How to build a strong brand awareness
A company's brand is one of its most valuable assets. A strong brand awareness makes a product or service recognizable and helps bring a competitive advantage. Through the development of a memorable brand, a company positions itself to differentiate itself from other similar products or services.
Creative business planners and marketers recognize the importance of building a strong brand awareness. Businesses that cannot effectively distinguish themselves in a given market will have more difficulty growing a loyal customer base and stimulating higher levels of profitability. Building brand awareness doesn't have to be expensive, but it does need to be strategic.
|Image credit: Geralt via Pixabay|
Establishing a strong brand comes from vision, trust, strong presence, a clear identity, creativity, and shares a clear message. In addition, accepting customer input and feedback is also another important component of shaping a brand. Without customers that develop a sense of loyalty for a product or service, the business will not succeed.
Establishing a good vision and perception of the company's identity is essential. This includes defining core values, core purpose and visionary goals.
- What is the business' intention?
- How will the company serve?
- Who will it serve?
- How will it strive to fulfill the company mission?
Until these kinds of questions are answered, there is no point in creating business cards, building a website or advertising. Consumers want to know who they are dealing with before they'll spend their hard earned money.
Build a trusted brand
Set a trademark and stick with it. Consumers tend to go with the familiar and companies that flip-flop every few years and revamp their identity are likely to experience problems. This isn't to say that a company can never change its look, however, usually it takes a level of success before that is successful without losing an established consumer base. When positioning a business for success it is vital to mold the company into a trusted brand, a brand people will want to turn to in their time of need or want.
Companies today need to have a strong web presence, those that do survive without one can do so, but they are increasingly losing market segments as statistics and trends show people do enjoy shopping online. Even if they don't purchase online, chances are they are more likely to jump on the web to look a company up than flip through the local yellow pages. How a website is designed is critical.
The logo, slogans and other identifying factors that are connected to a business should be clearly defined. There should be consistency throughout all marketing channels so people will know instantly which company is being presented or sharing information. Consumers should always be able to recognize a company brand in all marketing channels including the web, print, radio or TV, and not be confused with another business.
While tried and true formulas are important to integrate, a company's creativity is the one thing that can set it apart from the rest of its competitors. While the brand's fundamental identity should not change, this doesn't mean there isn't room for creativity or new thoughts to enter the realm. Keep consumers interested!
Deliver a clear message
While brand identity is of value, this should not overwhelm the consumer experience. Even consumers who have never purchased from a company before or may not even be familiar with the company should be able to comprehend a clear message and know who they are dealing with as they peruse a website or other connection to the company. It is not a good idea to alienate those who may not be familiar with the company by force feeding the brand, the message should be clear and if the consumer likes what they see, they'll be back.
Value customer input
Consumer input is valuable. Consumer input is critical. If customers don't like something or have additional preferences, it is of value to listen to what they have to say and take their input very seriously. If they didn't care about the brand, they wouldn't take the time to communicate. In this sense consumers can help shape the company and help determinate future growth.
Growing an identity consumers connect with goes a long way in terms of recognition and brand awareness. Companies that successfully create a memorable brand are the ones who end up holding a strong position in their industry. All one has to do is look at companies such as Nike, McDonald's or Microsoft and realize how far reaching a solid brand can go.
[ Related reading: Establishing a loyal brand following through specialization ]