You’re on YouTube, listening to an endless round of your favorite tunes and what happens? A pause right in the middle of a great song. Why? Oh, right. It’s one of those ads. You know the ones. ‘Have you heard of this brand/product before?’ So, what do you choose? Do you tell the advertisers whose money is supplying your free music fix which ones you recognize or would choose to buy? Or do you skip it? Regardless of your choice, the purpose of these ads is the same: to monitor the consumer’s brand awareness. Companies need to know whether their name and products or services are recognized by the general public because recognition means familiarity and familiarity translates into customers choosing that company with whom to do business.

By Any Other Name

When you have a boo-boo and need to cover it, do you ask for a disposable adhesive bandage or a Band-Aid? If you’re ordering a drink in a restaurant, do you ask for a Coke or a cola? If you think about it, Band-Aid and Coke are the height of brand awareness. Regardless of the manufacturer of the bandage, if you ask for a Band-Aid, most people know what you’re after. Your company with its products and services may not ever reach that status, but you can become more recognizable in your industry and location. One way is through getting your existing clients to do some of the work for you. Do you request your customers post reviews for you? Do you make it easy for them to do that? How about a referral program? If they bring you new business, what kinds of rewards can you offer to your existing clients if they bring their friends and family to you? Word of mouth still works as an advertising strategy. You as the business owner need to learn how to direct and encourage that to your benefit.

Local Advantage

Your choice to sponsor a Little League team may seem like it’s going to be all cost with no payoff. You’re forgetting, though, that all those little kids have parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents who need to buy things. They’re going to look to you first because that kid is wearing your name on their uniform in the picture hanging on grandma’s fridge. You’re building customer loyalty when you reach out to help in your own community. Road clean-ups, planting flowers at the retirement home or sponsoring a clean-up at your local park are investments of time that will pay you back in customer loyalty through brand awareness.

Building your company’s brand will pad your bottom line.