Brand Awareness: Don’t just be known, be relevant

Apple, Microsoft, Purina, Nike, Ford—what do all these brands have in common? Hint: You’ve heard of all of them. That’s right, they all have strong brand awareness. Whether or not you choose to interact with these brands, you immediately recognize their names.

Brand awareness is a great first step when launching a new business, product or service. But, before you can create a favorable impression or motivate customers, consumers have to be aware of your brand and its meaning. Simply put, the more people are aware of a brand, the stronger that brand’s reputation will be. A strong brand reputation will ultimately lead to boosted word-of-mouth promotion, which is the strongest influence on customer decision-making.

While we know word of mouth is a huge driving force for building brand awareness, don’t forget the “digital impact.” The importance of brand awareness has become increasingly significant with the evolution of the internet and digital technology. Like it or not, the public is more equipped with tools that allow it to quickly communicate about your brand—good or bad—than ever before.

Now, we can all agree that boosting brand awareness is a must, but what you may not know about those brands mentioned earlier is that they also put a lot of energy into defining their brand experience.

It’s simply not enough to have a recognizable name.

Ask yourself, “Do customers feel a connection to my brand?” Most people, despite what companies would like, make decisions based on emotion rather than research. How your product or service enhances your customer’s quality of life is your brand relevance.

Instead of putting a lot of money into advertising and making people aware of a brand, businesses should shift their priorities and begin to focus more on the consumer experience.

It does a company no good to be well-known yet have no strong relationship with their consumers or potential consumers through a compelling experience. Brand awareness is great and might help you win a popularity contest, but creating a meaningful relationship will keep customers coming back for more and, just as importantly, refer their friends and family back to you.

So, as you continue building your brand, set a goal to not only raise brand awareness (having a recognizable name) but also to connect with your customers on an emotional level. Engaging with your product or brand should be fun, meaningful and worthwhile.

Keep in mind that branding is not the same thing as advertising. Your brand is a sum total of everything you do, and how those actions and messages are perceived by the public, and the companies with the best overall experience will not only have the highest sales but will also benefit from increased customer loyalty.

Check out our next blog for more on the importance of customer loyalty and how to achieve it.

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