Your brand is an investment, one that you’ve more than likely taken the time to carefully craft and build up over time. No matter how incredible your brand is, it’s null and void if nobody knows about it.
“Brand awareness is a marketing term that describes the degree of consumer recognition of a product by its name. Creating brand awareness is a key step in promoting a new product or reviving an older brand. Ideally, awareness of the brand may include the qualities that distinguish the product from its competition.” – Investopedia
The value of brand awareness is difficult to quantify but easy to see. Think about all of the products or services you see or use every single day. Products like iPhones, Sharpie’s, Bose, or Starbucks. The brand name itself is enough to identify the product, and that is what we would call successful brand awareness. But not every company has multi-million dollar budgets for television ad campaigns, Super Bowl commercials, massive online ad spend, or some of the other higher-level enterprise marketing initiatives.
So, how do smaller companies or those with tight marketing spend compete? There’s a fairly simple answer to that question. Customer experience.
What Exactly Is The Customer Experience?
At its core, the customer experience is the relationship that a customer has with your product or service. It’s every interaction and relationship they form with your business, product, or service. That relationship can be summarized with a few key questions.
- Is it a positive one?
- Is it a negative one?
- Was it a memorable experience?
- Was it a forgettable experience?
- Would they tell their friends and family about it?
- Would they post about it on social media?
These questions are fairly broad, but they detail some key points about a customer’s experience. If their purchase was smooth and seamless, they are more likely to have a positive experience that they would tell their friends about. If their purchase was difficult, slow, and inaccurate — their experience was likely negative, memorable, and may even be posted about on social media. The cascading implications of the customer experience are heavy and reflect heavily on your brand.
That being said, extremely positive customer experiences are opportunities for advocacy. If you can build advocates out of your customers, you’re essentially creating your market while marketing at the same time.
Why Is Brand Awareness So Important?
Customers are smarter now than ever. That means you don’t need to coddle them into buying your product or service. In fact, many customers prefer to figure things out on their own. That being said if a customer doesn’t know that your brand exists, they won’t be able to purchase.
It’s tough enough to sell as it is. Nearly every market has become a bit congested and competition is fierce across the board. That being said, one of the many ways you can navigate the crowded room is to focus on brand awareness. The more your product or service is known, the easier it is to sell.
Like we said, your brand is an investment. The more awareness your brand has the more valuable it becomes. Investing in brand awareness doesn’t necessarily take a massive budget (although it helps). But as we’ve seen time and time again, smaller companies have found workarounds and gotten their name out there. Positive brand awareness breeds advocacy, and advocacy builds trust. Once you have established these components you are well on your way to success.
But how do you measure brand awareness?
It’s a pretty strange idea. Not only is it difficult to measure how many people know your brand or product, but it’s also difficult to measure if they understand it. That being said, it’s not impossible. With the right tools, strategies, and data you can effectively measure your brand awareness to inform your customer experience tactics for improvements and success.
- Measure brand recall – how well people remember your brand name
- Measure brand recognition – how well people can pick your brand out of a list of competitors
- Measure brand attributes – what type of feelings or emotions they associate with your brand
Connecting The Dots: Customer Experience and Brand Awareness
Ok, we’ve covered what customer experience is and why it’s important. We’ve explored the necessity for brand awareness and how it can lead to company success. Now it’s time to connect the dots and explain how improving your customer’s experience can increase brand awareness. The truth is that this connection isn’t subtle, it’s fairly obvious.
The customer experience is defined by all of the touchpoints a customer has with your brand — great experience creates advocacy — and advocacy creates increased brand awareness. So what are some possible customer touchpoints?
- Email marketing
- Contact center or support
- Word of mouth
- Social media
- Online advertisements
- E-commerce store
- Brick and mortar
- Follow up experience
- Point of sale
There are so many more, and they can differ greatly depending on the business model or niche.
Amazon has created quite possibly the single greatest brand awareness campaign of all time, in part because of their incredible customer experience. The Ritz Carlton has also invested heavily in the customer experience and has seen incredible returns on their brand recognition, awareness, and advocacy. While these are definitely some giants in their respective industries, their strategy isn’t anything out of your league. Investing in your customers is a company and a brand mindset. Caring about their experiences throughout every step of the customer journey can’t be faked and there are no shortcuts.
Brand awareness is a bi-product of incredible customer experience. As we mentioned, customers are more likely to tell friends or family about an experience if it’s positive. If their experience really blew them away they may even rave about it on social media, review platform, or a forum. Sometimes, social media influencers play a huge role in brand awareness without paid sponsorship. Even a brief mention or use of a product or service they truly believe in can do wonders for brand recognition.
Let’s think about how we measure brand awareness.
- How well a customer remembers your brand
- Can they discern you from similar brands
- How do they feel about your brand
All of these measurements can be improved through incredible customer experience. Positive customer experience can make your brand memorable, stand out above your competitors, and create positive attributes from your customers. This all leads to customer advocacy and loyalty.
Start Building Brand Awareness The Better Way
Brand awareness is such a necessary facet of successful businesses nowadays. New avenues in digital marketing have allowed many brands to successfully expand their awareness through affordable means. But perhaps the best avenue is by investing in your customers by providing a robust and reliable customer experience.
Implementing a contact center that understands the complexities and importance of customer experience is a necessity. Providing a great customer experience can do wonders for your brand awareness. But failing to provide a positive customer experience can be damaging. Contact centers like ours that provide an omnichannel approach that focuses heavily on the customer experience can be a massive contributor to spreading positive brand awareness.