Branding is the essential ingredient of any real connection between business and consumers. Without it, brands risk irreparable damage amidst any backlash or controversy. On the other hand, with solid brand development, companies have made it through some of the worst times in their history.
Let's take Coca-Cola, for example. In 1985, the multi-million dollar company took one of the most significant risks in marketing history when they launched 'New Coke,' a new formula consumers favored more in a blind study. However, this backfired on them as people hated the change in formula. The outrage was so severe that people staged protests and poured New Coke products into the sewer drains in response.
That they recovered is miraculous, and today they are the largest beverage company worldwide. When the New Coke debacle occurred, the company was just shy of 100 years old and had invested heavily in advertising throughout that period, developing its brand identity.
Don't underestimate branding's importance. Coca-Cola's mistakes are a prime example of why. Their strong brand held them afloat and saved the company, allowing it to continue thriving for decades more.
Here are some tips for building brand awareness to make your company more resilient. That way, when you do struggle, your reputation will outweigh any minor, negative experiences.
Brands Take Time to Build
Branding is far from a short-term goal, so the sooner you get started — the better. Your brand takes time to build because you need to educate audiences about who you are, what you stand for, and what services you provide. These revelations are what customers will connect with and use as a reason to purchase from you over the competition.
Brand awareness relies on your reputation preceding information about your company, creating that association of your products/services to improve sales over time.
Popular long-term branding often includes:
- SEO — organic and paid
- Over-the-top (OTT)
Run Awareness Campaigns Alongside Action Campaigns
Developing a strong brand relies on advertising consistency. Your brand awareness campaigns should run consistently regardless of your busy seasons or your other campaigns, always keeping your name out there for customers. You also must ensure your messaging is cohesive, so customers recognize your voice across multiple channels.
There are two reasons for this. Brand awareness primes people to be more likely to buy from you because their first introduction to you is not trying to sell. After all, first impressions can make or break a company in today's market. Furthermore, research shows it takes at least five to seven memorable impressions for consumers to remember a brand. Consistency is critical in speeding this process up.
The right combination of branding campaigns and action campaigns will be your sweet spot. Branding campaigns keep your brand top of mind and increase awareness, while action campaigns support your business in the short term and increase current sales.
How to Build an Awareness Campaign
Brand awareness campaigns spread the word on your business and work best when they tell your brand story and core values. For instance, Dove's Real Beauty campaign points out the flaws in promoting unrealistic beauty standards on young women.
The campaign informed customers about what Dove stands for without explicitly promoting a sale in and of itself (only Dove promotion was a short snapshot of "the dove self-esteem fund"). How does a TV commercial about beauty standards represent Dove's values?
Dove defines their vision by saying, "We believe beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety. That's why we are here to help women everywhere develop a positive relationship with the way they look, helping them raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential."
You can build a solid brand by running brand awareness campaigns using a good mix of TV ads, digital marketing, email, and social media. Getting involved with the Portland community is another sure-fire technique to building meaningful relationships with your audience.
Brand Building is a Crucial Part of Business Development
Short-term initiatives are great for boosting current sales and making your businesses profitable right now. On the other hand, long-term brand-building marketing will strengthen your bond with the right consumers, allowing your business to sustain growth over time rather than experience small bursts of profitability.
Essentially, branding is the difference between being a phase consumers are likely to get over and being so impactful that you become a part of a consumer's life for years to come. The latter will be like Coca-Cola and Dove — thriving for decades, resonating with new and old generations with buying power.
In the end, brand building is a crucial part of business development. A trusted media partner like FOX 12 can help you succeed with the most reliable best practices and channels to help you reach short and long-term goals. Our team of experienced experts has navigated all the trials and errors of building a solid brand, so you don't have to — skip straight to the benefits!