How to Make Your Brand Stand Out in 2022
Do you want to attract people to your products and services? If so, appreciating the best ways to build brand awareness will provide your business with the digital clout that it deserves. We have compiled a list of sure-fire strategies, and the good news is that these tips can be enacted in no time at all.
Imagine for a moment that you happen to be stuck in traffic on your way to the office. Although you have taken this same route for years, you suddenly notice a billboard hidden in the nearby woods. Perhaps the reason why it previously failed to catch your attention was due to the fact that it has been obscured by a series of trees. Why would any business elect to place an advertisement in such a location? This is obviously not a good way to attract people to a brand.
This is also an analogy for the notion of brand awareness within the digital domain. If no one is aware of your efforts, how can they ever be expected to catch the eye of the beholder? Whether your site has been struggling to obtain inbound hits or your conversion rates are frustratingly low, a bit of change is in order. Let’s first take a closer look at the concept of brand awareness before examining how you can begin to move in the right direction.
Brand Awareness 101: More Than a Name
“Brand is just a perception and perception will match reality over time.”
– Elon Musk
So, what exactly is brand awareness? Investopedia defines brand awareness as a term describing the “degree of consumer recognition of a product by its name“. In other words, we immediately associate soft drinks with Coca-Cola and Chanel with perfume. Although this definition is valid, it is hardly sufficient if you hope to build brand awareness over time.
We need to consider the second word within this phrase: “awareness”. Awareness is much more than simply connecting a name with a specific product or service. Humans are aware on multiple levels. While a title or tagline will automatically trigger an association, it also brings up a host of emotional responses. Here are some examples of how certain brands have leveraged this observation:
- Whole Foods has centred its branding around organic products, down-to-earth services and an eco-friendly outlook.
- Nike is associated with speed, momentum and athleticism.
- Starbucks presents itself as hip, refined and catering to a younger audience.
We can now begin to see that attracting people to your brand will require much more than a simple recognition of your business name and logo. So, how can you establish such a rapport? This multi-faceted question deserves a significant amount of attention. Let’s take a closer look.
Erecting Strong Foundations
As our style guide states, it is important to know where we come from in order to appreciate where we may be headed. If you want to build brand awareness, you will first need to understand the core metrics which serve to define your business.
Why was it initially founded? What problems is it trying to solve? How does it appear from the perspective of the average client? Have its core operations changed over time? What are some examples of previously successful promotions? These and similar questions will help to formulate a mission statement. They can also provide additional insight if you hope to identify the key traits of your venture. Once you have established the basic “identity” of the business, it will be much easier to flesh these metrics out into a solid brand identity.
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Understand Your Target Audience
The most successful brands have always kept their fingers upon the pulse of their real-world niche markets. Of course, this is not a fool-proof approach. You may recall the debacle that occurred in 1985 when Coca-Cola tried to rebrand itself under their flagship “New Coke” taste. As many as 1,500 consumers called the company on a daily basis to complain, and the entire New Coke campaign was considered to be one of the biggest marketing blunders of the century. This was definitely not a good time to have taken a job as a customer service representative! So, what went wrong?
Experts will argue that the most profound mistake was failing to realise how their demographic would react to changing a recipe that had come to define the brand (and the company) for nearly 100 years. Although Coca-Cola claimed that plenty of research was performed, they obviously did not target the appropriate audience base.
We can now see why understanding the needs of your customers and appreciating their buyer persona is critical if you hope to build brand awareness. What are their pain points? How can your products or services help? How can you tie these two concepts into the image of your brand? These questions lead us directly into the next main section.
Establishing a Value Proposition
Why should a consumer choose what your brand is offering? This is another way of describing an industry term known as a “value proposition”. Brand-building content will ultimately need to define what makes your products rise above and beyond the competition. After all, why should a prospect choose to work with your firm if it appears to represent nothing more than a carbon copy of another well-established organisation?
As HubSpot notes, don’t be afraid to stand for something. Customers are attracted to brands capable of aligning with their personal values. Not only are they concerned with quality products and excellent levels of consumer service, but they tend to be drawn towards brands that build a proactive rapport through shared principles. Here are three fictional and industry-specific examples of how you can begin to create a value proposition while building brand awareness:
- Stressing all-natural ingredients when marketing to an environmentally aware audience.
- Focusing upon competitive pricing when selling to university students.
- Eliminating unnecessary legal jargon when presenting life insurance policies to pensioners.
As we can see, the exact approach will depend upon the audience that you are hoping to target. If you clearly outline a value proposition, it becomes much easier to build brand awareness.
Get to Know Your Logo
Assuming that you have already implemented the steps outlined above, what if you are still failing to attract people to your brand? Believe it or not, the logo itself may be serving as an anchor as opposed to a sail. One of the issues which many small- to medium-sized businesses face is known as a “content gap“. A content gap exists when you are unable to take advantage of valuable opportunities due to clients migrating to the competition.
Content gaps are often associated with written material (more on this in a bit), and yet, we need to stress that a poorly designed logo may be impeding your efforts. Logos should be instantly recognisable and reflect what your brand stands for. After all, they are used throughout websites, within email marketing campaigns and even as traditional publicity tools such as business cards. Some of the elements to consider (or reconsider) when analysing a logo design include:
- Colours and tones.
- Typeface and fonts.
- Any images which could serve to reinforce your product (such as the leaf found within the Whole Foods title).
- A tagline (if applicable).
We still need to mention that designing an eye-catching logo capable of conveying the core traits of your brand can be tricky. It also involves a fair amount of trial and error. This is why some firms choose to outsource these requirements to third-party professionals.
How to Build Brand Awareness Through Quality Content
In terms of authors, Ernest Hemingway continues to captivate audiences thanks to catchy titles such as The Old Man and the Sea, A Farewell to Arms and The Green Hills of Africa. Of course, these titles hardly represent the amazing journey that awaits readers once they begin to flip through the pages. This is just as relevant in terms of how content can impact the perception of your brand.
Of what use is a quality product or service if the associated written content is substandard? Would you ever trust medical advice if it was plagued with typos? How likely would you be to adopt a fitness regime if the sentences were poorly written and the information was outdated? Take these questions into account when curating material for the website itself.
Content should be catchy, relevant, personalised, and capable of “hooking” the reader. The good news is that professional copywriters are always there to help if you feel that you have hit a digital brick wall.
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Create Uniform Marketing Templates
We have already seen that consistency is one of the best ways to build brand awareness. This is equally important when developing a solid marketing strategy. Consumers are attracted to businesses that send a clear-cut message as opposed to presenting a PR campaign that appears fragmented and poorly executed.
This is why user-friendly marketing templates are always a good idea, particularly if you happen to be developing a campaign from scratch. These handy software bundles will provide a clear-cut framework that enables you to create a seamless presentation across multiple types of media. Another point to mention here is that templates can help to take much of the guesswork out of the design process. Elements such as banner ads, email signatures, logos, and contact details may all be added with the click of a button. Some of the top templates to consider include:
Don’ forget that you can also choose to work with professional third-party e-commerce platforms. These provide numerous additional marketing options, and due to their centralised nature, other stakeholders can be included when building your brand identity.
Build Brand Awareness with Social Media
While this next suggestion may appear obvious, you will be surprised to learn that some business owners still have not taken advantage of social media platforms.
According to a survey conducted by Small Business Trends, up to 24 per cent of SMEs have absolutely no presence within social media circles. Whether resulting from a lack of awareness or the false belief that such campaigns will require a great deal of effort, the fact of the matter is that these firms are shooting themselves in the proverbial foot.
Social media is arguably the best way to develop an organic and transparent brand identity. Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter enable you to engage with your target audience. Also, you can obtain valuable feedback if you have recently undertaken any branding updates. This allows you to appreciate how your business is being perceived by others in a real-time scenario.
A final advantage of social media is that being listed across multiple channels will help to boost your SERP (search engine results page) rankings. If you ever hope to attract people to your brand, they first have to know it exists!
Bending Like a Reed in the Wind
The advice mentioned above has highlighted how to build brand awareness through transparency, consistency and establishing a known target audience. However, embracing a flexible mindset is just as important. What might have worked yesterday could be clumsy or outdated tomorrow. To be perfectly clear, we are not talking about changing a logo or mission statement every time you witness a dip in sales. We are instead referring to appreciating what strategies work as well as those that may require a bit of adjustment.
Make certain that any brand changes are made across the board in order to reinforce consistency (yes, this term once again). Customers and followers might otherwise become confused and choose your closest competitor.
Brand Awareness Blunders to Avoid at All Costs
Let’s finally take a quick look at some common mistakes so that they can be identified and averted before any real damage is done. A bit of foresight will certainly go a long way.
1. Mixed messages can damage your brand
Know what to say, when to say it and who to say it to. If your messages become mixed or convoluted, your branding campaign results will become equally muddled.
2. Never copy the competition
There is a massive difference between learning from the competition and replicating their branding strategies. Not only are these efforts likely to fall upon deaf ears, but you run the risk of appearing to represent nothing but a cheap (and hollow) replica of industry leaders.
3. Don’t separate offline and online approaches
While there are minor disparities between offline and online brand awareness strategies, they represent two sides of the same coin. If you adopt different approaches to each, you will once again confuse the consumer. Try to keep things as constant and congruent as possible.
4. Avoid chasing short-term trends
Many brands which begin to enjoy success will become tempted to chase the latest trends in a similar way that a cat would run after a ball of string. The problem here is that some of these trends may not agree with the “DNA” of the brand itself. Only align with industry movements that already resonate with what your business has to offer. In other words, it is better to change a few words within a song as opposed to writing an entirely new piece of music.
Building Brand Awareness: The Hidden Depths of Online Success
Although our physical appearance may change a bit over time, our personal traits tend to remain the same. This is just as true when speaking about the identity of your brand. A good deal of effort is required to build a solid brand identity, but it’s definitely worth the commitment.
Enterprises that are able to attract a loyal following will always remain one step ahead of industry curves as well as the competition. Whether you are planning a first-time venture into the business community or your company has existed for decades, knowing how to build brand awareness still represents the proverbial “ace in the hole”.
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About our authorRon is a prolific author who regularly contributes to on-site blog posts. His passion for creativity combined with a client-centred approach has brought him a significant amount of success within this competitive marketplace. Writing for Textbroker since 2012, his hobbies include martial arts and bodybuilding.