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We all know what a brand is. It is, in a very simplified way, your business’s image. But even more important than that, is its awareness. Not more important, brand awareness is THE important. Unfortunately,...
We all know what a brand is. It is, in a very simplified way, your business’s image. But even more important than that, is its awareness. Not more important, brand awareness is THE important.
Unfortunately, too many business owners don’t even consider brand awareness as part of their strategy. And this is a fatal mistake. You can NOT create your business on principles like “build it and they will come” or count only on its attractiveness from your own personal and subjective point of view. It won’t work. Don’t say “we’ll see what we’ll do when the build process is done”. It won’t work! Most of the times, your brand strategy should be created before even starting to work on the physical product or service.
So what actually is this brand awareness thingy? Well, pretty much exactly what it says: your brand’s ability to be recognized. Most of the times, it’s the fundamental base in people’s decision process to buy something. We’ll focus here on the importance of making the people aware that your business or product or service actually EXISTS. And not only making them aware it exists, but also making sure they don’t forget it. Simple as that. Simple?
In order to understand a bit better, we’ll need an example. Let’s say you build the biggest, hugest, most wonderful and incredibly amazing holiday resort in this small green paradise in the middle of the desert. Pure untamed heaven. You know it’s the best, your employees know that and probably some of their relatives as well. But that’s it. The people have no idea that it exists, regardless of how big and wonderful it is, so they won’t come. The only way to make them come is to make them AWARE of its existence. You need to create a good brand awareness strategy and find the best ways to promote yourself to the people, to make yourself heard, seen, known. Otherwise, all your investment is in vain. 0 awareness => 0 costumes.
But WAIT, you say, why to build that thing in the middle of the desert? There are no people there. Better do something where there are lots of people. Like selling refreshments on the Copacabana beach. So many people there, you can’t even comprehend. That will be, beyond a doubt, way easier. But even so, you still need to make people aware of your existence. You still need to have a sign or to yell your offer to the crowd, or maybe distribute flyers to the people. Otherwise, you will reach a very small and limited “audience”, based on the very close and limited proximity.
And now you’re pretty much like the guy in the desert and his workers’ relatives, with just a few people able to buy what you’re trying to sell. And even those costumes, few ones, are in danger to disappear, as soon as someone with a real strategy comes into play. The more effort you put in it, the more people become aware of your existence and your services, the more potential costumers you will have.
And surely, that’s not all. It’s not just at the beginning, a one-time deal, and then you’re lifetime settled with cohorts of customers flowing your way. No. It’s a perpetual process, which once started, it can only end at the moment you want to shut down your business. Why?!
Let’s take Coca-Cola. You KNOW Coca-Cola. We all know it. You know what it is, you know how it looks, you know what it means. Why? Because it’s Coca-Cola! You see it everywhere (and I do mean, EVERYWHERE), you more than sure tried it (at least to see for yourself what the fuss is all about), you know the jingles, the commercials, the everything. That’s what brand awareness means.
And it just goes further. Even if you know Coca-Cola more than (probably) any other brand (their logo is one of the most recognizable one, if not THE most), they still have one of the biggest budgets when it comes to marketing/advertising. They still invest millions over millions in commercials worldwide, they still sponsor pretty much every big event that takes place, they still make sure the whole world is coca-cola-red and stays coca-cola-red. It’s a bit illogical, isn’t it?! If they’re SO famous, you may say, why do they waste all that money? Well, actually it’s not illogical at all.
Think about it. People, in general, have really short memories. People like to try new stuff all the time, they like to experiment and explore. AND, they’re (very) easy to manipulate. So the problem is like this: if Coca-Cola doesn’t do it, someone else will. If they don’t remind people constantly to drink their beverages, someone else will come and will do that with their own brands. And just like that, slowly, Coca-Cola would fade away and will become nothing more than just a memory.
That’s exactly why you need to constantly “remind” to the people that you still exist, that you still have a word to say, that you’re still… YOU. Especially in a dynamic and competitive market, where you need to fight with lots of other companies to attract, hold and increase your customer base. The more time, effort and resources you will invest in the awareness, the better chances you have.
So what to do, to raise your brand’s awareness? Advertise! Like its name says, make people aware that you exist. That your product or service exists, it’s on and it’s available. Force the people to see you, hear you, feel you. Don’t be afraid that it will be too much (again, Coca Cola is literally everywhere and not so many people are affected by that), as long as you don’t go with both legs over the line dictated by the common sense rules.
More advanced brand awareness tactics and strategies will come in future articles on our blog, so make sure you follow us!