A brand defines what comes to mind when people, whether they are your customer or not, think of your business. Think of the biggest tech companies in the world. It's the casual word of mouth people pass along to each other when that company’s name enters the conversation. They talk about that company’s innovation, efficiency, friendliness, design, or it’s terrible customer service, and that’s all brand awareness. When public perception is positive, it can help your company grow and acquire new customers. When it’s negative, it can have the opposite effect. It can deter people from even giving your company a chance and send them straight to one of your competitors. So how can you grow your brand awareness to show your company in the best possible light?
First, Determine the Value of Your Company
Your company should first develop its value, which can be defined by a mission statement and vision. A company’s mission statement explains its purpose for existing. It should explain what your company does to improve the lives of its customers. A vision, on the other hand, details what it hopes to achieve in the future. It expresses your company’s long-term goals and how they will impact your stakeholders for the better. Don’t think about revenue or specific numbers, but what your customers and other stakeholders see as the value of your business as it impacts their lives and society at large. These two concepts will determine how your company can move forward with building a brand.
Let’s take a look at Microsoft’s mission statement: “To enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.” Microsoft Office, for example, has been integrated into businesses and schools worldwide as people work their way to becoming top professionals. This is value of Microsoft; it’s what many of their customers hope to achieve by using their products—to realize their academic and career goals. If you’re not sure what the value of your company is to your customers, buyer personas is one tool you can use to help.
Build Your Brand Positioning Through Differentiation
Brand positioning consists of any benefits your company offers in your customers’ mind, especially those that differentiates your company from the competition. A strong brand positioning strategy will help your company acquire customers who are specifically looking for what your business offers the best. People just want something that solves their problems in manner that’s as close to perfect to them as possible. In order to develop your brand positioning, there’s two key things your company must know: what about your business resonates with your customers and which are unique or at least more rare to your business.
The first thing your company has to do is research your immediate competition and figure out their brand positioning is, so that your company knows how it can differentiate itself from them. Most of this information can be gathered from their own public customers reviews, testimonials, third-party comparisons, and the information they lead with in their marketing approach. What do their customers say about the quality of their tech, their business model, and their staff? Remember, branding encompasses everything under a company’s control and should be consistent. Sending a clear and consistent message throughout your company while your competitors are inconsistent can also become a differentiation factor for your company.
Now you can determine what your strengths are in comparison to your competitors and what differences would make consumers choose your company. Is your tech more efficient, reliable, less costly, more innovative, easier to use, more accurate, better quality or more fun? Are your employees more friendly, helpful, responsive, and patient? Is your business model more transparent and gives your customers the most for their money? These are all among the things you can consider you’re your team combs through your own customer interviews, reviews, testimonials as well as third party reviews and comparisons to find the answers.
Determine A Consistent Brand Personality
You should also come to think of your brand as a person, so it can have a consistent presentation and personality for your customers. This makes it easier for them to recall your company as if it were a person who made a good impression. This will build brand awareness. Your brand personality should be consistent with your company mission, vision, and brand positioning.
If your company strengths include being more professional and efficient, then your brand personality should match. The image your company gives off should be more technical, serious, credible, informative and results-driven in helping your customers achieve their goals. If your company is more playful, open, and emphasizes a personal touch to your tech and customer service, then your brand personality should match that as well. It should be friendly, modern, up to the latest trends, and encourage a dialogue between your business and customers as they accomplish their goals through your business.
Implement Your Brand Personality and Positioning To Increase Awareness
Now it’s time to blend everything together. Your brand positioning (your strengths and what differentiates your company) should be at the forefront of product promotions and offers. That way, even if someone has no interest in purchasing your tech, it will still come to find that if they have a friend who is specifically looking for what your company offers , your company will come to mind and they will refer them to you. This is the power of brand awareness. Think what Apple is known for: quality and innovation. When you view their advertisements, it’s easy to see how that is reinforced. It’s also what people talk about when they refer to Apple in conversation.
On a final note, personality is a company-wide commitment. It should come across in your employees and customer services as they interact with your customers. It should be in the design and atmosphere of your physical location. It should be visible in your packaging of your tech, your website, your logo, your emails, your blogs, your videos, and your social media. Customers drawn to your tech will feel at home and more comfortable dealing with you business, increasing its value in their eyes. This is how people end up happily referring your business, because you’re offering them exactly what they needed in a presentation that spoke them.