Small Business Brand Awareness
In the case of a small business, their level of brand awareness may not reach eponym status (e.g. asking for a Kleenex instead of a tissue), but simpler forms are counted as success.
What is Brand Awareness?
When you need a tissue, do you ask for a tissue, or for a Kleenex? When you’re ordering a drink at a fast-food restaurant, do you ask for a cola, or a Coke? What about when you cut yourself? Do you look for a plastic bandage, or a Band-Aid?
These terms are known as proprietary eponyms, and they’re the apex of brand awareness. These brands have become so well-known, they’ve replaced the generic terms for similar products in our language.
For a brand or product to become a proprietary eponym is pretty much the pinnacle of brand awareness (sorry, Pepsi). Although you might not achieve this with your small business, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot more to boost awareness of your brand.
When your consumers have brand awareness, they often learn more about your business because they know it exists and are actively seeking out information on it, rather than discovering it in a Google or Yelp search.
Brand Recognition vs Brand Awareness
Brand recognition is the extent to which a consumer can correctly identify your brand based on visual indicators such as logo and colors. For example, if you see the Dunkin Donuts pink and orange letters up ahead, before even making out the words, you’d automatically recognize it as Dunkin Donuts.
Brand awareness takes brand recognition a step further. It involves recalling not only the business name, but also the general feeling of the business, information about its products and services, and other experiential details. When a business has a level of brand awareness, their marketing and advertising campaigns mean something to their audience. They elicit feelings and emotions in the consumer.
Brand awareness is all about what the mind state your ideal clients enter when they see or hear your company’s name.
The Importance of Brand Awareness
No matter the quality of your products and services, no matter how much you spend on advertising, and no matter how much you post to social media, your business isn’t likely to get very far if it doesn’t have a brand to set itself apart.
Your brand packages up your company name, logo, offerings, and content into an experience for your audience and customers. It is the aspect of businesses that consumers come to trust, that places businesses ahead of their competitors.
Yet simply having a brand is not enough. It’s important to be consistently building that brand and strengthening its associations in the minds of your target audience. The more familiar people are with something, the more they trust it and gravitate to it. The more familiar your target audience is iwth your brand, the easier it will be to:
- Promote your business across multiple channels.
- Successfully introduce new products or services.
- Build a strong business reputation.
- Find and retain loyal customers.
As you can see, brand awareness is important because it helps pave the way for achieving a variety of your small business marketing goals and objectives like staying ahead of the competition, building an audience, and generating more leads. So how do you build a level of brand awareness that facilitates this kind of success?