Creating a brand name that is highly recognizable within your industry isn’t an easy feat. The way you want the world to see your company and the reality don’t always match. If you want to boost brand awareness, you must start by knowing who you are as an organization and what message you want to get out there.
According to Forbes, you have seven seconds or less to make a first impression on people. How well you communicate your message can impact how people see your company going forward. You have a short window to share through color, images and even typography. The words you use make a difference, but all the subtle cues do, as well.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to put your name in front of consumers. Focus on sharing your purpose and different methods of getting your name out there. Here are 16 advertising techniques to boost brand awareness and make you a household name.
1. Appear Multiple Places
Some experts say it takes seeing a message between five and seven times before the consumer remembers it. Think about how much advertising floods into our lives every day. You wake up to an SMS message from your favorite retailer about a sale. You get in your car to drive to work and hear radio ads and see billboards. You scroll social media and get pummeled with ads based on previous searches and even conversations you had with family and friends.
If you want to make an impression, you have to keep appearing in front of people when they are most interested in what you have to offer. About 80% of professional marketers say they are on various social media platforms mainly to increase brand awareness.
2. Use Floor Graphics
Floor graphics work particularly well in shopping malls. You can direct consumers into your store with catchy phrases and arrows to lead the way. Since they are a bit unusual in some locations, they grab attention and make an impression. They can also enhance the customer experience (CX) by providing reassurance you’re following safety guidelines or showing the path to key places within the store.
3. Be Consistent
People want to know they can trust you to stand by your products and service. Offer a guarantee and be consistent in how you talk about your company history and what you stand for. People tend to notice little changes, like using an old logo on social media and a new one on your website. The more consistency you create in your messaging, the more likely people will trust what you say.
4. Know Your Purpose
Take time to write out your mission as a brand. What is at the core of your company? What do you believe in? Once you have a focus, it helps you know what your purpose is. You can then communicate this through your branding efforts and create a business tied to that objective.
One example of a brand knowing its purpose is Cuddle + Kind, which creates knitted stuffed toys. Each purchase helps feed children in poverty. The company’s mission is to help the world not be hungry and to give workers in poverty-stricken countries an opportunity to earn a living wage making the dolls. All branding ties into the purpose — even the notes on the boxes shipped and the tags on the stuffed toys. You know how many children you helped feed when you buy one of these products.
5. Let Others Speak for You
What you have to say about your brand is never as powerful as what others say. Include customer testimonials and reviews in your marketing and on your website. Seek the feedback that ties into your purpose. If customers say the same thing about you that you say about yourself, people will sit up and take notice and start to see you in a specific way.
6. Pull in Some Influence
Find influencers who have a lot of pull with the target audience you wish to reach. Fans will listen to their recommendations. They also have experience promoting companies and can work with you to ensure the messaging matches your vision.
7. Embrace a Cause
Find something you care about that ties into your company mission. For example, if your goal is to help single moms, team up with a local organization that offers them help. People today love to get behind a crucial social cause they believe in. Make sure whatever you embrace is something you genuinely care about. People want authenticity from the brands they frequent. Don’t choose a cause just because it sounds good.
Once you find an organization to team up with, both of you should work to get the word out. You’ll benefit by getting your name in front of their followers who believe in that cause. They’ll benefit from your donations, help and press releases.
8. Develop a Personality
Does your brand have a personality? You might be serious and reassuring in your advertising and attitudes. Your tone may be lighthearted. Think about what your buyers respond best to and strive for that attitude in your marketing. You should even write notes about voice and personality into your style guide.
Wendy’s is the perfect example of a company that has developed a personality. There are tons of funny, snarky comments about other fast-food burger places on its Twitter page. It’s all done in good fun with an aside that it offers the best quality out there.
9. Select the Right Colors
The colors you use for your brand make an emotional impact on users. In a Reboot survey, researchers found using a specific color in all your advertising resulted in an 80% boost in brand recognition. Some of the largest companies on the planet are known for their colors. UPS uses brown and gold, and Coca-Cola uses red and white.
10. Release Valuable Content
One of the most powerful things you can do for your business is to become the authority in your field. When people want an answer about something related to what you do, your name should be the first one coming to mind. Think about the pain points for your typical customer. What is the problem they face that drives them to seek a business like yours?
Once you know the pain points, write out questions they might have related to each one. Then, answer them through your content. If you run an HVAC company, someone might have a furnace that isn’t blowing hot air. The question would be, “Why isn’t my furnace blowing hot air?” They find your site with an article listing the various reasons a unit might do this.
11. Turn to Videos
Videos are easy to absorb and grow in popularity year after year. If you don’t already use them, now is a great time to get into this field. Explainer videos may show a client how to change an air filter or start a garden. Don’t give away all your trade secrets, but use videos to show your authority. Have a commanding presence and share the little details only a professional in your industry would know.
Infographics take complex concepts and statistics and break them into absorbable bits. Create infographics about your industry and make them shareable. As people write on the topic, they’ll pick up your infographic as part of their content and link back to you. The more backlinks you have, the more chance someone might stumble upon your business while searching on that topic.
There are millions of websites. You can’t possibly cover everything, but you can expand your reach and name recognition through sharable content.
13. Post on Other Blogs
Want to be well known throughout the internet? Offer to write articles on the topics impacting your business for other websites. Guest blogging may not bring you millions of site visitors, but the leads it does provide will be highly qualified ones. They’ll already be interested in what you offer, or they wouldn’t have read the article in the first place. Make sure the blog you write for offers a link back to your page in the form of a call to action (CTA). There should at least be a link in the bio at the end of the article.
14. Improve Customer Experience
If you want people to talk about your brand and share it with others, you need to create a fantastic customer experience (CX), bringing them back into your store and telling others. A PWC survey shows around 73% of consumers want great CX and will purchase again from a store offering it.
The best way to improve your CX is to walk through every touchpoint a consumer has with your brand. Think about the impression your website makes, if you trained your customer service staff properly, and what your policies are on returns and exchanges. Walk through every phase of the buyer’s journey and improve each element. You’ll gain valuable word-of-mouth marketing by enhancing the CX for current clients.
15. Begin a Referral Program
If you want to increase brand recognition inexpensively, offer a referral program to your current customers. If they send a qualified lead your way, reward them with points, gifts or monetary prizes. Any cash awards should be in the form of store credits they spend with you, as you won’t have to pay out on the actual amount. For example, if you award them $10, it might cost you $3 at wholesale.
16. Reward Top Customers
Become known as the brand rewarding top customers for their loyalty. Send out a promotional gift from time to time. Taylor Swift is known for sending surprise packages to some of her fans. Candy Crush sent out figurines to top players. The buzz created on social media from surprising others is well worth the investment in the freebies.
Get Your Name Out There
Take every available opportunity to get your name out there. The more people connect your message with your company, the more likely they’ll remember you. Building your brand name should be something permeating every aspect of your advertising strategy. Maintain a consistent presence and keep plugging away at becoming more recognizable.
Lexie is a freelance web designer and UX strategist. She loves all things design and spending time with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.