We went out to a nearby restaurant for lunch, earlier today. We were in the midst of placing orders when a friend joined in. Since the day was in the throes of sweltering heat, he was sweating profusely and being a coke fan, immediately asked for a coke to quench his thirst immediately.
What piqued my interest in that moment was how in a time of dire need, he remembered a brand, instead of the actual beverage he was interested in. He swapped the category name with the brand name, and I believe the credit goes to the ingenious Coke marketers who have created and implemented such amazing and influencing campaigns that managed to set a profound awareness of the brand itself among masses. So much so, that it is now deemed a category itself.
Brand awareness is a stage that holds imperative importance in a brand’s lifecycle. It is in the awareness stage that brands start growing, for if no one is aware of what the brand is all about, it would fail to nurture associations that would eventually lead to a long-lasting brand equity development.
Apparently, there is no quick fix that you could apply to your brand and attain a renowned position, with which the target market is well acquainted with. However, there are certain tactics that could help brands in creating the right buzz in the fiercely competitive online markets of today:
Start off with stellar content marketing
The fast-paced, digitally influenced world of today revolves around content. Content can be in the form of words that could be read, or in the form of a video that can be seen and remembered and possibly acted upon. All famous social media networks, such as FaceBook and snapchat, rely heavily on content produced by others, to create their brand awareness among the vast user base of the social network, while at the same time benefiting the network in a myriad of ways, including widening user base and revenue generation through social advertising.
Food Network, a famous blog replete with mouthwatering recipes, is making big waves on the social media realm by luring people towards its social media pages, and eventually to its website by posting stellar and succinct food recipes online, that are diligently prepared and expertly plated by expert chefs. Food aficionados around the world not only follow this exquisite brand, but also like and share its videos by the dozens, making the content beneficial for both the network it’s displayed on and for the support of a healthy and growing brand awareness plan.
Online referral programs
Users tend to gladly use and spread a good word about any brand that provides them an incentive on completing the deed, which we deem as a referral program. Through a referral program, a brand politely asks its target market to engage in word of mouth publicity to glean a certain incentive offered to them. This incentive can be in form of a referral discount or redeemable bonus points.
Uber is a globally famous mobile app that allows people to share rides from anywhere in a city. Uber offers free ride codes and discounts to all its users. First timers are provided with special codes that they can share, and by doing that they become eligible to get a cash back on their next ride. The idea seems to have worked really well for Uber. By offering referral discounts, the app has not only made masses aware of its functionality, but also successfully engaged in a brilliant word of mouth publicity, all within a not so overwhelming cost!
Engage in local partnerships
Another great way to create awareness among local clientele is to get in a partnership with an already renowned brand. Budding brands can partner with the settled players of a complimenting industry, ones that could potentially provide them a lift off among the competition. By partnering with established brands, budding businesses receive the benefit of an increased visibility and trail derived from the users of the established brand, thus vamping up loyalty at the end of the day.
The famous athletic brand Nike and the tech giant Apple have been working together since the early 2000s. Apple wanted to inculcate music in the fitness gurus among Nike’s customers through their iPods, and this partnership resulted in fitness trackers and clothing that served to attract the target market’s interest, while at the same time benefiting both the brands equally. With Nike and iPod, you work out to the tunes!
Remarketing ad campaigns
Have you ever wondered why your social media newsfeed starts bombarding you with ads for a certain product category all of a sudden? It’s because of an online marketing tactic that online advertisers opt for to create brand awareness and publicize a brand category that you showed interest in some time earlier. Through a remarketing ad campaign, online advertisers start showing targeted ads to online customers who have visited the website of a brand earlier or clicked a relevant ad somewhere online. By pushing out stuff that they were initially interested in, online marketers induce the idea of a purchase in the customer’s mind on a frequent basis that not only results in creating a profound brand awareness but also persuades the customer to take the desired buying action.
Car wraps have remained an old-school strategy, helping budding local brands take the first tottering steps towards building a viable brand identity. By adorning cars with promotional posters, brands engage them in a mass marketing campaign that doesn’t cost them an arm and leg. Car wraps can be customized according to the brand manager’s will and since they are weatherproof, the campaign can run for longer periods of time with very less marketing cost incurred.
The above-mentioned tips are only a few sugar crystals in a pot. Every brand is different and so shall be its branding strategy. For budding business owners, my advice is to get in touch with a professional branding agency that could give them targeted information and a sure shot advice on how they can pull off a viable brand awareness strategy.