How to Increase Awareness of Your Brand
Every company, from the fledgling, single-person startup to an established enterprise, needs to find ways to increase its positive brand recognition. It’s not enough to ensure that potential customers are thinking about your business and the products or services that you offer, you need to make sure that as far as possible, they are thinking about your company in a positive and engaged way. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Give all your customers the VIP treatment
Excellent customer service should be the bare minimum at all times but occasionally going above and beyond the call of duty to keep your customers happy can pay huge dividends. The more impressed a customer is with the level of service they have received, the more likely it is that they will share their experiences with friends, family members and colleagues.
With surveys from the likes of the Harris Poll showing that more than 80 per cent of Americans will seek out recommendations from friends and family before making any kind of purchase, the power of providing customers with positive experiences should not be underestimated.
Both good and bad experiences also tend to be shared on social media so responding promptly and appropriately to any issues that have been raised will not only help mitigate any negative effect on the reputation of your brand, but an especially witty or memorable response could even win you more customers and further increase brand awareness by going viral.
Remember the power of promotional products
A well-designed, targeted direct mail campaign can be highly effective and using this in combination with a form of technology such as QR codes can be extremely useful for tracking purposes. Combining direct mail with a meaningful promotional item can lead to vastly increased conversion rates along with far higher brand awareness.
The most appropriate promotional items will depend on the audience you are trying to reach. For the general public, simple items such as mini-torches, pens or drinking mugs are inherently useful and ensure your logo and contact information are seen on a regular basis. If you’re targeting office professionals then branded power cables, USB drives or mouse mats could be more suitable.
Bear in mind that some items are more enduring than others. Confectionery is always welcome, but is likely to be consumed quickly and any branded packaging discarded so the effect on your brand awareness may be short lived.
Sending out a series of appropriate promotional gifts can also be an excellent prelude to expanding your business into new territories or even overseas. To cut down on the cost of international mail, you can connect with a local goods supplier. If, for example, you’re keen to make a big splash Down Under, you can easily dispatch promotional products Australia wide all year round, choosing from a vast range of novelty items, unique gifts and merchandise to get your message across in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
Become a charismatic thought leader
Thought leaders are those individuals responsible for coming up with new ideas and driving innovation throughout their industries. If you have launched your own company in order to better fulfill an existing need or have found a better way of doing things, you’re likely to be halfway towards becoming a thought leader already.
By establishing yourself as the face behind your brand, you can leverage growth in your personal reputation to enhance awareness of your company as a whole. Preliminary steps on the journey towards becoming a thought leader include ensuring all your social media channels carry full details of all your credentials and experience and starting a regularly updated blog, along with guest posts on other sites linked to your industry.
The ultimate aim is to get published on wider, more authoritative sources and to become a pundit on television and radio and to speak at live events. Drive innovation in your own business and use this to make bigger and bolder claims about the future of your industry to get you noticed. It’s essential that you maintain credibility at every stage so work with mentor, network widely and provide plenty of independent evidence to back-up what you say.
Be socially responsible
Today’s workforce is increasingly composed of people for whom social responsibility is a deal breaker. Surveys consistently show that millennials, who will comprise around half the workforce in the next few years, are likely to turn down job offers from companies whose approach to social responsibility does not fit in with their own. The same surveys show that when such workers are proud of the stance their company takes, they are extremely likely to share news and information on social media, boosting positive brand recognition along the way.
Consumers too are increasingly likely to vote with their feet, preferring to spend their money on brands that in some way support the local or global community rather than just being in business for themselves.
To leverage this, you first need to ensure your company has a positive social responsibility policy and then make sure this message forms part of your overall marketing effort. Take care not to let the conversation about this side of your business dominate your promotional efforts as this may lead to a backlash. No matter how passionate you are, it’s best to treat your social responsibility policy as something of an afterthought so it is never seen as a cynical attempt to win people over.
Provide a peek behind the curtain
Although it may be a truism that, while people love sausages, nobody wants to see how they are made, but giving the public a glimpse at what goes on behind the scenes of your company will not only increase awareness of your brand but is also a great way to show how passionate and committed you and your staff are.
A presence on social media is a must for any firm but with so much competition out there, simply being present on the key channels is no longer enough if you want to stand out. Providing behind the scenes content humanizes your company by showing you and your staff working hard, having fun and even making mistakes. It can also build trust and respect among prospective customers by showing you have nothing to hide.