How to build brand awareness through powerful marketing

September 2020 6 min read Written by Papirfly

Building brand awareness is about having people recognise, know and understand your brand in their everyday lives. There are very few of us who don’t know the golden arches means we are near a McDonald’s – that’s because they have spent a countless amount of years and money investing in brand awareness campaigns. 

Even today McDonald’s is one of the most prominently known companies in the world, yet they continue to create campaigns that keep the recognition high with both existing customers and help to nurture younger generations. 

Why is brand awareness so important? 

Without brand exposure, there’s no familiarity between a consumer and a brand. If you don't tell your brand story, get your message out there and share your painstakingly crafted branding, there won’t be any trust or connection with the company. 

If we imagine a scenario where someone is buying a new car, and they are shown two in a showroom that are within their price range. One is slightly cheaper, but the consumer hasn’t been exposed to any marketing or the brand itself, so is reluctant to invest in a brand they don’t trust – regardless of how good the salesperson says it is. 

The other has been promoted on TV ads, featured on TopGear and has had lots of PR over its low emissions. The consumer has been served this media over a period of time which has built brand awareness and unknowingly helped shape their purchasing decision. Without familiarity, there’s no trust – and without trust you can kiss your sales goodbye. 

How can brand marketing aid awareness?

Unless you happen upon a lucky viral campaign or bring in an A-list celebrity, your brand exposure isn’t going to catapult overnight. You will need to nurture consumers with high-level awareness campaigns, educate them on problems you can solve, provide points of differentiation and establish yourself firmly as a contender within your market. 

Many brands struggle to justify their awareness campaign budgets, because they can be incredibly difficult to measure. But in order to increase brand awareness, get sales and build loyalty, these campaigns are integral for moving forward. Before you find yourself overwhelmed with marketing activity, make sure you take a moment to get your head above water and harness some brand awareness basics.

Take a look at these marketing priorities from Salesforce for some inspiration...

Establish a tangible goal

Aside from your detailed marketing strategies and objectives, think about how you would like to shape your brand perception from the point of view of a consumer. When your audience engages with your brand, what do you want them to think? As a bare minimum, you will want them to understand what you offer. What values do you want them to associate you with? Are you affordable or aspirational? A corporate giant or a global company trying hard to connect with consumers on a local level? 

There’s a lot to think about, but writing a simplistic statement that outlines what you want people to think can act as a great tool to ensure your marketing efforts are aligned. A quick reference back to this will help you confirm whether you’re on track. And you may have statements that vary for each of your audiences – these will once again help keep your marketing strands focused and targeted.

Start with a plan

Perhaps this is an obvious one. But you’d be surprised at how many people think they’re aligned with a marketing strategy without actually having the full picture. 

If you started the process with a brand workshop, be that internally or with your client, ensure there is a digestible document that accompanies the strategy plan for anyone that’s taking campaigns to market. A plan without context or that fails to understand the brand’s very essence will fall flat when it reaches those executing each part. 

Know your market

It’s not always possible to conduct huge market research reports prior to an awareness campaign. But before committing big budgets to media spend, you can invite a small portion of your demographic to feedback on your campaign creatives to ensure your team hasn’t been subjective or missed the mark. 

While this won’t be necessary with every brand awareness campaign launch, the initial launch should be guided, not shaped by real-world responses. 

Create a strong brand 

A striking logo is only the beginning. Ensuring you have a full suite of branded assets that reach far further than your high-level campaigns is a must. Everything from letterheads used internally to the way your office space is branded. In order for consumers to buy into your brand, so must your team. 

Once you’re confident your asset library is built, and this will of course grow over time, make sure your teams across the world know their intended use. Producing a watertight set of brand guidelines will further instil consistency and brand value internally. 

Determine your purpose

Your brand doesn’t have to try and change the whole world, but it certainly should be changing a small part of it. Think about what it is you stand for, and how your products or services help those who purchase them. 

Let’s use Papirfly’s purpose as an example. Very simply, we aim to give people ‘Freedom to Fly’. On the face of it, we are brand activation management software, but our wider purpose is to make lives easier; to help those burdened with little resources and budget get home on time to read their kids a bedtime story, go to the gym or whatever it is that makes them happy. 

You may be bringing a sustainable product to the world that was previously harming the environment, or creating something high-end for a much lower price. Your purpose should be fairly clear, as it’s often the foundation your business and marketing is built on. But if you are struggling to find the words, use these handy prompts…

Our product/service helps our customers by…

We make the world a better place by…

Without us, consumers wouldn’t be…

In 5 years’ time we hope we will have helped to...

Perfecting your tone of voice 

How your brand conveys everything from key campaign messages right through to how it responds to criticism on social media will be key in keeping brand awareness consistent. Remember that your customers are humans, just like the people running your brand, so don’t be afraid to talk to them in a way that reflects this. 

If your brand is irreverent or controversial, you may stir up conversations and engage in witty banter online. If you are a luxury brand, you will likely keep things friendly and professional, and have a structured response plan for customer engagement.

Keep producing content 

A big part of brand marketing is producing great content. Put yourselves in the shoes of the consumer – what possible questions could they have, what problems are they trying to solve, and how can you serve them something that catches their attention? 

Whether you are creating a heavy SEO strategy or using paid promotion, keep on showing up. Producing content may feel like a time-consuming investment, but it will pay off. You may not capture those looking to buy right now, but in time they could be the person in the showroom faced with a purchasing decision. Be the brand they are familiar with. 

Don’t forget loyalty

When your brand awareness campaigns are up and running, the job is still far from over. Remember that those that have already converted will need further nurturing, to both keep them engaged with your brand but to also encourage them to recommend your brand to others if the opportunity presents itself. 

How BAM can help you quickly build brand awareness campaigns

BAM by Papirfly™ gives global brands the power to take marketing production into their own hands. Establish your brand guidelines, share them with your teams and allow them to create beautiful, on-brand assets without needing any design experience. Using pre-defined, smart templates, users have the freedom to create in a specified framework and get their creations ready for any digital or print application.

Find out more about how BAM has helped the likes of Coca Cola, IBM and more continue to build brand awareness across the globe. Or book a demo today.

by Papirfly

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