Building brand awareness is one of the most common challenges a growing brand can face. It can seem like a scary, complicated minefield that takes a substantial amount of time and a significant marketing budget. But it doesn’t have to be.
Brand awareness, put simply, is how front of mind your brand is within a population who is ready and willing to purchase the products or services from your brand’s category. For years, brand awareness has been linked to penetration and market share growth – here, we’ll discuss why building brand awareness is vital to growing your business. Competition is heated and mindshare is limited.
Today, it has never been easier to create a brand. And that means that now, more than ever, there are endless amounts of brands to choose from. With so many brands out there, there’s a lot of competition for getting into the mind of your potential customer. Yet getting that mindshare and that top-of-mind positioning is essential for your brand’s growth.
This is where solid differentiation – your brand’s unique distinctiveness – comes in.
To differentiate your brand from the competition, focus from the start on building simple, consistent, ownable, and memorable brand assets. It can be your brand’s logo, owning a particular colour, a memorable tagline, or attractive packaging. All of these things and more, used correctly over time, will create distinctive memory structures. Each of which help bring your brand forward in the minds of shoppers when they’re purchasing within your category.
On April 26, 1915, the Trustees of the Coca-Cola Bottling Association voted to expend up to $500 to develop a distinctive bottle. So, eight to ten glass companies across the U.S. received a packaging brief to develop a “bottle so distinct that you would recognize if by feel in the dark or lying broken on the ground”.
From the onset, the brand has known the importance of investing consistently behind differentiation. Look at the bottle shape below and try not to think of Coke. It’s this long-game which has helped the brand achieve that top-of-mind awareness whenever a consumer thinks ‘soft drink’.
Successful brands have universal appeal and a wide customer base.
It’s a common temptation for young brands to advertise in short marketing bursts to a small, segmented audience, and then take time off to collect more marketing budget to burst again. In the early days of building your brand, however, it’s crucial to hold consistency. Successful growth brands have broader, universal appeal, a wide customer base, and consistent messaging.
Why? Consumers have never been more fickle, and in times of competitive convergence, a far more efficient and cost-effective strategy for a young brand should be centred around filling the top of your brand’s leaky bucket. It’s focused on penetration and driving new customers, not loyalty or increased frequency of purchase amongst your existing customers.
While advertising bursts can lead to brand growth, these efforts are quite short lived. To drive new users, it’s better to aim for mass communication with a distinct, consistent message and frequency. An always-on communication strategy helps build brand awareness and helps to ensure that your brand is well positioned in the minds of a category buyer when it comes to the point of purchase.
Take Dove, for example. The consistency in their colouring, talent, font structure, and composition means you could remove the Dove logo and still immediately recognise what brand the message was coming from.
The truth about brand awareness driving growth
Building brand awareness takes patience – and there are no shortcuts for long-term, sustainable growth.
Powerhouse brands should spend up front to create distinctive brand assets they can bet on and own. Over time, these differentiators create front-of-mind brand awareness around the point of purchase.
Creating distinctive brand assets, coupled with broad-reaching, always-on communication, allows your brand’s proposition to start solidifying itself into the minds of people.
So, why is brand awareness important to growing your business?
Because competition is high: Focus on your brand’s differentiation by creating distinctive, attractive sensory cues that burn your brand into people’s minds and separate your brand from the pack.
Because mindshare is limited: With millions of brands to choose from, an individual only has a small subset of available brands to consider. Break into their consideration set not only through differentiation, but by ensuring your brand has clarity – that people understand your brand’s role in their repertoire.
Because penetration outpaces loyalty: Drive new customers and break into new households with broad-reaching consistency – consistency of message and consistency of an always-on message to the masses.
Start monitoring your brand’s awareness
Our Brand Management platform, ProQuo AI, provides growing brands with access to affordable, always-on brand awareness monitoring. See what real people feel and think about your brand versus your key competition on Drivers like Differentiation, Attraction, Clarity, and Consistency. Then, let our AI-powered brand guidance tell you what you need to do to get bigger, faster – book a demo and get seven days for free today.