Ever thought of a service or seen an image that instantly reminded you of a brand or product? If one were to buy a new phone, Apple’s iPhone could at least be one of the initial options. Outside, if we look up and see two bright yellow arches forming an M while walking on a busy road, we’d immediately know that a McDonald’s branch is nearby.
These are examples of brands with high brand awareness — what most brands or businesses strive for.
But first things first: what is brand awareness?
Brand awareness refers to your target audience’s familiarity with your brand, how well they are able to recognize its logo, its name, and what your brand does.
The Global Banking & Finance Review found that 71% of consumers would more likely purchase a product/service from a brand they’re familiar with. Consumers are more likely to avail of services of a brand they’re familiar with over one they’ve never heard of before, regardless of whether both brands provide products and services of similar quality.
Boosting your brand awareness can be done well with solid public relations (PR) strategies, better still with the added help of a public relations agency. These steps can help you get started:
1. Know your audience
Ever had social media show you an ad that has nothing to do with your interests, concerns, or even your country of residence, prompting you to simply scroll or click away without a second glance? You were most likely not the target audience of the brand, but it would have appealed to someone else.
Like this ad, your brand more would likely catch your audience’s attention if you’re first aware of who they are. How would you describe them? Who are your products and services for? What do you think are their needs and concerns? What types of media do they usually use? Knowing these first can guide you going forward.
2. Determine your brand identity
Your brand identity begins with the ‘surface’ elements, such as your name, logo, colors, and slogan, and can go deeper with your brand core message, communication tone, and personality. These make your brand distinct and recognizable. A good brand identity is vital to your brand awareness.
Once you know who your audience is, you can tailor aspects of your brand identity to their interests and concerns. What is your brand meant to be to them? What do you think they’d like to see and know? Considering these, what do want them to associate with your brand?
3. Tell, share, and connect your story
Your brand has its stories to tell—ones ranging from its origins and how it came to be to its most recent developments and what it is currently doing today.
Telling stories, like your founders’, can help you humanize your brand and make it more relatable. Take Max’s Restaurant’s story for example: it’s often written on the walls of its branches, telling customers about how its founder was inspired to open a café after befriending American troops in 1945 and sharing drinks with them; the appeal of sharing drinks and meals would surely resonate with its readers.
This is also where effective PR efforts come into play. As you continue telling your story through updates and press releases, good PR would help continue developing your brand image and brand awareness. Thought–leadership pieces — articles where you share your identity expertise, usually authored or spoken by a company executive – can also help boost your reputation.
What your audience knows about your brand and what it does now should be consistent; for instance, the news you can tell can ideally support your slogan and mission statement.
4. Create engaging content
Other than your story, you can venture into creating other types of content that will capture your target market’s attention and even introduce your brand to a wider audience. One of the most prominent ways to do this recently has been through digital PR, which can boost your brand awareness through a variety of online methods.
Digital PR can include publishing online articles. What these will contain, of course, would depend in your brand and your audience. Considering your audience’s interests, what do you think they’d want to read through an online article? What do you think they’d like to know about your brand? Offer this content, and you can take the chance to include relevant links to your products, upcoming or ongoing promotions, and other published content.
You can also post different types of content through different social media platforms, from short posts and picture albums to videos of different lengths, featuring content similar to your articles or even content your audience could find simply amusing or relatable. You can even partner with influencers whose target audience overlaps with the brand’s; some makeup and skincare brands, for example, send YouTube beauty gurus their products for free so they could create a video review to be posted on their channel.
Either way, the key to building and boosting your brand awareness through social media is consistency; new content posted regularly can remind your audience of your brand’s existence, encourage them to look forward to your next post, and boost your online presence.
5. Interact with your audience
According to findings by Weber Shandwick for Forbes Insight, 52% of brand reputation can be attributed to its online sociability. Being sociable and interacting with your audience through your chosen channels, especially online, can help you increase your brand awareness.
Respond to comments on your posts—these don’t even need to be inquiries about your products/services; you can just relate to them like how an average social media user would while still matching your brand’s personality. You can even comment on viral posts relevant to your field or industry, and your comment just might pique some users’ interest.
This way, your brand won’t simply be an entity that only offers your services; again, these could help humanize your brand and make it appear approachable, more memorable for those you may have interacted with.
As you move forward and continue increasing your brand awareness and reputation, you’d likely find PR strategies that would best fit your brand identity and target audience. Expert PR agencies can help you effectively utilize these tools and more efficiently find the best fit for your brand. As you explore the agency that suits your brand best, remember these tips!