When a problem arises that you can solve, you want your brand to be the first thing your ideal customer thinks about. You want to be the leader in your niche, the go-to expert, a trusted name in your industry…in other words, you want your brand to be Top of Mind.
A strong brand is capable of communicating your company’s values, mission and vision well—and it will have the ability to colour perceptions of your business. However, without a branding strategy and marketing strategy designed to put your brand “out there” and keep it top of mind, that brand will not only fail to be the go-to you want it to be, it will suffer from a serious lack of brand awareness.
So how can you make your brand the first brand that comes to mind? Read on.
How to Keep your Brand Top of Mind
When I ask you to name a model of car, a type of cell phone, a designer clothing brand and a brand of peanut butter, one name quickly comes to mind for each category. The brands you have named have been expertly branded and marketed and have either earned your loyalty (because you prefer them) or your attention (because you are receiving their messages).
This didn’t happen accidentally. The branding and marketing experts for your favourite (or most popular) brands followed a formula for landing their products in the front of your mind. There are certainly variations of strategy, depending on industry and market; however, attaining top of mind status generally follows this formula:
- Make an emotional connection. Today’s consumers are less concerned with facts than with how a brand makes them feel. Emotional satisfaction (or the elimination of a negative emotion) is factored in whenever a customer calculates the net benefit of doing business with any brand. Know what emotional experience your ideal client is hoping to encounter or avoid, and then find ways to deliver that. This will open their hearts, which will in turn open their minds.
- Remain present. Rarely will a consumer make a purchase immediately after learning about a brand for the first time. In his 1885 book, Successful Advertising, Thomas Smith noted that a consumer will have to be exposed to a brand message 20 times before he or she makes a purchase. Although this was written more than a century ago, the logic still rings true. Know where your ideal client can be reached, and be there (with a good media mix) on a regular basis.
- Be available. After consumers become aware of your brand, they’ll want to learn more about it. This can only be accomplished if your brand is accessible. Employ solid SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) tactics for internet search. Build a branded, informative and relevant website. Create social media pages on those channels that best serve your ideal client. Purchase the domain names that relate to your brand. Track analytics and make adjustments in order to acquire the greatest amount of traffic with the least effort. And always remember: The greatest brand is only great as long as it’s available to the consumer; otherwise, the next brand becomes the greatest brand.
- Consistently offer value. Ideal clients, potential clients, new clients and old should all feel the value when they interact with (or simply observe) your brand. A regular blog that contains helpful information that is of interest to your ideal customers will accomplish this, as will your informative and expert engagement with them on social media.
- Be unique. Too many brands think they can become top of mind by imitating their competitors. All this does is solidify the competition’s top of mind status, by reminding people of that brand. Instead, find a gap, an unsolved problem or a new way of solving it. Attain top of mind status by being the one brand that’s different from all the rest.
- Create a buzz. At its core, marketing is about getting attention. And the best way to get attention is to start people talking about your brand. What will make your target audience talk? And recommend your brand to their family and friends? Study their behaviour. Learn what’s important to them. Find out what they like to talk about. Only then will you know how to get their attention, keep it…and put them to work for you, getting other people’s attention.
If you employ these tips for creating top of mind awareness, I’m confident that you will see results. Keep it up, and people will start coming to you for expert advice. They will refer your brand to others. You will notice an increase in ideal clients coming to you, with less and less effort required from you.
Want to learn more about how branding and marketing can create better top of mind awareness? Then I suggest enrolling in our B.R.A.N.D. Kick Starter Online Masterclass. At your own pace, you’ll learn how you can attract more ideal clients who will pay you what you’re worth—resulting in higher profits and more free time. Sign up here.