23 Apr Building brand awareness
There are certain brands that have embedded themselves so deeply in our culture that they’ve even changed the way we speak! Instead of painting your nails, you ‘Cutex’ them and rather than searching for something online, you ‘Google’ it. These are just two of many examples where a brand has become absolutely synonymous with a certain product. So much so that the name of the brand is used as a verb. How is that for brand positioning and awareness!
It might seem that certain brands are in a better position to become a household name, or that they just had the right slogan at the right time and a myriad of successes followed. But the good news is that it is possible for any brand to grow in awareness and prosper and even change the way consumers think about a whole line of products or services. It just takes strategy, dedication and some patience.
The impact of brand awareness on a consumer is that it will encourage their decision making by favouring a brand they are familiar with and it drives repeat purchases. Consumers will continue to buy a brand they know and trust.
Aaah yes, trust. Trust is probably the most important thing to build when it comes to brand loyalty. Consumers today are well educated and able to do intensive research before a purchase, yet they are also often overwhelmed with all the options out there. If a consumer comes across a brand that he or she likes and finds it trustworthy, they will continue to buy it or make use of it, even though it might be marginally more expensive than another brand. Woolworths is an example. Compared to most other grocery shops, Woolworths’ prices are quite steep, but they have obtained a loyal following because people trust their products and their after-sales care.
Today it is impossible to live outside of internet presence. It is crucial to create a solid and thorough digital presence for your brand. We live in a fast-paced and disposable society. Consumers want all the information and they want it now. If I am craving a pizza it’s as easy as going online and Googling (see what I did there…) ‘Pizza near me’. If I click on a website where I struggle to find a menu and there is more than one telephone number and I can’t order online, I close the site and click on the next one. I don’t want a hassle when it comes to ordering a pizza, especially when there are so many other options. I want to click 3 times and open the door 30 minutes later to receive my dinner. If the pizza is good, the website is easy to negotiate and my friends are also talking about this particular pizza place on social media, I will probably make use of it again. This brand has now gained my trust.
Other methods of creating a strong digital presence is through
- Social media; making use of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect with possible clients. And also collaborating with social media influencers to use and advertise your brand.
- Testimonials; have people telling their story of how your brand enriched their lives
- Search Engine Optimization; bidding on keywords on a search engine in order for people to find you when looking for a certain product or service
- Referral programmes; Rewarding customers for referring others to use your product or service
- Social listening; having eyes on the web and picking up and giving feedback when people mention your brand in their comments on social media.
Brand communication is no longer from brand to consumer, but has become a two-way dialogue. Consumers are used to real-time interaction and expect feedback within hours, if not minutes from lodging a query or a complaint. Responding to customers swiftly and efficiently on a digital platform will show trust in your brand.
The power of social media should never be underestimated and by having a continuous presence on social media sites, your brand will become familiar among the online community. Which is basically the community. Because who isn’t online these days!
There is unfortunately no quick way to build trust and awareness. But by being diligent in creating a strong online presence, being dedicated to customer satisfaction, designing a creative marketing strategy and defining the identity of your brand, you will start to see a loyal following. And who knows, the name of your brand might become the next verb added to the English Dictionary!