Ivo Bozukov is an experienced business leader, having served as director of several organisations, including TrakiaBioProduct, a company he founded in 2007. Ivaylo Bozoukov is also vice president of energy transition at Forum Energy Technologies. In this role, he is responsible for outlining a development path for technologies that can be utilised by customers to lower their carbon footprint.
This article will look at brand awareness, providing an outline of measures marketers can take to increase reach and build brand awareness among consumers.
All successful companies are created with a clear vision, with the founder defining what the company stands for, its culture and what it promises to do for customers. However, despite the best marketing efforts, many brand-building initiatives fall short in terms of delivering that glorious vision.
Companies should regularly re-evaluate their core brand identity, assessing the why, what and how of their business to identify its purpose and what differentiates it from the competition. Once the business has pinned down its vision, it can then concentrate on communicating that to its target audience.
Forward-thinking companies create guidelines for brand initiatives, establishing a framework to ensure consistency across content. Verbal guidelines set clear expectations in terms of messaging, voice and tone. Direction is also necessary for brand visuals, including logos, fonts, photography, colours, videos etc. If all creative contributors follow established visual and verbal guidelines, brand initiatives will match the company’s vision.
When it comes to brand initiatives, businesses should never underestimate the influence of their own employees. Data gathered by the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that 71% of participants regarded employees as more believable than CEOs. Every interaction between customers and employees is a reflection of the brand, with staff at the helm of the customer experience. It is therefore crucial for businesses to excite and inspire employees, providing them with comprehensive information about the company’s latest products and clear expectations regarding customer communication. Employee engagement is vital for consistent positive customer experiences that deliver the brand vision.
Brand awareness embeds itself into consumer lifestyles and purchase habits to such an extent that people do not think twice before buying from certain brands, time and time again. Brand awareness is a term used to describe how familiar the target audience is with the brand and how well the public recognises a company and its products. In terms of marketing a company and the products or services it offers, brand awareness is incredibly important, particularly in the early stages of the business.
Brand awareness helps to build trust among audiences. In a world where consumers typically conduct their own research before making a purchase, checking online reviews etc., brand trust is all-important. Once a consumer bonds with a brand they are more likely to make repeat purchases with little forethought, bridging the gap between trust and loyalty.
Effectively putting a face to a brand to elicit trust from consumers, brand awareness helps to build brand equity, which is essentially the value of the brand and is determined by consumer experiences and brand perception. Positive perception and experiences lead to positive brand equity, which has a variety of important benefits, driving up stock and product prices due to higher perceived value, creating greater social impact and enabling the business to expand its range of products or services.
Businesses seeking to boost brand awareness need to focus on presenting themselves in a more personable, relatable way. In the case of a small business, building brand awareness is unlikely to result in eponym status, for example, saying ‘hoovering’ rather than ‘vacuuming’. Nevertheless, simple forms of brand building can go a long way, helping consumers to understand what the business is about, enabling customers to discover the brand by typing in associated search terms and encouraging customers to choose the brand over others, even if there are other less expensive options.
Building brand awareness need not involve spending huge amounts on billboards and high-priced advertising. Indeed, increased exposure does not always equate to increased brand awareness. Simple yet effective methods of building brand awareness include sponsoring or participating in local events, posting regularly on social media, creating a custom hashtag for Instagram and running ads on the Google Display Network.
No matter how high the quality of products or services offered, or how much the business spends on advertising, no company will get very far without creating a brand to set itself apart from the competition. Branding makes businesses more credible, consistent and recognisable, attracting talent and instilling customer loyalty. The more familiar a target audience is with a brand, the easier it is to promote the business across multiple channels, find and retain customers, successfully introduce new products and build a strong business reputation. Brand awareness paves the way for businesses to achieve a variety of marketing goals and key objectives, helping them to build an audience, generate more leads and keep ahead of the competition.