Building brand awareness is like discovering the Philosopher’s Stone: every brand manager wants to do it but those who succeeded - do not share the recipe.
Building brand awareness is essential because before making a choice a potential client weighs all pros and cons carefully. Why should I prefer this company to other companies? In customer’s picture of the world, the best brands stand for something–a bright idea, an extraordinary strategy, unique values, a voice that stands apart. Brand awareness is the synonym of a good reputation that is why companies should be busy creating a dynamic and expert reputation. But what exactly is this elusive brand awareness?
Simply put, brand awareness is the extent to which a company is recognized by potential customers. According to Forbes, brand awareness is the company's safety bag during crises. It’s the resilience with which a company can deal with controversial situations.
So brand awareness is the elixir of life for a company. But what effective tools do companies use for branding? After a thorough research, I‘ve concluded that these are 11 most effective tools for building brand awareness:
Have you read how Snapchat stock lost $1.3 billion because of Kylie Jenner’s tweet? Influencers gained the real superpower in the age of the Internet: they can destroy the brand and they can make it rich with just one tweet. Influencer marketing has never been as powerful as it is today when the information travels faster than sound. Influencers have the trust of the followers who want to resemble them and drive the same cars wearing the same clothes.
But I would say that the real superpower of influencers is the trust of their followers. Trust. It is as rare in branding and marketing as unicorns in real life, and companies who sign contracts with Hollywood stars know it.
Giving freebies is effective because it resonates with one of the most effective social psychology rules of reciprocity. This rule states that people are prone to respond to positive and friendly actions with positive and friendly actions as well. In other words, the chances to sell something are rising immensely after a brand gives freebies. A free trial is a classic example of freebies utilized by almost all software companies.
Go where your customers are - this is the unspoken law of branding and marketing. Most customers stare at the phones at the moment that is why big brands catch them there. Uber, Airbnb,and DHL built mobile apps to make communication with their customers easier and more comfortable for customers in the first turn. While the most successful and innovative brands decide to create AR apps for marketing. Take Ikea’s AR app for example: apart from serving a practical purpose, it turned into a sort of a game. One thing was clear: this AR app was a huge success.
Mobile apps help to alleviate the communication with the brand in the most comfortable way possible. AR apps can add some magic to this communication.
TV remains is still an effective tool for raising brand awareness but the target audience it can reach is very limited today. For instance, TV ads don’t work well for millennials, people born after 1980, who will never spend money on a TV ( as well as diamonds and soap for some reason). So brands that care about awareness among younger generation should not rely on TV ads a lot. Z generation and alpha kids who grew up in the tech world will soon not know what TV is.
Paid advertising was effective at the early age of the Internet. But not for a long time! until people got totally blind to the ads. Some studies suggest that modern Internet users don’t notice consciously or unconsciously 93% of all ads perceiving it as a visual noise. Using paid advertising for brand awareness campaign can still be effective but it should be a plan B solution because of the increasing level of banner blindness.
7.SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Have you heard the phrase: “If your company is not on Google, it doesn’t exist?” That’s why using social media for branding for raising brand awareness is as natural as asking a girl for a date if you like her. Social media shape the image of the company making it more tangible and human-like. More than that, social media profiles give customers a chance to talk with the company the way they talk with a friend. Young adults from 18 to 35 follow brands online if they post interesting and educational content.
The superpower of social media marketing is that it’s the ubiquitous tool for reaching almost any target audience. And, what is more, it gives quick and visible results, such as likes, shares, and comments. Even having a simple social media page increases brand exposure immensely: it’s the platform where potential customers can express their emotions, leave reviews communicate.
Sending e-mails to real and potential customers still works. Imagine a businessman who decided to try a digital detox course because his wife told him it’s trendy and all her friends on Instagram did it. He flies to a deserted island, finds the most unreachable bungalow, turns off his smartphone. He goes further: he doesn’t check his LinkedIn and Facebook for a week. But the chances are really high that once in 3 days he will log in to verify if there are some important e-mails. Because in B2B people still send the most important information via e-mails.
10.PUBLICATIONS IN MEDIA
Media coverage is very important. Is there is anyone if this world who needs proof? It seems there is no sense to explain why media coverage by authority media is essential for the majority of companies. “There is a piece about us in Forbes. What can you add to that?
11.AUGMENTED REALITY MARKETING SOLUTIONS
Among all the range of tools that help marketers to increase brand awareness, it’s easy to pass by augmented reality marketing solutions.
Augmented reality is a relatively new technology for marketing and branding, yet most big companies have already added it to the digital marketing menu
The thing is to implement AR into a branding strategy one must be a bit tech-savy, and it’s sometimes difficult to understand what it is and how to calculate ROI from AR marketing campaign. It’s even more difficult to predict the price of AR marketing campaign.
But those companies that used augmented reality for marketing Augmented reality marketing services are the chance to transform the abstract notion of branding into something more tangible. AR application in branding is providing users with experience, awesome and engaging stories, WOW effects, optimization.
Sticking a logo on a T-shirt is the most literal expression of branding, but it gives nothing if customers don’t associate your company with exact values, qualities, and emotions. Look at Slack, the messenger that got popular almost instantly among bold startups creating an image of a bold startup after a launch. Image, tangible experience, associations give Slack more than even the best UI/UX.
Why will AR technology work for brand awareness?
AR MARKETING APP AS A STORY ITSELF
Brands are looking for hot and juicy stories. Because brands are supposed to create and tell stories all the time to whet to customers’ appetite and to fuel hype. Look around, the most successful brands create the most engaging and interesting stories giving meaning to their products. Even logos can tell a never-ending and engaging story to customers. For example, Mercedez: when they created their famous logo, they meant to show the domination over the sea, the land, and the sky. Today their symbol is as magnetic and as energizing as it was years ago because of the meaning it contains.
Yet the companies using AR today receive one huge competitive advantage: AR for branding is a spicy story itself.
No need to create additional plot twists and think about a news hook: Tech magazines write about each company that implements AR in operations and marketing. For instance, when HoloLens partnered with Volvo, the story was covered in several magazines at once.
AR APP AS FEATURE
Snapchat was just a messenger in the very start. Not different from Facebook messenger or What’s Up. Any messenger gives you a possibility to chat with other users with the help of instant messages. Easy and predictable.
Today Snapchat is associated with AR, first of all, this messenger made augmented reality its core feature. It placed a bet on AR and didn’t miss.
The company created hilarious AR filters which changed people into unicorns, cats, and received insane popularity.
AR FOR CO-BRANDING
Co-branding is an effective strategy to reach a broader target audience and inherit the image and the reputation of the partners. Brands that work together merge and, as a result, earn more attention in the end.
AR solution for marketing can be the way to improve the image of the company adding “tech-savy feature to the list.” For instance, a Swiss tobacco company used AR to co-brand with nightclubs to enrich their customers’ experience making their party life much more saturated with the help AR games, freebies, and guidelines.
One thing is certain: branding is never fast as well as philosopher’s stone creation. It’s a long and tedious process of transmutation and communication. After all, we don’t make friends with people we meet all at once. We need time. We need to get used to them first, see them in different situations, talk to them first.
Yet AR marketing can become a catalyst in brand awareness building. Think about it, if you had to explain AR to a kid, you would say that it’s magic. That’s why.
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