How to Use Marketing to Increase Familiarity and Customer Connection
Let’s perform a thought experiment for just a moment: What are the first companies that come to mind when you think of soft drinks? What about diapers? Smartphones?
Odds are, you immediately thought of Pepsi or Coca-Cola, Pampers or Huggies, and Apple or Samsung. Why? Because you were already familiar with those brands and may have even had an emotional connection to one or more of them. Additionally, your top-of-mind awareness of these brands is subtly but persistently pushing you to buy their products (whether you realize it or not). One Nielsen study of the automotive industry found that 90% of all purchase intent is due to unaided (i.e., top of mind) awareness.
The question is: How can your company tap into this powerful phenomenon? The reality is that strong brands don’t achieve recognition overnight. It takes time for customers to get familiar with a brand and even more time to forge a meaningful relationship. However, the common denominator in the cases mentioned above is robust advertising aimed at generating sales and increasing brand awareness. When your company is winning the brand awareness war, you can usually count on sustainable growth.
How Brands Connect with Customers
Brand awareness advertising is one of the best ways to connect with your customers. It’s a primary method of building a strong brand that can carry its momentum after a certain point.
Often, advertisers are primarily concerned with “bottom-line numbers,” such as how many leads a campaign generates or how many sales it makes. However, when you invest in brand awareness advertising, you’re pursuing two simultaneous objectives:
- You want customers to associate positive feelings and experiences with your company.
- You want to position your business as a unique brand, separate from the competition.
As a simple example, imagine that you advertise your business on a popular radio show. Perhaps the show’s host even endorses your company. As you continue advertising on the show, listeners will increasingly identify your brand with the show — and if they’re fans, they’ll be more likely to buy from your business. Interestingly, though, it could be several months or even years before you start seeing tangible returns from your investment (and even then, it’s often hard to correlate those results to a specific ad campaign).
Nevertheless, when you connect with your consumer base via radio, podcasts, digital, or other mediums, you subtly condition people to perceive your company differently. Simply put: You control your narrative.
Launching Awareness Campaigns
Brand awareness campaigns familiarize consumers with your brand, even if there is no specific call to action associated with your messaging. (Though many brand awareness campaigns do include CTAs.) Elements of a brand awareness campaign may consist of jingles, slogans, color schemes, logos, special offers, and a unique selling proposition (USP). GEICO’s famous tagline provides a classic example of effective branding: “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.”
You can deliver your brand awareness messaging to your target audience in several ways. For instance, radio and audio ads typically work well as part of a brand awareness campaign because you can quickly explain information and include a lot of branded narratives to share your values. Radio ad campaigns can increase brand awareness up 18% to 50% from running campaigns and helps to improve the effectiveness of other parts of your campaign. Display ads online also fit into effective campaigns, mainly due to their visual appeal. Of course, both approaches are the most effective strategy to implement.
Back Up Your Ads with Quality
You likely have heard the old saying: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Deploying a brand awareness campaign is a great tactic to attract customers to your brand and stir their interest. You may even close some sales from your efforts. However, if you want to form a lasting connection with those customers, you must offer quality products or services. Furthermore, you must offer it alongside exceptional customer care for any post-purchase issues that may arise.
World-class advertising can only carry you so far if the quality is lacking elsewhere. Exceptional quality brings in repeat customers, whether in physical products or services rendered. Advertising on top of excellent service helps you thrive.
What if your business has done well, but you’ve reached a saturation point in your market? In that case, it may be time to scale your business, perhaps by penetrating new markets or expanding your catalog of offerings. Both strategies can be successful but require careful planning and diligent follow-through.
Leverage Marketing for Increased Brand Awareness
Brand awareness campaigns can increase familiarity with your brand and encourage customers to perceive your brand a certain way. When people identify with your values, mission, and story—and your brand quickly comes to mind—they’ll be much more likely to do business with you. Of course, if you want to win repeat business, you must back up your awareness initiatives with high-quality products or services.
The bottom line? A long-term brand awareness strategy helps create a robust, durable brand through strong customer connections. While there is an upfront cost to brand awareness advertising, the rewards are well worth it. With the help of an experienced media partner, you’ll be able to forge meaningful relationships with customers that will contribute to sustainable growth.
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