Outpace Digital Marketing is opening the lid on branding – why it is important, strategies used by successful businesses, and how your organization can stand out from the crowd to capture traffic, sales, and client loyalty. In this first installment, we will go over the importance of driving brand awareness.
If you mention brand awareness, people typically think of recognizable logos, slogans, or perhaps specific advertisements. These are each aspects of brand awareness and part of the larger picture. Driving brand awareness is what has given Coca-Cola such longevity; it is how Apple went from a niche hobbyist computer company to a prestigious corporation with an immense following; and how startups go from borrowing money from friends and family to being worth billions of dollars, seemingly overnight. Driving brand awareness – if taken seriously and done correctly – can propel an organization to success.
Defining Brand Awareness
If logos and slogans are just parts of brand awareness, what exactly is it? The short answer is that brand awareness is how businesses define themselves to the world. One only has to look at businesses ranging from burger joints to automobile manufacturers to mobile phone service providers to notice how brand awareness works. In any industry, there are competitors providing similar products and services. If the quality and function of those things are equal, how do businesses capture audience segments to build loyalty and increase sales?
The concept of driving brand awareness starts with identifying your organization’s values and the target audience you want to appeal to so you can get their attention. Using automobile manufacturers as an example, there are a lot of vehicles available to the public. At their core, those vehicles take people from point A to point B. Brand awareness comes with how those automobile companies position themselves for various audience segments. Lincoln is branded for refined luxury while their parent company, Ford, appeals to the rugged American spirit with offerings ranging from trucks to the Mustang. Honda. Which offers everything from family vehicles to sports cars, has recently gained traction with a campaign to donate a portion of their revenue to animal rescue programs. Tesla still remains a public-facing leader in electric and hybrid vehicles, appealing to an audience segment that cares about the environment. All of these vehicles are seemingly the same – four wheels that go – but how these companies have targeted audiences and present different philosophies is how they are able to compete and get sales from completely different audience segments.
Every business – new and existing – needs to define their values, their philosophy, and what they offer their customers, and then bring all of those to the public stage to capture their audience. Important questions to ask are:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What values, needs, and lifestyles do your customers have?
- What problems are your customers trying to solve
- How does your business align with your customers?
- How can your products/services promote those values?
- Are your values and target customers represented in your marketing?
Driving Brand Awareness for Existing and New Businesses
Driving brand awareness is not a “one size fits all” process. One of the biggest pitfalls for existing businesses is conflating brand awareness with sales and their sales team. Many businesses think that if they emphasize sales, then the resulting revenue will yield brand awareness. In most cases, this approach ends up losing customers, and the one-off sales do not build brand loyalty. It’s short-term gains at the sacrifice of long-term success.
There is a lot of psychology behind brand awareness, and successful businesses invest in this first, knowing the audience, sales, and loyalty will follow. They know that customers are more prone to researching businesses, comparing products and services, and finding out what a company believes in, their philosophy, and how they are involved in the world beyond business. Customers want a reason to do business with someone; brand awareness provides those reasons.
To learn more about driving brand awareness, reach out to the team at Outpace Digital Marketing. We work directly with organizations of all types to create bespoke strategies to identify and reach their audiences for sales, growth, and long-term success.
Stay tuned for the second part of our series on branding, coming next month.