What is your brand awareness dream? If you dare to dream about your brand name becoming synonymous with the products and services you offer, well then you've got the level of desire necessary for building some serious brand awareness.
When's the last time you asked for an adhesive bandage? Or a cola? How about a slow cooker or some lip balm? Of course, you didn't ask for these things. You asked for a Band-Aid, a Coke, a Crock Pot and some Chapstick. These brand names are synonymous with the products they represent…and honestly, I almost feel badly for the brands that follow them. They will forever be referred to by their competitor's brand names.
So how can you move your brand toward that level of brand awareness? A level that causes people to use your brand name whenever a need arises, even if your competitors are winning the bid? A brand name that's so prevalent that people start calling all related products by your brand name—virtually forgetting their practical names?
You can take cues from the brand names that have achieved synonymy. You can study their histories and follow their moves. You can digest their stories and analyse the methods they used to build brand awareness.
Or, you can just take a look at the list we've put together here.
How the Most Popular Brands Build Brand Awareness
Putting your brand in all the right places, in front of all the right people, is the key to building brand awareness; however, knowing the answers to where and who isn't always all that easy.
The brands with the most impressive brand awareness have some pretty cool tricks up their sleeves, and you can make those tricks your own by doing the following:
- Create a Referral Programme. Word of mouth advertising is the best kind there is, because people naturally look to friends and family for advice on which brands to choose. So how do you put the name of your brand on the lips of those who love it most (and who know more of your ideal clients)? One great way is to start a referral programme. It's simple, really: reward those people who refer other paying customers to your business. Think outside the box with this one. The reward can be a physical item, although it doesn't have to be. It can be a membership, a trial, a V.I.P. pass, a consultation…or anything you know your ideal customers will value.
- Free Samples and Trial Offers. It's no secret that people are far more willing to try something new if there's no risk and little or no investment. Free trials and gifts not only allow people to experience the wonder that is your brand, they show them the potential that the full package holds. Use this strategy to get people talking and sharing your brand with others.
- Host a Social Media Competition. You've seen the posts: "Like and share to win this car," or, "Comment with your favourite vacation destination to win a free trip." When one person shares, likes or comments on that post, their social media connections see that activity. And when those people do the same, their connections see your post, too. This is a fabulous way to create something with your brand name on it that can have a reach so massive that it's utterly impossible to predict its scope.
- Make Guest Appearances. One great way to put your brand directly in front of your target audience is to find other complementary brands with lists containing high concentrations of your ideal customers. Partner with those brands in a synergistic way, and work to make great impressions with that brand's audience…in an effort to make its members part of your audience, too. You can turn this approach on its head by asking other brands' representatives to make guest appearances in your brand's places.
- Create Shareable Infographics. There's nothing more valuable than invaluable information, and when your own intellectual property adds up to something that will lead people to solutions in the most direct manner possible, that information becomes a precious commodity. Put it in visual form. Use it as a thing of value and give people who have contact with your target market the tools they'll need to share it. The key is to make sure your brand is getting credit for this life-changing information. That's how you'll build brand awareness.
- Team Up with an Influencer. Influencers are those people (sometimes celebrities, sometimes niche gurus) whom others respect and look to for advice and recommendations. Even if that influencer isn't in the business of promoting brands like yours, simply wearing your fashions, eating your noodles, or swimming in your pools could be enough to cause hundreds, thousands or millions of your ideal customers to take a cue from that influencer. Before you choose the influencer you will approach, just make sure that the people who follow him or her are the types of people who need your solution.
- Wrap your Vehicle. Have you seen this? Business owners and representatives have their cars wrapped with removable brand graphics, so that everywhere they go, they're advertising for their brand. There are even people out there willing to have their own cars wrapped for a fee. A billboard is stuck in one place. A wrapped vehicle will go wherever your ideal customers are.
- Tell your Brand Story. And tell it every chance you get. People love a good story, and they'll want to repeat it. You can tell your story in-person, in a YouTube video, on your website, in a blog post, through your email campaigns, and so much more.
- Be Unique. A huge part of brand awareness is memorability. If your brand isn't different enough to make a lasting impression, then awareness of it won't spread. Whatever you decide your brand will be known for, be the utmost. Be the funniest, or the most eccentric, or the most creative, or the most shocking…and do it like it's never been done. Then people won't be able to stop talking about it.
- Be Provocative or Controversial. A great way to get your brand noticed is to stir the pot. Just be careful not to alienate your target audience. Frankly, the others don't matter (and your brand will gain notoriety when they complain about it).
Well, there you have it: some pro tips for building brand awareness on your way to product synonymy. Use the tips that you believe will work best for your specific brand (or all of them), and then let us know how you're getting on by joining the How to Build a Brand group on Facebook and getting in on the conversation. It's free to join. In fact, I don't think you can afford to stay away.