Brand recognition does something for a company that marketers aspire to. It automatically links a product, solution or business with consumers’ desires or needs. Thinking of kid-friendly movies and vacations will bring Disney to mind. Or you instantly mention Subway when you and your co-workers need a quick sandwich for lunch.
With brand recognition also comes trust and credibility. Your target audience has great confidence that they’ll get the product or service they expect. And the more your business delights and engages your customer base, the more they’ll keep buying from you.
When that happens, your company can become consumers’ brand of choice and give audiences something to talk about. Hopefully, customers will even rave about your offerings so that others start experiencing their value. But how can your business improve its recognition and build brand equity? Here are some ways to get started.
On the surface, consumers are buying products and services. But beneath superficial transactions, there’s often an emotional or personal connection between customer and brand identities. Target audiences may resonate with or idealize a company’s values or messages. They may want to be like the brand’s qualities and associate themselves with its image or someone who represents the company.
It’s up to companies to tap into those desires after identifying them. Building online communities around common interests and aspirations is one way to associate a brand’s qualities and values with audience members’ identities. Connecting and communicating with your target market this way also says you’re interested in more than selling products.
No one wants to deal with pushy or intrusive sales tactics. These usually create resistance or cause leads to run the other way. You’ll build a better reputation if you concentrate on authentic and helpful outreach as a growth marketing strategy or campaign. People will come to know your company as more than a transactional provider of products or services.
Influencers with similar target audiences and messages can help create a buzz for a brand. Joining forces with influencers increases your reach by exposing more people to your company’s name and what you do. Influencers don’t necessarily have celebrity status, but they are digital content creators audiences follow and resonate with.
Some influencers amass large followings, while others are micro-influencers with smaller but meaningful numbers. You may find a partnership with a micro-influencer can be more effective if it’s a good fit. It simply makes more sense to work with someone whose content and message are relatable and will reach your intended audience. In other words, the size of an influencer’s following isn’t the top consideration.
Companies are starting to realize the power of influencer marketing as younger generations become harder to reach with traditional advertising. That’s why brands are expected to spend $15 billion on influencer marketing by the end of 2022. Popular social media platforms are places to find influencers for potential partnerships. But so are less obvious sites and digital spaces that cater to specialized interests such as sports and cooking.
You may have heard the phrase “Content is king.” One reason that saying still rings true is because of the annual revenue content marketing generates. Data suggests those revenues will reach $66 billion in 2022, a figure projected to double by 2026.
When brands create and publish online content, it’s a way for target audiences to discover them. That content can be landing pages, blog posts, webinars, videos or podcasts. While an overarching goal of content marketing is to convert leads into sales, it does this through thought leadership. The idea is to create and share information target audiences will find engaging and helpful.
At the same time, that content stimulates brand awareness by mentioning how a company meets consumers’ needs. Content marketing can work in B2C and B2B spaces. Yet it does require frequent monitoring and fine-tuning. Certain techniques and tools help with that. Search engine optimization targets specific audiences based on what information they’re looking for. Web analytics can reveal whether SEO and content strategies are working or need a boost.
Companies that pay attention to what’s happening in the overall market tend to stay in touch with consumers’ needs. Awareness of trends and shifts in target audiences’ behaviors can also identify potential business opportunities. Say another company discontinues a product or no longer supports a feature that specific market segments use. A competing brand could see this as a chance to develop an alternative solution to fill the gap. By doing so, this business may rapidly increase its awareness and recognition as the new solutions provider.
Monitoring markets, consumer behaviors and trends can lead to more subtle opportunities as well. This can be as simple as creating shorter videos to match decreases in the average human attention span. Trend research might also reveal that consumers are becoming concerned about genetically modified ingredients in their food. In response, food manufacturers could create organic alternatives to favorite brands or develop new organic products altogether.
These actions give current customers a reason to remain loyal and potentially increase the companies’ reach and recognition within other segments. For example, food manufacturers may secure shelf space in organic or natural grocery stores instead of only mainstream supermarkets. These brands will now reach additional niche segments.
Brand recognition and awareness bring customers through a business’s physical or virtual door. In the past, a few ads on TV and radio may have done the job. But in saturated markets and among skeptical target audiences, traditional advertising isn’t enough.
Less salesy tactics—such as building online communities and promoting thought leadership—reach audiences by personifying and humanizing brands. Your company increases brand recognition by creating connections between who you are and who your customer is. By identifying with your brand, your target audience will view it as more than just another commercial alternative.