Picture this: After a lot of dreaming, planning, and hard work, you have finally opened the doors of your new business. Yes, you have competition. But you know that your product or service has a special something that theirs does not.
Maybe it’s a higher quality product. Perhaps it’s less expensive. Whatever it is that makes your product or service special, it’s sure to sell!
But is it?
Turns out that simply having an up-and-running business plus a great offering isn’t enough to generate sales.
When you want leads to have you in mind as they consider purchasing, you need brand awareness. But what is brand awareness and how can it help you grow your business?
Glad you asked! In marketing, brand awareness is a term that determines whether or not your company or brand can be recognized by its name alone. Consider the following examples:
- American Express
Not only were you likely to instantly recognize most if not all of these brands, you also have particular feelings about each of them. And all of that tied together is brand awareness—simple recognition of a company combined with a specific feeling or set of emotions.
To have leads positively associate with your brand likely means success while feelings of negativity may mean you have some work ahead of you!
Building brand awareness for your small business
Now that you know what it is, it’s important to understand how to build brand awareness for small businesses in a positive way. And in today’s crowded market, this isn’t always easy. That is because your customers often have dozens of options at their fingertips. That is why it is so important to set yourself apart in your market—even if it doesn’t seem oversaturated. With time, it may become so and hopefully you’re well ahead of the curve on brand awareness by then.
Granted, there are multiple benefits that tie to brand awareness which are not related to your sales efforts, including:
- Increased Credibility: Potential customers want to know who they can trust when it comes to making a purchase. Who will not only ensure the product or service they are buying is worth the investment, but who will take care of them should they choose to do business with you again? Having a well-established brand makes it easier for potential customers to place their confidence in you.
- More WOM (word of mouth) marketing: When customers have a great brand experience with you, they’ll tell everyone they know about you. Of course, the same goes for if they have a not-so-great experience with your brand. But at the end of the day, familiarity is incredibly important when it comes to deciding who to purchase from. And this is especially true when your audience is offered multiple choices. Clearly defining your brand to your audience is a great way to increase your overall brand visibility.
- Additional value: Tap into the feelings and emotions of your prospects and you have found the true key to selling your products or services. When you work to associate your brand with a specific set of beliefs or a specific value system that you repeatedly stand by, you make it incredibly easy for your ideal customer to find you.
- Ongoing loyalty: As is the case with most products and services, your customers will have to make their purchase more than once. Consider that if yours is made or done well, a customer will seek to purchase from your brand again and again.
Marketing Opportunities to Increase Your Brand’s Awareness
Now that you know the power of brand awareness, let’s discuss a few ways to make it happen for your business marketing-wise. After all, it’s one thing to talk about the benefits of brand awareness. But it’s entirely different to implement the marketing tricks that will have an actual impact. However, when you’re aggressive in building awareness around your brand you can give yourself a leg up over the competition. Here are a few ways to firm up brand awareness for small businesses:
Better care for your customers
There is no better way to increase brand awareness and stay at the top of mind for customers than by delivering a wonderful customer care experience for them each and every time they shop with you. There are many ways to achieve this. Everything from personalized touches like including a short note in mailed packages to timely responses for their questions via chat or email to seamless checkout processes and even consistent products (for those customers who purchase more than once) can contribute to an experience that will help to positively shape a customer’s perception of your brand.
Email list segmentation
Your followers may adore your products and services but it’s unlikely they want to receive every email you send about every single one. As for instance, some customers will be more interested in an upcoming sale while others keep their excitement for new products or services. Using email analytical tools, you can study your audience’s behavior and determine unique email segments that are based on that behavior. From there you can send more targeted messages to list segments that are not only relevant for each audience, but also help build your relationship and ultimately may increase your earning potential.
Create consistency with your brand
You’d be surprised how easy it is to not utilize this important step. But by using consistent branding in things like your design or messaging when you make connections with existing and potential customers, you increase your brand awareness. Everything from the voice of your brand to the colors you use should be recognizable to potential customers even if your name isn’t present on the communication. Consistent marketing will help you keep the wrong customers away ensuring you’re only doing business with the right ones.
Level up the personality
What is a favorite brand of yours, personally? Chances are, this brand demonstrates qualities that you enjoy. Similarly, a unique brand identity will go far in helping you build your brand and stand out from small businesses that are similar to your own. Consider what may qualify as unique identifiers of your business’s beliefs or value system. For instance, if you consider your brand to be “outgoing” then increase the amount of assertiveness you use in your voice or your brand awareness. Or if you consider yourself “comfortable” don’t be afraid to use language or design that makes potential customers feel warm and fuzzy.
Build an outstanding loyalty program
Who doesn’t love to receive praise and rewards?! You can apply this sentiment to your small business with ease using a loyalty program built for customers who continuously purchase products from their favorite brand (yours). From hotels to adventure parks to household goods and services to grocery stores, millions of companies offer reward payouts to incentivize customers. Not only does doing so help to increase the brand awareness, it also compels customers to shop with you again and again, increasing your long-term revenue.