to come to you.
It fosters brand equity
Brand equity is the commercial value that comes from the public perception of your brand.
Good brand equity can provide added value to your products, allowing you to price them higher. It could also result in higher stock prices and more expansion opportunities. On the other hand, bad brand equity can lead to the opposite.
Brand awareness is key to fostering better brand equity, as it allows you to promote the positive experiences and associations consumers can expect from your brand and products.
Why Brand Awareness is Important
Brand awareness is super important when launching a new product or service. It also helps to drive consumers’ decisions when picking between competing companies.
It also can help encourage repeat purchases and leads to an increase in market share and sales.
With that said, let’s explore some major reasons increasing brand awareness is so important:
Consumers are doing more research than ever
A study from Google has found that consumers do more research before making purchases.
And another statistic shows that 72% of customers won’t take any buying action until they’ve read reviews.
Brand awareness that has established strong social proof and positive brand equity will prevent you from losing out to a competitor along the consumer research process.
Consumers expect transparency
A recent study found that 66% of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities of a brand.
Social media has set the bar high for brand transparency.
It’s never been so easy for a consumer to call out a brand’s mistakes.
However, a transparent brand presence built upon honest interactions and shared values can boost brand equity and mitigate the risk of letting consumers down in the future.
In fact, 85% of people say a brand’s transparent history makes them more likely to give it a second chance after a bad experience.
Authenticity is important
88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.
We live in a world of fake news and online scams. Perpetuating brand trust with brand awareness lets consumers know that they can rely on you.
Authenticity is also key to building those long-lasting relationships with return customers.
Promoting transparent, consistent, and accountable messaging across your branding channels will establish those close customer bonds.
Consumers are voting with their dollars
The world is politically charged, and as much as you might want to keep politics out of your business, your consumers want to know that you share the same core values as them.
A recent study even found that 64% of consumers would buy from a brand or boycott it solely because of its position on a social or political issue.
Share your values openly and honestly, and don’t turn a blind eye to social matters your target audience cares about.
Tips For Your Brand Awareness Strategy
Now that we know that good brand awareness requires a brand to be recognizable, human, friendly, caring towards customers, caring towards social issues, and recommended by friends.
Let’s move on to some more in-depth strategies for increasing your brand awareness:
Develop a brand voice
When it comes to creating a brand that leaves a long-term impression on consumers, 33% say that a distinct personality is what makes brands stand out from the crowd.
Brand personality allows customers to get to know you better and develop a loyal relationship. The key to giving your brand personality is establishing a brand voice.
This voice represents who your brand is, the people behind it, the target consumer, and brand values.
For instance, a streetwear brand may portray a youthful and urban voice. In contrast, a plumbing and electrics company may want to sound helpful, friendly, and reassuring.
Whatever your brand voice, it will need to be consistent throughout all company communications, from website copy to social media captions.
Consistent brand presentation has been shown to increase revenue by 33%.
Tips for having a brand voice:
- Be consistent
- Audit your current voice
- Know your audience
- Know your tone
- Review to see what works and what doesn’t
Give your brand a face
A further step in humanizing your brand is incorporating a friendly face into your branding, AKA a mascot.
A brand mascot can be an animated character or a real human spokesperson.
They represent your company’s values and personality, while providing the perfect middle ground between the customer and the faceless business.
A mascot that appears consistently throughout your messaging creates a more recognizable brand identity.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Use a spokesperson
- Allow people to see the real you
- Be authentic and genuine
- Engage in conversations
- Hire a PR firm to help
Have a recognizable logo symbol
From Apple’s apple to Nike’s tick, the companies with the strongest brand awareness are recognizable by their logo symbol alone.
If your logo features a symbol, we encourage you to use it extensively across your branding, website, marketing, social media platforms, and adverts.
Place it on your images, and emboss it onto your stationery – the more ubiquitous it is, the more brand association you establish.
If you’re still working on your logo, here are a few tips:
- Use empty space
- Use shapes and colors
- Color is key for a good design
- Be literal with your logo
- Let your logo be authoritative
- Create visual salience
Stick to your signature colors
The stats are in. Using a signature color can increase brand awareness by 80%.
Color is an exceptionally powerful tool, stirring up subconscious emotions and feelings.
Furthermore, companies with the strongest brand awareness are instantly recognizable for their color combinations.
If you haven’t decided on signature colors for your brand yet, consider color psychology before making the decision.
This allows you to truly represent your brand’s personality and mission with colors that portray certain feelings to the customer.
If you already have signature brand colors, ensure they are the dominant colors across your website, social media, emails, adverts, and more.
Write a strong slogan
It might be hard to come up with one short sentence that sums up your brand mission, but it’s a key part of a recognizable brand identity.
A good slogan gives your company meaning, tells consumers they can rely on your product, and makes customers feel good about choosing you.
While growing brand awareness, your company might not be recognizable from its symbol or brand name alone.
Furthermore, these aspects of branding often don’t let a customer know what it is you do.
A slogan provides the necessary context while adding another touchpoint for brand recognition.
Here are a few suggestions for creating a solid slogan:
- Try and match your logo with your slogan
- Keep it simple
- Use small, easily understood words
- Brainstorm words related to your niche
- Use power words or phrases
- Test your slogans and see what works best
Advertising is typically used to create awareness for a product rather than a brand.
However, there’s no doubt that low-key adverts across as many channels as possible will succeed in getting your name out there.
A robust advertising campaign that takes place across social media, PPC, video platforms, billboards, and television can provide the fast track a brand needs to go from newcomer to household name.
Here’s a few tips for multi-channel advertising:
- Develop and monitor your analytics
- Use customer data platforms to collect information
- Understand channel preferences
- Be consistent
- Pick and choose the best social platforms
Seek out brand partnerships
Chances are, there are some brands out there that share your target audience.
Their following may include members of your target audience that you haven’t been able to reach yet.
A mutually beneficial brand partnership allows both brands to increase their exposure by piggy-backing on each other’s audience.
You could work together on a piece of content, a product, a giveaway, or even an event as long as it makes sense for both of your audiences.
Here are a few ways you can find brand partnerships:
- Identify relevant platforms
- check out other content creators’ feeds
- Find the brands you like
- Target brands that already engage with you
Grow an organic following on social media
Earlier in this article, we explained that brand awareness happens in those moments when you aren’t pushing a product.
We also explained how social media is the perfect place to do this, as it allows you to express your brand’s personality, interact with your audience, and bond over shared values.
Organic followers are followers that don’t come from paid ads.
You can attract your target audience by posting content that will resonate with them, add value to their lives, and that they want to share with their friends.
Furthermore, 79% of people say that user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
So make sure you incorporate real-life customers in your social media marketing efforts.
A good content marketing strategy will place your brand in front of potential customers in ways that don’t feel forced.
This achieves three key aspects of brand building:
- Brand authority
- Brand trust
- Long-lasting relationships
In terms of brand authority, consistent and valuable content will establish you as a thought leader in your industry.
Furthermore, if that content is search engine optimized, it provides the added authority of a first-page ranking.
If you are an authority in your industry, brand awareness increases and customers are more likely to choose you over competitors.
Content marketing offers high-quality information for free, whether it’s a blog post, a YouTube video, or an ebook.
Customers who already trust you as a source of information will be more likely to buy your products.
You can then nurture this relationship with regular, meaningful communications.
“Freemium” is the no-pressure way for new customers to trial your product and see if it works for them.
It’s a pricing strategy offering a basic version of your product or service for free.
Unlike a free trial, a customer could continue using your “freemium” product forever.
But the idea is that they’ll gain enough incentive to invest in “premium.”
If your product is suitable for a “freemium” pricing model, it can be a great way to raise more awareness for your brand and product.
Invest in customer support
9 out of 10 customers read online reviews before buying a product.
Customers don’t just read reviews to determine whether a product is worth the money. They also want to know that they’re buying from a reputable company.
Customer support can make or break a company’s reputation.
People usually seek out customer support when they have a problem or a complaint, and if they aren’t dealt with fairly, they could take their complaint to the public stage.
Investing in strong customer service will result in happy customers and positive brand awareness in the long term.
Furthermore, 73% of customers cite customer experience as an important factor in their purchasing decisions.
Write a guest blog
Guest blogging is a great way to improve brand awareness as it allows you to reach new audiences on high-traffic sites.
Guest blogging works in a similar way to content marketing in that it offers readers valuable information for free.
Whether you write a guide, an infographic, a list post, or a case study – focus on providing value to the audience instead of pushing new products.
Get started by finding a shortlist of popular blogs in your niche and check if they accept guest posts.
Pitch your idea before writing an article that aligns with your brand voice and brand message.
Get reviewed by influencers
61% of consumers trust influencer recommendations more than branded social media content.
Influencer marketing works because it takes advantage of the trust already instilled between a target customer and their favorite influencer.
Influencer marketing doesn’t have to cost the Earth either.
Brands use micro-influencers (influencers with under 100,000 followers) ten times more than mega influencers.
This is because micro-influencers are relatable and have highly-engaged followers, giving their recommendation of your product some serious weight.
Start a podcast
Podcasts have seen a serious revival over the past five years, and research shows that one-third of Americans age 12 or older listen to them.
Podcasting is based on sharing stories, entertaining people, and providing valuable information. It’s not about pushing products.
A solid podcast idea allows you to nurture audience trust and awareness without asking for anything in return.
Here are a few tips for starting a podcast:
- Choose a podcast topic you’re passionate about
- Pick your podcast name
- Write a compelling podcast description
- Decide on the formatting and tech stuff
- Get your podcast some awesome artwork and music
- Use good equipment
- Choose your podcast hosting service
Create shareable infographics
Infographics are one of the most shareable forms of content, as they compile insightful data in a visually interesting way.
Infographics are easier to process than a blog post, but they also look better when shared on social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn (as all of the information is contained in a single image).
The more shareable the content, the more people hear about your brand. So get to work creating a high-quality infographic that people in your demographic will love!
Infographic tips include:
- Make it useful
- Use storytelling to convey your message
- Choose a simple layout that matches your information
- Do your keyword research
- Use visuals that aid understanding and comprehension
- Make it memorable
- Share it!
Establish a referral program
Remember when we said that word-of-mouth was key in building brand awareness?
Any company can encourage word-of-mouth marketing by establishing a referral program.
Make the most of customer loyalty by incentivizing buyers to recommend you to their friends.
Referrals increase your brand’s reach, beginning new customer relationships that are already built on a foundation of trust.
Try offering existing customers a discount for every friend they recommend – and give their friend a deal on their first purchase too.
Brand awareness is an ongoing process.
Even the most recognizable brands in the world continue to strategize and think up new ways to build further trust, association, and equity.
Need a hand with your brand awareness strategy?
We’re here to help! Get in touch today and find out what we can do for you.