One piece of popular advice for improving self-esteem is “Don’t worry about what others think of you.” However, when it comes to brand building, you need to know if (and what) others are thinking about you! To build brand awareness, you must get people to think good things about your brand as much as possible—and then do what you can to maintain that positivity.
Brand awareness is a key component in marketing, advertising, and business strategy. The awareness of your brand is very likely to determine whether people seek out your products or services and purchase them when they find them. Unfortunately, for some companies, keeping their brand name top-of-mind is easier said than done. After all, Bob’s Bait & Tackle isn’t going to have the same recognition as say, Apple, Nike, or Starbucks.
Plus, when the world is in crisis mode, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, some forms of traditional advertising seem wasteful (and many companies have to completely rethink their branding and messaging too, as the Harvard Business Review notes in its story, Brand Marketing Through the Coronavirus Crisis).
So, here’s how to build a brand—even in a time of crisis for brands—without spending too much money.
6 Ways to Build Brand Awareness
Brand marketing is critical if you want to keep your name in the public consciousness. It’s also important during unusual times such as the coronavirus crisis because you want people to come back to your brand when things get back to normal (this is why many companies are doing brand promotions during quarantine). So, here are six things you should be doing now to give your brand a boost.
1. Create Referral Programs
Referral programs are a great way to spread the word about your product or service with little effort on your part. Your current users will gladly do it for you if you offer them a little incentive, whether it’s upgraded service, a free item, an Amazon gift card, or anything else you can think of.
Word of mouth is also one of the best and cheapest methods of advertising and building brand loyalty. Research suggests that “word of mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising in categories as diverse as skincare and mobile phones.”
2. Implement Inbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is all about interrupting people as they go about their day with advertising, promotions, public relations, and sales. Inbound marketing is all about letting people come to you! This means creating valuable content on your website in the form of blogs, videos, webinars, and more. That way, when people are searching the internet for something, your content may come up in their search and drive them to your website.
It’s worth noting that the coronavirus has “changed the way we internet,” according to the New York Times. The outlet reveals how people are spending more time online, which makes inbound marketing more pertinent than ever and one of the best crisis solutions for brands needing to continue marketing themselves.
Of course, there are a lot of components to inbound marketing. If you have some time on your hands yourself, read more about it in this Hubspot blog.
3. Provide Guest Content
Already have inbound marketing initiatives in place but seeing little website traffic? Consider creating guest content for other websites that are high performing. Leveraging their success can be a powerful way to get your name out there, introduce your brand to new audiences, and make a lasting impression.
Of course, companies enjoying high traffic aren’t just going to let anyone provide guest content (they’re bound to have many offers, so you need them more than they need you). To get their attention, you’ll need to create high-quality content that stands out.
4. Build Local Partnerships
If you understand the importance of brand awareness, you probably understand the importance of building local partnerships. Right now, a lot of attention is being given to supporting small, local businesses to help them weather the COVID-19 storm. Can you partner with one of these businesses in a way that benefits you both and gets your names out there?
For example, consider how food delivery services have partnered with local restaurants to bring meals to paying customers, and in some instances, to healthcare workers for free to build goodwill.
Of course, building partnerships is an evergreen way to build brand awareness, not just a way of marketing through a crisis. Companies have been associating themselves with charity organizations and other “feel-good” initiatives for a long time.
5. Hold Social Media Contests
In 2020, it’s estimated that more than 3.5 billion people are using social media worldwide; this number is projected to increase to nearly 4.5 billion in 2025! So, it goes without saying that one of the best places to build brand awareness is on social media sites. Also in 2020? To beat the social distancing blues, people are taking to social media like never before.
Take advantage of this by running a social media contest in which contestants submit a photo or video, with other users voting for their favorites and the winner receiving a prize. Entrants will likely share the link with friends and family to get more votes, which builds your brand awareness as a result!
6. Send Brand Awareness Surveys
This option is a real win-win: By sending an online consumer survey, you can gauge your brand awareness and increase it! For example, say a consumer receives your survey via email and their answers reveal that they are not familiar with your brand. Aside from learning that you have some brand-building to do, you’ve also now familiarized them with your brand.
Of course, you may need to spend a little bit on incentives to get consumers to take the survey—but not always. Brand marketing through the coronavirus using surveys, for example, improved survey response rates. The New York Times recently reported that surveys by phone were up to 25% more productive during the coronavirus because people, bored with social distancing, were more inclined to pick up the phone and answer questions. We’re confident that stuck-at-home individuals would also be more willing to engage in online surveys, making them a good tool for marketing through coronavirus.
Create Brand Awareness Surveys with SurveyLegend!
If tip #6 on the list above sounded appealing, we’re here to help! You can quickly and easily create brand awareness and brand loyalty surveys using SurveyLegend’s professional and eye-catching survey designs. They’re also responsive, so you can catch that smartphone websurfer, too.
Check out one of our Brand Awareness Survey Templates and then decide which type of brand awareness survey you want to conduct:
- Unaided brand awareness, or the measure of how many people know about your product without prompting (brand recall).
- Aided brand awareness, or the measure of how many people know about your product with prompting (brand recognition).
Not sure which type of brand marketing is right for you? You can always measure both in the same survey by using a blend of close- and open-ended questions. Here are some of the brand awareness survey questions we use in our template, which includes a combination of multiple-choice, Likert-scale, and open-ended questions:
- When was the last time you used this product category?
- When you think of this product type, what brands come to mind?
- Which of the following brands have you heard of?
- When did you first hear about our brand?
- In the past three months, where have you seen or heard about our brand?
- How familiar are you with our brand?
- In the past three months, how often did you hear people talking about our brand?
- How would you describe your overall opinion of our brand?
- How has your perception of our brand changed in the past three months?
- How likely is it that you would recommend our brand to a friend or colleague?
Maintaining brand awareness is critical for any company that wants to achieve brand loyalty—and what company doesn’t? While some brands have actually benefited from the COVID crisis, others have found it more difficult to maintain brand awareness as many people aren’t going to the places or engaging in the activities that they normally would. However, by following the six brand marketing techniques discussed, you can continue to keep your company top-of-mind with consumers.
Now, ready to begin creating your brand awareness survey? SurveyLegend makes it easy to get started, and we even provide you with valuable data at the end of your surveys so you can begin to measure brand awareness too. Get started today for free!
Has COVID posed some unique challenges for your brand marketing strategy? How are you overcoming them? Share your successes with our readers in the comments.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Brand awareness is how top-of-mind a brand is with a consumer. It consists of brand recall and brand recognition.
Brand recall is when consumers are able to identify your brand without any prompting.
Brand recognition is when consumers are able to identify your brand, but only when prompted with some type of visual aid or reminder.
Most companies measure brand awareness through consumer surveys.