The Secrets To Driving Brand Recognition
by Frank Cowell | Updated Apr 22, 2022
Some of the best quality leads come from word of mouth.
That's easy to do as a large, well-established enterprise. But how can startups and SMEs alike build that kind of brand recognition?
Building a brand people talk about can feel like a daunting and overwhelming task, but it doesn't have to be. You can create amazing brand awareness with some effort and, most importantly, consistency.
Building a Brand: How to Get the Recognition You Need
There is so much material out there on how brands are created but all too often they complicate the issue, leaving you with the feeling that the idea of developing a brand is something that is out of reach due to the complexities.
But you're not alone.
According to a study by the Content Marketing Institution, 89% of B2B marketers say building brand awareness is their number one goal, regardless of business size.
And while it’s true that the development of a brand can take lots of money and time, it doesn't have to.
Every company can benefit from brand-building efforts. And even though you might not have the means to build a nationally-recognized brand at any point in the near future, you can build a brand within your specified target market, also known as buyer personas.
Think of your brand as your reputation. When using this word instead of brand, you can easily understand how all companies, regardless of size or marketing budget, have reputations. Your reputation might exist only in your local community or it might span the country or even the globe. Either way, you’ve got a reputation whether you like it or not, so it's important to put some effort into developing it.
The secret and key to creating brand awareness is a very simple formula called See, Hear, Feel.
Secret #1: See
The first thing that happens in the marketplace is that your prospects SEE your brand. They see your advertisements, trucks, signage, website, and anything else bearing your company identity. Every visual component should have maximum professionalism and, above all else, consistency.
This doesn't mean you need a huge marketing budget to post billboards everywhere or push a mass mailing campaign. In fact, using a "spray and pray" method due to a lack of targeting is sure to eat up marketing dollars while providing little to no ROI.
What this actually means is being really specific about getting your brand in front of your buyer personas. Having the right audience interact with your brand in right place in the right time makes all the difference.
A recent study conducted by LocalIQ found that on average, people need to see information about a business 7 times before they become a customer. The more times you can get your brand seen by your target audience, the more likely it is you will start to positively impact your brand recognition.
How can you do this? Here's some ideas that wouldn't require a huge budget overhaul:
- Where does your target audience hang out online? For example, if they're in LinkedIn groups, join them and start sharing relevant content (not just related to your brand)
- Create targeted Bing or Google ads for certain search terms your audience is looking for. It's great if you can focus ads per part of the funnel (top, middle, and bottom). But if your budget is limited, try focusing ad spend on search terms that have bottom of funnel intent (i.e. best marketing agency, working with marketing agency)
- Get your content published on websites that your target audience frequents
- Optimize your content for SEO best practices to have it shown in search results. Keep in mind, your SEO strategy may look different if you have a global target market vs. using local SEO for a proximal audience
- Provide valuable content that is related to pain points your buyer personas struggle with. We show you how to plan this with our Digital Utopia Blueprint guide.
And these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg! If you get creative, you'll find there's so many ways to get your brand seen regardless of the resources at your disposal.
Secret #2: Hear
Next, your prospects HEAR what you have to say. They hear this in various ways such as:
- your sales collateral
- your website branding and ux design
- the words used by the person answering the phone
- the words used in your advertisements
- the words used by salespeople and customer service staff
Every message should have maximum brand consistency. That way, your target audience will be hearing a consistent message about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. One of the best things to do for this is to make sure your company is completely aligned internally as to your brand's goals, vision, mission statement, and values.
Another factor to consider is how does your target audience consume content? Getting this question is crucial in getting your brand heard. For example, if your target audience avidly attend webinars, a great way to get your brand heard would be to create valuable webinars that speak to their pain points.
If all your effort is going into creating blog content but your audience doesn't read blogs and instead listens to podcasts, your brand might get SEEN but it won't be HEARD.
Secret #3: Feel
It’s important for you to understand what is now happening in your prospect’s mind. At this point, they’ve SEEN and HEARD your brand. They have developed an idea of what to expect from your company, or what we like to call The Virtual Experience.
This is the part where your prospect becomes a customer and experiences what it is like to do business with your company. This is where your company delivers what was sold, whether immediate delivery as in food or long delivery as in construction.
Your customer is now experiencing the delivery process and the product itself (whether simple and short as in eating food or complex and long as in getting up-and-running with a major software solution). We will refer to this as The Actual Experience.
The Bank of Brand Equity
Once the FEEL part is complete, your customer will make a comparison between what they EXPECTED (The Virtual Experience) and what they FELT (The Actual Experience).
If their Actual Experience matches or positively exceeds their Virtual Experience, your company gains 1 point in the Brand Equity account. If their Actual Experience falls short of their Virtual Experience, your company loses 10 points in the Brand Equity account.
We all know you don’t get a ton of points for doing what was promised but you sure as heck will get beat up when you DON’T deliver on what was promised!
To ensure that your efforts are helping to build brand equity, you should audit your brand yearly. An auditing process should include a review of each of the three areas discussed to uncover mishaps and opportunities that could be negatively impacting your brand and, ultimately, your bottom line.
Let's Get You Started
Now you know our key secrets to building amazing brand recognition the right way, regardless of your company size or budget. But what's the next step you can take to put all these into action?
As we stated throughout, in every stage the most important thing is TARGETING. Knowing your buyer persona and creating incredible brand experiences with them will take you miles when it comes to building a positive brand reputation and gaining word of mouth.
In fact, it's hard to be successful in the current landscape without it. There's many different methods for building buyer personas, but our tried-and-true inbound methodology simplifies it and does the hard work for you.
We give you everything you need to build accurate and detailed buyer personas in our Digital Utopia Blueprint.
Here's what you'll get:
- A complete buyer persona worksheet
- A campaign development worksheet
- Built-in formulas to calculate how much you should spend on each campaign...and other critical business math
- A completed sample for reference
- Detailed instructions on how to build your experience
Fill out our quick form below to download your guide and get started now.