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Brand awareness in B2C marketing

05/09/2017
Brand awareness in B2C marketing

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness refers to how conscious a user is about a company. This metric not only measures a consumer’s ability to recognise a brand image but also measures whether a consumer is able to associate that image with the company’s respective product or service. If a customer automatically associates a product with a company, they are more likely to go straight to that company when the product is needed rather than search for other brands from where that product can be purchased. For example, when a consumer recognises the need for a new phone or a new pair of running shoes, they may automatically go for an Apple iPhone or Nike shoes respectively, without even considering other brands, if they associate that brand with that need. So brand awareness can be considered as a fundamental step in the sales funnel process as it provides constant reinforcement of the brand perception to prospective leads and subsequent clients.

Due to the vast number of products available on any market, it is essential for companies to have a differentiated message and a consumer base that is able to distinguish the brand from its competitors.

Marketing campaigns can be designed around creating brand awareness. This is essential during the first few years when a company is trying to create a name for itself. Brand awareness is in fact the first step in the purchasing and digital marketing funnel and should be spread through all marketing channels; both inbound and outbound.

Brand awareness has a cost

Top rankings aren’t achieved overnight, and reaching the top comes at a price. Looking at www.branddirectory.com league tables, one can only imagine the lengths that Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft go to as they battle it out for the top four spots. But that doesn’t mean smaller entities should give up hope. When investing in brand awareness, one needs simply to ensure that the right marketing channels are selected. Budgets need to be properly allocated to both traditional and digital marketing channels.

Traditional methods like TV, radio and print media may be declining due to the availability of online communications, but consumers still enjoy reading newspapers, magazines and listening to the radio. Striking ads need to project the correct image and should be presented in the most prominent ways possible to grab the user’s attention. Companies may also make use of sponsorships of public events which help to advertise the company name to prospective customers and instil the company image in the mind of the consumers.

Today, social media sites are essential when creating awareness for brands. Not only do they provide unlimited tools to reach consumers, they are also platforms used by consumers to spread brand awareness to other consumers.

Increased brand awareness helps increase sales and customer loyalty while decreasing consumer acquisition costs simultaneously.

How to Increase brand awareness and brand trust?

When creating brand awareness, companies need to work towards instilling user confidence and trust in the brand. Research has shown that, 83% of consumers that trust the brand are likely to recommend the brand to alternative users, 82% will use the company products regularly while 50% will actually pay more for that company’s products or services.

To create this element of trust, companies need to project an image of stability and deliver practical value as well as invest in innovation to differentiate themselves from competitors. Building a relationship with consumers is likely to increase brand trust and brand awareness through increased positive word-of-mouth and brand referrals and recommendations. 

 

Influencing consumer behaviour

Companies study consumer behaviour in order to identify the psychological process consumers go through when making a decision. By understanding the process, companies are able to understand consumer behaviour and identify how customers will respond to new products or services. The decision-making process involves consumers recognising a need and searching for alternatives to satisfy that need.

This process is affected by psychological factors, personal factors and social factors. Psychological factors refer to those factors that are individual to the user’s thoughts. Personal factors refer to unique characteristics that may affect the decision, such as personal interests or opinions. Selecting one brand over another is highly dependent on personal preferences such that consumers with the same need may not purchase the same brand due these preferences. Lastly, social factors are external parties, such as family members or friends, which may influence the user’s decision.

These factors greatly influence the way consumers respond to marketing communications and the way they proceed with the purchase. Marketers that know their audience can use psychology to their advantage, to attract, retain and convince consumers.

 

Keeping these points in mind will help companies to better understand the importance of brand awareness as an aspect of their B2C marketing strategy.

 

Simeon Kirilov is a digital marketing specialist at Deloitte Digital.