Is there a “right” way to expand a business? A great plan goes in an organized order of steps, developing core components of your business in terms of importance. One of those compulsory steps, sooner or later, happens to be Branding.
Branding is what we use to differentiate ourselves from competitors and establish a brand identity. While branding seems to take a back seat to the product itself, its importance cannot be expressed enough. This article will explore the true significance of branding and propose a few ways to build a brand awareness campaign.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness represents how clearly you’ve represented your brand and how well you understand your customers. It also represents where your values are and how well customers understand your brand values. A third interpretation involves the degree of market penetration your brand has reached as a percentage of the entire market segment.
Why is Branding so Important?
Whether your product leaves a positive or negative impression is of lesser importance to the modern manager than the ability to differentiate yourself from competitors. Branding is a form of representation or how we form our business identity. The twist is that customers dictate terms with their purchasing power. When a customer visits your store they assign meaning or value to your business based on their experience. They then attribute all the intrinsic value of your business to your branding creating equity. In this respect, branding is like a focal point to which customers attach characteristics about your business. It then becomes clear that branding is more than just your name or logo, but how well you manage to differentiate yourself from the market and create value. The market is full of different themes, niches, and segments which implies a degree of conformity.
Example One: Differentiation through Branding
Shopping malls can have dozens of clothing stores, imagine the confusion they would create if they all used the same branding and product quality. There would be no diversity from competitors and products would be perfectly substitutable. A market saturated by inferior products would cause a powerful position for normal goods.
Our first overall goal is to use branding to differentiate and create a unique brand identity. This will help us to attract and communicate with a specific demographic. A business that tries to do everything fails to segment and inevitably builds an obscure brand. Building a refined brand is about clearing signaling. Bear in mind that many small businesses start with restricted budgets and target specific niches to draw customers as a way of compensating for competitors.
Example Two: Quality and Brand Equity
Shoppers attribute value based on their experience with your business. Every positive experience is reflective of the brand as a whole. Luxury brands are especially concerned with branding as it’s crucial for them to separate themselves from the average business. Businesses that expend great effort to deliver an end product use branding to relay the quality of their product. Once a shopper samples your product they then attribute quality and establish a higher intent. It is however incorrect to suggest that the product alone represents the entire brand as we have seen examples of successful marketing campaigns and exceptional customer service make substantial differences.
Example Three: Branding is Essential for Expansion
We go through the long process of gradually adapting our business to demonstrate and create value. Once we are able to say firmly that we have built a valuable brand, our next goal is to expand. Brand equity is what carries the identity of the business across all locations or franchises. If each store is unified by the same brand name, there is an element of brand recognition and transference of value. Businesses have been known to create flagship locations to elevate their status attempting to improve customer perception, which has an effect on other locations. For every winning formula, there is a key factor that customers notice favorably. This key factor carries with the branding and becomes essential for any new location.
What Makes Branding Awareness Campaigns Effective?
The upside to a strong brand awareness campaign can be transformative. The inner workings of brand awareness are the real source of strength. Below is a summary of how to draft a refined marketing strategy.
1. Clarify your market segment
Branding tactics always begin with clear segmentation and customer targeting. Improper branding can work against you by repelling customers. The gross market is massive, too much for any one business to capture. Segmentation allows us to understand consumer demand and target the market in parts. By understanding consumer interests we can craft a brand and amend our communication to target specific groups. If a business poorly understands customer segments, their communication begins to misalign with demand and their branding becomes unclear.
2. Determine your focus factors
What makes a business special? Is it their customer service? Or maybe their product display? The point is that every brand creates value in a unique way. Whenever we examine a winning brand, we begin by isolating key components that highlight its success. Each brand has these keys and it is these keys that customers are drawn toward. These value points can accumulate and deepen brand value. This reveals the true nature of brand awareness; about how intrinsic value, quality, and customer experience foster brand recognition. These changes can be as small as simply changing your layout or uncluttering your product displays.
3. Quality as the main determining factor
Quality is ultimately the greatest determining factor for the success of any business. The success of a branding campaign will always rely on how well a business can satisfy customer expectations. Markets are typically divided into inferior, normal, and luxury goods. Customers will always prefer the higher-end products but are restricted by budget, so it becomes a balancing game. Gross demand is like a consumption machine that is only affected by systemic level events. Assessing the quality of your catalog objectively is the closest assurance we can identify. Branding is about transparency as well.
4. Levels of Brand Awareness
At each level of brand awareness, we have different objectives:
- Recognition: Presentation, core concept, and factors like theme play major roles in how customers perceive your brand. Your concept or your narrative is central, while your visuals and branding elements are more about how you communicate.
- Brand Recall: Crafting a memorable impression implies that your branding is perfectly clairvoyant. This is all about communicating your value proposition and defining what your business is all about. To recall implies that customers seek out your product on the basis that they are interested in your product.
- Top of Mind: When a brand is top of mind, we see internal motivation towards very specific elements of your value proposition. This suggests that they have successfully internalized your concept, and are intentionally seeking to visit your store for those prevailing features.
- Brand Preference: Brand preference implies an acute understanding of customer desires and is mainly experience-based. Customers who have had positive emotional experiences using your product, create an undeniable attraction toward your brand amidst competitors.
5. Elements of a Branding Strategy
What is your message? How will you spread your message? And how do you scale your platform to reach more people?
Branding has an undeniable effect on customer perception that can transcend competition and establish market presence. The elements of a branding strategy represent what customers are most responsive to and how you communicate with them. Communication is essential for a successful branding strategy and finding the right avenue can dictate your result.
A recent event was held introducing a new collaboration between Meta and Ray-Ban. This marks a first for two previously unassociated market leaders. They both bring massive names to the table with strong expectations. This is just one example of how brand equity can influence market opinions.
Robinhood is more popularly known as a children’s story with a very clear narrative. The character is known as a hero who takes from the corrupt to feed the poor. This brokerage app decided to build on the fairytale by creating a product that is accessible to all walks of life. In the past investing was priced out of the hands of the average person, since then Robinhood has built its brand around accessibility.
Here is an example of a brokerage and their sponsorship of a chess tournament. They attempt to associate their brand away from the risky nature of stock trading and towards the strategic aspect of investing. A clever play that averts the users’ focus from the possibility of loss.
10 Ways to Spread Brand Awareness
Brand awareness occurs in stages that begin with initial exposure and leads toward a preferential relationship. The strength of a good brand awareness campaign relies on how well you understand customer demand and how well you build your brand around their preferences. Here expectations dictate the end result as much of the success of your branding campaign relies on how customers perceive your business.
1. Quality Content Creation:
Creating engaging, information or unique content is one of the most effective ways to generate brand awareness. Remain consistent in producing quality so that your brand’s values are accurately portrayed. Content has the potential to boost your brand’s visibility and reputation.
2. Search Engine Optimization:
SEO is often considered the backbone of digital marketing as organic traffic represents the biggest chunk of all online traffic. Effective SEO strategies will help your brand rank higher on search engine result pages and refine the leads you generate for your ecommerce store.
3. Social Media:
A diversified social media presence is crucial in modern e-commerce. Utilizing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn can serve as an important channel. It’s important to remain consistent, engage with followers, and leverage insights for your brand.
4. Influencer Collaboration:
Influencers typically target a specific niche and are character-based, so they can vary greatly from person to person. They often have dedicated followers and deliver highly targeted content which is a bonus. Their endorsement can provide strong social proof and significantly enhance your brand’s credibility.
5. Email Marketing:
Email marketing is recognized as having one of the highest ROI’s along with conversion rates in e-commerce. Email campaigns can be fully automated and deliver some of the least expensive opportunities to sell your brand values. Millions of businesses rely on email as a long-term tool, speaking volumes about their effectiveness in ecommerce.
6. Paid Advertising:
Paid ads are often coined as being vertical marketing tools, they give you a sharp uptick in traffic that lasts for as long as you are willing to pay. Targeted ads are orientated around keywords that identify search intent, making these ads a great source of relevant traffic.
7. Referral Programs:
Referral programs are unique as they come with an additional layer of trust. Referral programs reward customers for recommendations made to their friends or family, along with additional rewards to those who redeem the referral. A potential great source of highly converting leads.
8. Collecting Reviews:
Reviews are a great way of bolstering your trust factor. They raise your brand profile by demonstrating that you can be trusted by external sources. They can also be incentivized with rewards to accelerate their collection. Brands with a thousand reviews are often considered to have a very strong reputation.
9. Align with Social Causes:
Sustainable practices, social causes, and principled action are big with certain people. These groups often demonstrate the strongest support and most resilient demand. Proving sincerity to such causes can prove to be an excellent branding opportunity.
10. Co-marketing and Affiliates:
Building strategic connections with similar businesses or affiliates can help broaden your exposure and help define your branding values. Finding the right connections can prove to be abundant opportunities.
While these approaches are the common methods used, they can vary greatly in terms of strategy and implementation. To give you an idea of the logic: For content production, the product is the topic of the content and the investment into that content can grow without bounds. For a streamer, their product is their character, marking a new paradigm in marketing. Individuals with large followings have a free mass marketing channel at their discretion.
Branding is a non-tangible goal and that can be deeply complex. By understanding how brand awareness is created and proliferated, we stand to unlock the mysteries of marketing. The biggest asset we have nowadays is definitely e-commerce and digital marketing. This article aimed to define the nature of branding and which methods are most commonly used in today’s environment.