Let us be honest the end goal for any business owner is to make money. To do that, you need to attract not only customers but loyal customers that will come back and use your services or buy your products time and time again. Any business that has succeeded in doing this always has one thing in common - brand awareness. This blog will show you how building a brand for your business and using it to the advantage of this goal can really help propel your business forward.
TL:DR: Before we delve deeper into brand awareness and how it can help your business, we want to show you the power of what it can do for your business.
The power of brand awareness can be summed up by looking at Google. Google is a brand. It is not the only tool that can be used for searching the internet. In fact, there are many search engines, and some would even argue that there are better search engines available, and it was not the first search engine to be ever made. However, thanks to branding, it is almost the given that if you asked someone to look something up on the internet, they would "Google it". That is the power of brand awareness.
Brand awareness represents how acquainted your target audience is with your brand and how well they identify and recognise it. It has no intrinsic value, can't be measured on a spreadsheet with percentages and figures, and cannot be mass-produced.
Your brand is linked to so many areas of your business and is formed by:
It is what makes your brand stand out and instantly connects or is recognisable with your customers. How strong your brand is can be intrinsically linked to how successful it will be or has been.
As mentioned above, the power of brand awareness comes down to why people buy what they buy. People have their prefered brand of product and often cannot put their finger on why they prefer that one over another. Tests have shown that even identical products branded differently can produce different results when presented to customers. This is the sole reason some companies will spend more on branding than any other aspect of their marketing - despite the end result not always being able to be logged on a report or cost vs return basis.
Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95% of our purchase decision-making occurs in the subconscious mind. What does this mean for branding? If we asked you to look something up on the internet, most of us would " Google it ". Google is just one of many search engines available to use, but the ONLY one to make it into the Oxford English dictionary associated with performing an internet search. Google has built a brand that is automatically related to internet searching in most of our minds. This goes deep into our subconscious mind and becomes almost ingrained with our decision making; we will automatically use Google over any other search engines to associate the task with the brand.
Brand awareness should:
There is no magic wand, and there is no secret formula for building brand awareness, and each business will have its own set of challenges and routes it may need to take. However, you can do a few things to help raise your brand to new levels.
Identify Your Niche: Knowing who your ideal customers are and how to reach them is the foundation of any brand building and, in fact, any business strategy at all! Once you know who they are, you can learn how to connect with them on their level. For instance - if your target audience is men aged 70+ and you want to sell them a product. Suppose your initial strategy is to use TikTok videos to gain brand traction and more sales. It is safe to say that identifying your niche and realising that it is implausible that your target audience will be an avid TikTok user and that your efforts are probably best spent elsewhere.
Once you have identified your audience, you also need to look at your business and what it offers them; what is your USP? What are you offering them different to anyone else? This does not have to be anything significant. People often think that they need to reinvent the wheel to be the best or succeed. Sometimes it can be the smallest things that allow you to connect with your audience.
Establish a Brand Identity: As you read this, close your eyes and think of McDonald's, conjuring up an image in your mind of what McDonald's are. We would bet that many of you reading this would have had a picture in your mind of either their logo or some part of their branding, be it the design of their drinking cups, the design of their brown paper bags or some other part of their branding.
Brand identity goes beyond just a logo. It encapsulates every part of your business and its identity. It includes:
Working with branding experts lets you get this right and goes beyond just making something look or sound right. It has to work on many levels and simply portray your business for what it is, who it is and what it is to be.
Important Tip: Your brand identity needs to be ingrained into how your staff will interact with your customers, how they speak to them, how they greet them, and so on. This can be a flexible process as you learn more about your customers and how they interact with the business - but everyone needs to be on board with it!
Invest in marketing: If you don't tell the world who, what and why your business exists and its purpose - no one else will! Even those who say word of mouth is the best form of marketing will tell you that to get the word out there - someone has to first experience it! It is also important to remember that marketing is not just adverts or social media; it encompasses your entire presence, be this digital or non-digital.
The types of marketing you need to be looking at are:
There are other types of marketing, such as Affiliate marketing and influencer marketing. As a rule, the top 5 to use when building a brand are above.
Whatever marketing techniques you choose to employ must run consistently to your brand message and goals. An extreme example could be creating a brand around your clothing business and using content marketing, but your content is all about keeping an aquarium. You might be passionate about your aquarium - but your target audience is unlikely to be searching for advice on keeping fish while shopping for some new jeans!
By now, you should have an idea of what brand awareness is, why it is crucial for your business and how to build a stronger one. Building a brand presence does not have to cost your business as much as you might think, and the earlier you start, the better it will be for you. You could even begin by employing a brand message to interact with your customers on social media or in-store and see how it is received. Then once things start to gain traction, you could bring in some outside help to kick it up a notch and expand on the work already done.
The most important part of branding your business is being consistent and ensuring that you are not changing things up too much or too regularly. This is not to say don't try something new if a current strategy is not working as planned. But changing things too often can create feelings of unease amongst your target audience and have a substantial determinantal effect on your growth.
Here at E2E, we are experts in small businesses and how they operate and here to take the strain from your shoulders when it comes to getting an online presence that works for you. We are a team of dedicated small business specialists who know precisely what it takes and have the tools, the skills and the passion for helping your business succeed online.
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