As you consider where you want to steer your business, one thing you may be wondering about is the importance of brand awareness. Even though you’re not sure what it is, you don’t want to miss out on any element that could be significant to the health and growth of your business. So today, let’s brush up on some ideas related to brand awareness.
It makes sense to start with a simple dictionary definition. What is brand awareness? BusinessDictionary.com defines it as the “extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers, and is correctly associated with a particular product.”
On the street
Let’s think of it with a little analogy — because analogies are fun. You’re standing on a street corner waiting for a bus. You recognize someone walking across the street. You think “Oh, I know him (or her)—that’s so-and-so.”
They’ve got the same hair and the same walk as usual. Plus, they’re wearing the same style you know to be their “look.” Maybe subconsciously you even recall what they do for a living, what they care about, and how they spend their time. Even their signature smile and characteristic jokes flash through your mind. In short, you remember who they are and what they do.
Now, relate that back to the importance of brand awareness. As a company, shoot for your customers to recognize you, knowing both who you are and what you do. Further, aim for your company to be the one that comes to mind when they have a need.
As a business owner, would this make your heart skip a beat? Imagine the scenario: there’s a room full of company executives and officers making critical decisions for their business. Someone asks the question, “We need X, so what company should we work with?” (Perhaps it’s marketing, perhaps it’s supplying raw materials, perhaps it’s something else. Whatever it is, it’s what your company does).
Then, a member of the group opens their mouth to speak after a thought flashes through their mind. Lo and behold, they suggest your company. Why? Because what you do and who you are as a company came to their mind first. Bingo!
Littlest kid on the block
Sure, you think being the company to pop into potential customers’ minds sounds like a phenomenal idea. But there are so many companies bigger than you, more strategically located than you, possessing larger marketing budgets than you … the list could go on. You feel like the littlest kid on the block. The importance of brand awareness hits home, but you just don’t feel you have all the advantages of a Fortune 500 company. Maybe not, but don’t hang up your hat just yet.
Maybe you don’t have golden arches in your logo
Let’s say you’re a burger joint. And you’re thinking, “There’s no way I can compete with McDonald’s golden arches. They’re huge, iconic, known around the world. My restaurant is just a little guy. There’s no way I can make millions of potential customers think of my logo instead of the golden arches when they think of a burger.”
Well, it’s a fair point if you’re a small business. Maybe you’re wondering “How can I get McDonald’s customers to come to my burger joint instead?”
But, you may want to stop for a moment and consider if you’re asking the right question. Why are you worrying about McDonald’s customers? It’s a multibillion-dollar company—let it worry about its own customers. You worry about your customers.
Be first to the people who want what you have
Will you be the first company that comes to mind when a hungry person on their lunch break is drooling for a fast-food burger? Maybe not. But what’s to stop you from being the first restaurant that comes to mind when someone is craving an artisan burger from a restaurant with a relaxing ambiance?
If artisan burgers and a relaxing ambiance are what you do and who you are, then we suggest you build brand awareness with that in mind. Make sure your company is strongly linked to the food and atmosphere you do so well. Pop into the minds of people who are asking themselves where they can get a top-notch burger in a calming locale. This may just be about hearts and minds, as they say in politics.
The importance of brand awareness – tap into your own experience
As you work on the importance of brand awareness for your business, ask yourself what kind of branding has stuck out to you in the past. Was it a smashing logo that got you every time? Or maybe it was a one-of-a-kind shipping bag from an online order you placed — and you’ve never forgotten it. Once you’ve identified branding that has had a powerful effect on you personally, start thinking about how you could use some of the same strategies for your business.
Now, you may find yourself believing in the importance of brand awareness but still wondering what you’re supposed to do about it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about transforming your belief into action, don’t worry. Keep learning, note what you learn, and build your strategy patiently — Rome wasn’t built in a day as they say. Why not dive in by learning about using social media for brand awareness or by reading Building Brand Awareness Using Your Company Logo. And don’t forget that we’re here to help you with that logo or to promote your brand by letting your sign speak.