What is brand awareness?
Think about it – you don’t vacuum your carpets, you ‘hoover’ them. When you want a soft drink, you probably ask for a ‘Coke’, rather than a cola. In the supermarket, the public announcement system is known as a ‘Tannoy’ – even if they’re not using a Tannoy system.
These are just some examples of brands that have gotten so big, their names have replaced the generic terms in society – even if a competitor is being used. For example, you might ‘hoover’ your living room with your Dyson, or ask for a Coke even if the bar is serving Pepsi.
These are examples of acute brand awareness, where the brand name has become so big that it’s now a household name. Maybe your brand is a long way from reaching this size. But there’s still plenty that you can do to increase awareness and get your name out there.
In this post, we’ll touch on some affordable yet very effective ways of building brand awareness.
Refer a Friend
Tapping into word of mouth marketing is a great way to get more people talking about your brand. Referral programs are great because they actively encourage your customers to tell their friends, colleagues and relatives about your brand in return for a reward – it’s a win-win situation.
Take Dropbox, for example – it’s a free service that allows users to share their docs, videos and photos easily with others. Using a referral program helped Dropbox increase sign-ups by a huge 60%. How did they manage this kind of growth?
- Reward: Dropbox offered more space to any user who successfully managed to refer a friend. People wanted to get more space for free, so spreading the word made sense.
- Ease: Then, they made referring Dropbox to others as easy as possible by providing sharing options for email, social media and a link to share in any other preferred way.
Provide your customers with a unique promotional code or link that they can use when referring a friend. Provide an appealing reward per referral to encourage users to share. Offering store credit or an exclusive discount off their next purchase will also encourage your customers to return to your store.
Do you want more people to hear about your brand? Is building lasting trust with your customers important to you? You could benefit from partnering with a more well-known brand.
Take Uniqlo, for example – a Japanese casual clothing brand. To get their brand name out there in front of a wider audience, they sponsor free admission to New York’s Museum of Modern Art on Fridays.
But, they’re not the only company to partner up with another big-name brand to gain more exposure. Red Bull and GoPro, BMW and Louis Vuitton, and Uber and Spotify are just some examples of well-known brands who have worked together to reach a wider audience. And the best part – these brands are all offering very different products.
However, getting in with a big-name brand is no easy feat – it’ll take a large chunk of dedication, persistence, and thinking big. But don’t let that stop you! In the meantime, you can increase brand awareness by working together with fellow SMEs. You could:
- Increase brand awareness in your local area by working together with local businesses who’ve been around for ages. Even though they might not be nationally-known brand names, these brands are household names in the locality.
- Sponsor local sports teams: Similarly, local sports teams may be more receptive than the bigger ones when it comes to accepting a sponsorship. You might not be ready to have your brand logo on the England football team’s shirts yet, but your local school’s rugby team could be a good shout.
- Sponsor events in your local area and surrounding towns. Whether it’s a charity fundraiser, a business networking event, or something fun like a Christmas lights switch on, it’s an opportunity to make your brand name known.
Work with Influencers
Influencers are playing an increasingly bigger part in business marketing. These people range from make-up artists to Xbox gamers and tend to have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. No matter your industry, there’s sure to be an influencer who’s a good fit.
Influencers are particularly great because they have already accrued a large follower base, giving you the perfect platform on which to advertise your brand. And, the best influencers are trusted by their followers, who in turn will trust the brands that they recommend.
Your influencers could be social media personalities or actual celebrities. Influencers who do particularly well with expanding your reach could become spokespeople for your brand, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
Step Up Your Social Media Game
Don’t just rely on influencers to get the word out there on social media. Social media platforms have an unbridled amount of power when it comes to getting your brand name known.
Take Instagram, for example – this is a social media platform with a huge amount of strength. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and Instagram is a platform that allows you to tell your brand’s story via the images and short videos that you post.
Then there’s Facebook – whilst it’s losing popularity with the younger generation, this social media platform has the power to build brand awareness and a social community. Using Facebook, you can speak directly to your audience and encourage a higher level of engagement.
Lastly, there’s Twitter – upping your Twitter game is crucial. It’s a big social platform for brands because it allows you to publish news and updates, advertise, and interact with customers who are talking about your business.
Regular activity on social media is key – in 2017, there were over 39 million social media users in the UK, with the number steadily on the rise.
These four strategies are effective ways to help your company thrive by increasing brand awareness. Which do you think will work best for your online store?