January 27, 2017
At Adcart, we often talk about how our product “Builds Brand Awareness” for our clients. In this two-part blog series, we’ll define brand awareness to make an abstract concept a bit more concrete.
Brand awareness is a seemingly basic concept, but as with all things “seemingly basic” spending just a few minutes thinking about it can lead to questioning your existence.
It’s a marketing buzzword that’s easy to dismiss as something businesses have but can’t really achieve, but the truth is, brand awareness is something all businesses can actively accomplish.
So, first thing’s first, what is brand awareness?
Brand awareness is when people recognize and recall a brand or business. There are different levels of awareness (some marketers break them up into awareness and recognition—for this article, we’ll treat them as essentially synonymous). Can people recognize your name? Are they aware of your products and services? Do they have a personal relationship with your business?
Most commonly, when marketers discuss brand awareness, they’re referring to a basic familiarity.
Before making a purchase, people must know your business exists.
Major national companies, such as McDonald’s, have achieved extremely high levels of brand awareness. Just glance at a golden arch and you think cheeseburgers.
Smaller businesses don’t have it so easy. The average person isn’t already aware of the local pizza restaurant down the street. There are only two ways the local hole-in-the-wall pizza restaurant can boost brand awareness: put out a larger sign or start advertising.
Why is brand awareness important to sales?
You’ve probably heard about the buyer’s journey and the stages of decision-making. They are: awareness, consideration, and decision. As people interact with a business, they move through the phases like a funnel.
Awareness is at the top of the funnel. The next phase is consideration, when buyers compare products to decide what best serves their needs. Consumers make their decision at the narrowest part of the funnel, which is also where the money changes hands.
I like to think of the awareness stage, the top part of the funnel, as a giant fishing net. The bigger the net, the likelier the catch.
Building brand awareness is similar to casting a giant fishing net over a community. Not everything that lands in the net translates to a final sale, but you can’t make any catches without a net.
How do I build my net? (AKA – How do I create a brand?)
There are several ways businesses can make consumers aware — both through print and digital. Before boosting awareness, businesses must create a “brand” or unique personality.
For large corporations, this process is quite extensive. All communications from the company are on branded stationery and everything will have a specific personality. For McDonald’s, this personality is happy and upbeat, like their slogan “Put a Smile On.”
For the smallest of local businesses, building a brand is a simpler process, but even just the basics — a logo, slogan, and tagline — go a long way for brand recognition.
When people see your logo or here your slogan, they’ll begin associating those elements with your business, which is an even more advanced form of awareness called brand recognition.
Once a business establishes a brand, boosting brand awareness involves advertising. This is essentially how businesses cast their advertising “net.”
There are so many different advertising channels available to businesses today, both print and digital. The strongest marketing strategies will utilize platforms, but will have one thing in common:
Both strategies will be targeted, meaning they’ll reach an audience located in a specific geography.
Most common brand awareness boosters:
Billboards: The signs you see along the highway are brand awareness boosters. They typically don’t include an offer (offers are usually reserved for marketing to customers in the consideration and decision phases). Billboards are used to make your business more visible, and are usually displayed for extended periods of time.
Adcart offers a unique billboard-advertising product, and you can read more about shopping cart billboards in this blog.
Commercials: Television promotions can be used to build brand awareness within a community. For local businesses, commercials can be an effective way to let your neighbors know you’re open for business.
Commercials can be quite expensive, but can be worth producing, especially if your business has recently opened.
Digital/Internet Campaigns: Digital and Internet campaigns can be quite effective, although only until relatively recently have they been capable of targeting just those residents living near a small business.
Businesses can target certain IP addresses and market to only computers in nearby localities.
Your business should carefully consider what brand awareness marketing method reaches not only the most people, but the most potential customers.
Ready to Boost Brand Awareness for Your Business?
Shopping cart advertising builds brand recognition through sustained and repeated ad exposure in the central part of a community.
Being seen is central to the success of any business, but it’s not about being seen just anywhere. Shopping cart ads are great for local business because they target your advertising to the people most likely to use your services.
If you are considering a shopping cart advertising campaign to build brand recognition and would like to talk to our representatives for a free consultation, please click here.