“Who’s that?” and “What’s that?” These are two phrases you probably don’t want to hear if you have a brand that is delivering value in the market. It refers to brands that are unknown. It refers to brands that are forgettable and hence forgotten.
Think about someone you have met before, but whom you have forgotten their name. Their face looks familiar, but the very next time you meet them you are embarrassed to ask the question, “Sorry, what’s your name again?” You feel bad about it, impolite even. But consider it might not be your responsibility. It might be theirs! It’s very possible that they just didn’t present themselves in a way that is worth preserving in your heart or mind.
Now think about someone who had a heart-felt impact on your life. Whether they made you happy and inspired, or whether they really ticked you off – either is fine. It’s whatever comes first to mind. Got it? Great. I wouldn’t be surprised if you recalled them by name. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could even recall the visual of their face. Like that person, you also want your brand to stick in the hearts and minds of people in the market.
How strong is the awareness around your brand?
This is referred to as brand recall, which is the ability for consumers to correctly retrieve your brand in their memory. And the more easily it is retrieved, the strong brand awareness will be – which is a measure of how many people know your brand. Please note – that does not necessarily mean they like your brand. That is not the point. The question at hand is whether your brand exists in their constructed reality of life. And in some amazing instances, they re-define daily terms. Think Google – when you want to research or find an answer, people use the phrase “Google it.” Now, when you google “Apple” – you don’t get the fruit. You get the company whose logo is a bitten apple.
Recall that your brand is your business’ identity/personality in the hearts and minds of your customers. Your brand lives within their feelings, and partakes in their daily thoughts. There are of course, the many complex components to your brand that influence the degree to which people are aware of you. From your logo, product packaging, service packaging, dress-code, language patterns, business operating model, market partnerships etc. The focus of this book, will be the seed of your brand.
What is brand awareness and why is it important?
As David Ogilvy so well coined – you have to recognize that every interaction you have with your customers is a brand-building opportunity. The power of building brand awareness goes back to the principle of mindshare. Something I learned from my branding mentor Howard Lim. The more you occupy space in their minds, the easier you can bypass your competition.
Just imagine – every time a consumer thinks of an experience, service or product they want – an image, sound, scent or visceral experience is automatically loaded to their neurology. If it was the first thing that pops up in their mind?
You can place psychological blinkers to your competitors.
Example – you want to do some research on a topic of interest. What comes first to mind? Is it Google or is it your local library? Is it Facebook perhaps? Or is it someone you know in your network, to be very resourceful and knowledgeable. And are you compelled to give them a call?
You want your brand to be the go to entity for people’s desires and needs. While it’s all well and true to wish them a sense of independency for their lives, branding done right makes them co-dependent on your brand for their experience of life. It’s a symbiosis. What you describe as customer loyalty in your mind, is actually an asset in your consumers’ mind. And as we would all agree, people love to hold on to their assets.
How do others and the public already perceive you?
If you already get a sense that you deliver something unique to the market, you might already notice this. You might already recognize that somehow or in some way, people are consistently calling you for your opinion and advice. So as we dive deeper into building your brand of distinction, we will help you uncover more of that with greater definition, and to communicate that with greater clarity.
For now, you just want to consider that the objective of branding is to establish a strong connection between your brand, and the hearts and minds of people worldwide.
I often tell my clients that they aren’t in the business of delivering a service or product. They aren’t even in the business of delivering an emotional experience that underpins that – though that will happen. We are all in the business of connecting and shifting people’s hearts. That’s a big deal. The benefits of which include:
- Larger and steadier income – increased size and strength of your repeat customer base which is resilient during economic fluctuations.
- Opportunities to diversify and add revenue streams – this is because of the ease of upselling other services and products. It is a passive upsell. Imagine, you add one product line to a service line of 3, and your business could increase 25% simply because of trust and ease of adoption.
- Grow your business while you sleep – it is like having a perfect 24/7 sales and relationship manager – polarizing the market by attracting those who are a right fit, and repelling those that aren’t. Even while you sleep, your customers will share your brand day and night in many ways – conversing with peers, displaying your brand logo and identity, social media etc. You are facilitating word of mouth on steroids!
Is your heart racing to embark on the journey of cultivating your own elements of distinction? Scroll down to sign up for my newsletter where you’ll receive a copy of my eBook, Build a Brand of Distinction: What Every Entrepreneur, Coach, Consultant and Therapist Ought to Know About Creating their Brand of Distinction, plus more invaluable content and soul-searching exercises of self discovery.
Till the next!