Brand awareness is the degree to which people are aware that a brand exists. It includes several important performance measures, such as website traffic and social share of voice. It acts as an important indicator of brand health, laying the groundwork for further investigation.
Why is brand awareness important? Positive awareness suggests that your brand is easily remembered within its product or service sector. Recognizable logos and taglines improve communication, especially in visual or short-form content. Customers cannot develop affection for a brand that they are unfamiliar with.
Consider the difference between Coca-Cola and generic store brand cola. While generic cola is less expensive, it does not have the same value as legendary brands. To understand this, take into account the most valuable brands—such as Nike in apparel, Apple in consumer technology, and Coca-Cola in food and beverages.
Achieving the stature of industry giants is not mandatory, but there’s valuable insight to glean from their branding strategies.
Define your brand’s tone, whether professional or casual, cheeky or serious, playful or business-focused. While the tone may differ between platforms, important words and phrases must remain consistent. A consistent brand voice, whether on social media or in print advertisements, promotes coherence and familiarity.
Ensure consistency in the visual elements of your brand. Create a consistent image by deciding on brand colors, typefaces, and visual design for sites like Instagram and TikTok. Examining Instagram postings from The Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic—three companies owned by the same company—for example, reveals varied visual palettes catered to various groups. This demonstrates how crucial it is to match your target audience with your visual identity.
Defining your brand’s identity goes beyond appearance and voice—it’s about establishing clear brand values. These values form the bedrock of a recognizable brand, shaping who you are. It’s not solely about charity or corporate donations; it’s about articulating what your brand stands for and embodying these principles in interactions with customers and employees. Alignment with your target audience is crucial, as demonstrated by the Edelman Trust Barometer, revealing that consumers (58%) and employees (60%) choose or advocate for brands based on shared beliefs and values.
Logo and Tagline:
The logo and tagline serve as distinct components, emblematic of your brand’s voice and aesthetic. They are instant identifiers that demand individual attention. Consider Nike’s “Just Do It” or the iconic swoosh—immediately recognizable without explanation. Similarly, Red Bull’s tagline, “Gives You Wings,” is synonymous with the brand. These elements, serving as the currency of your brand, require thoughtful consideration as they epitomize instant recognition and brand recall.
Tell a Brand Story:
Beyond brand values and voice, your brand story delves into the narrative of how your brand came to be. Whether it’s an entrepreneur inventing a solution to a workplace problem or a larger business amalgamating mission statements and history, every brand has a story. To enhance brand awareness, it’s essential to share this narrative. Utilize storytelling by showcasing customer experiences or highlighting key growth milestones. Harley-Davidson, for instance, produces The Enthusiast magazine and uses social media to feature rider stories, providing a vivid portrayal of their brand journey.
Create Value Beyond Your Product:
Building long-term brand awareness involves offering value beyond your product. Share specialized knowledge through blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, or newsletters, focusing on informing, educating, or entertaining. This isn’t a direct sales pitch but a relationship-building practice. Patagonia exemplifies this by creating films aligned with their brand values, featuring products subtly. The emphasis is on the films’ intrinsic value, reinforcing their identity as a collective of storytellers dedicated to the planet.
Create Shareable Content:
To enhance brand awareness, focus on crafting content that is easily shareable. Follow social media optimization best practices, such as consistent posting and timing. Make your content valuable and encourage sharing through calls to action, urging followers to share resources or tag friends. Incorporate social sharing buttons on your website and blog to facilitate easy sharing and provide social proof.
Contribute to Your Community:
Brand-building extends beyond the digital realm. Boost brand awareness by actively contributing to your community through sponsorships, corporate donations, or employee involvement in charity work. Whether sponsoring major events like Vancouver’s Honda Celebration of Light or participating in local fundraisers, tangible community contributions foster brand recognition.
Offer a Freebie:
Leverage the allure of freebies to engage potential customers and generate online buzz. Whether it’s free samples, trials, or a freemium business model, providing a taste of your offerings helps skeptical customers try your product. A free trial involves offering a full or partial product or service for a limited time, while the freemium model provides a basic version indefinitely, with options to upgrade for advanced features. Hootsuite, for instance, adopts this strategy with a limited free plan and a 30-day free trial for its professional plan.
In this article, we discussed only some of the key elements to focus on to boost your brand awareness. Remember that building a recognizable brand is an important first step toward increasing brand awareness. This entails providing a clear statement of your brand’s identity and values. Before you start working on it, ask yourself- What does your brand communicate in terms of appearance, voice, and stance?