If you walk into the Tower Press HQ, you'll see Apple products everywhere. Macbooks, iPads, iMacs, Airpods, iPhones, and all the boxes they came in (why are those so hard to throw away?). We're Apple people. We're loyal to the brand because Steve Jobs created an iconic line that equates to creativity, simplicity, and trustworthiness.
This is what brand awareness can do for a brand: embed itself into consumer lifestyles and purchase habits so that they don’t have to think twice before becoming a customer — time and time again. They know you, they love you, and they remember you!
What the heck is brand awareness anyway?
Brand awareness refers to the extent to which customers are able to recall or recognize a brand. It is a key consideration in consumer behavior, advertising management, brand management and strategy development. The consumer's ability to recognize or recall a brand is central to purchasing decision-making.
Let's say you are a jewelry designer/maker and someone purchases a necklace from your website. If you were to just toss said necklace into a mailer, with no identifying piece of information (like a business card, hang tag or a thank-you postcard), your customer probably wouldn't consider a re-order because their unboxing felt underwhelming.
Or, maybe you have a confusing website with no clear 'About' page. If it's hard for potential customers to figure out what you offer, they'll probably click off your page and find someone who is. Brand awareness is so broad, it can also boil down to your business name, online presence (or lack thereof), customer experience, or even your logo.
It boils down to trust. We know that trust is everything when it comes to purchasing decisions. Is the brand socially responsible? Do they strive to treat each customer well? When I see their logo, do I immediately think of them?
This sounds cool, but is it really attainable for a small business?
Brand Awareness isn't just reserved for the Nike, Band-Aid, and Kleenex of the world. You don't need a huge budget to be memorable! It doesn't happen overnight, but over time you'll be able to establish yourself as a trustworthy resource who stands out from the pack. Here are a few ways:
1. You are more than just a company that sells stuff.
Share your experiences with your audience, your likes, dislikes, hobbies, and passions. What excites you? By defining your brand as more than just another business that sells stuff and things, you impact your audience in a positive and more meaningful way.
2. Tell a Story.
People like hearings stories (as long as they are true). Authenticity, especially in the golden age of social media, feels hard to come by and people are craving it more than ever. Creating a narrative gives depth to your brand and humanizes it (see how all these steps are connected?). What should you talk about? Maybe introduce your Founders, talk about how you came up with your business name, discuss your first prototype and how it's changed over time. These narratives can create a big boost in your brand awareness.
I'm an introvert and this is sometimes my worst nightmare. I have reserved amounts of energy I can extend to large groups of people so I usually save it for moments when it's really going to count! Monthly small business meetups, parties, and trade shows are great for networking and spreading the word about your business. Because of social media, we can also socialize from our couches in our sweats (hello comfort zone!) Liking, commenting, and even retweeting or sharing other people's content creates brand awareness too.
4. Create Shareable Content.
There's a reason why you see memes and TikToks everywhere (we post them too!) or those cute videos of small animals being goofy, or the cast of Cheer being incredible. Though we may not necessarily ever go "viral," we can still create meaningful, sharable content that is relatable but also helps drive traffic where you want it to go. Our advice: make it funny! A good laugh in the middle of the day is probably just what your customers need.
Building, maintaining, and growing brand awareness is a never-ending process, just as maintaining a friendship or relationship never really ends. It takes work and persistence, but remember to treat your business as more than just a way to make money fast. Connect with your customers, nurture those relationships, and put your best self out in the open!