Brand Awareness and Credibility-what is it?
So what exactly is brand awareness and why is it important. This a question that begs a response. What precisely is a brand, why is it important, what are the benefits of a brand, the power of a well managed brand, why is it important in the current economic climate are some the questions, that I will attempt to answer though my babblings on the subject.
Let’s first attempt to answer what precisely is a brand. Some may say it is the logo, name or a trademark, others would say it is a identity of the products and services offered, they may think of it as the brand name or something that can characterised by a distinctive attribute or is a commitment. Well it is a conglomeration of all the above and is the holistic experience and association of consumers with the company and its touch points.
The Benefits of Brand Awareness and Credibility
Brands enable the services to be identified, the experience that lingers in their mind also relates to the brand. Brand that is familiar, does not really ensure that it is distinctive. A Brand does not mean the same to everyone. It is a collective experience of all consumers, its positive association that enables the brand to be distinctive in a manner beneficial to the customers. In order for it to be classified as a brand it must be characterised by a distinctive attribute and positive association.
A Genuine Brand is defined as the “internalised sum of all impressions received by consumers resulting in a distinctive position in their minds eye, based on perceived emotional and functional benefits” is stated on Brand Awareness and Credibility by Duane E. Knap.
If through positive association, the brand is able to add value to the consumer, the brand becomes distinctive and makes the communication with the consumer easier. If the experience enables the consumer to enjoy the experience, feel good factor is experienced during consumption, as it did when they procured it, enables the brand to be distinctive. A distinctive brand consistently delivers on it’s promise. A brand should occupy a distinctive and valued position in the consumer’s mind and is not just an image created by the marketing department for brand awareness and credibility
What is the best method of building brand awareness and credibility?
It has been acknowledged that the best method of building brands is to follow the F.R.E.D model. F stands for Familiarity, R stands for Relevance, E for Esteem and D for Differentiation. The most important aspect has always been, that are the consumers familiar with the brands product or services? The importance of awareness cannot be denied. If you are not aware of a product or service you will not be in a position to procure it. Whilst it is important that we create awareness about our brand, it is also imperative that we differentiate our brand, products and services in a environment, where there are multitude of choices available to us. It is imperative that we address the three questions that follow i.e. What are the best ways to build a brands image, how will the marketing budget be directed to optimise the brand equity and last and the most important, what is the distinctive benefit to be communicated to the target audience. Hence the most important aspects are: adopt the best method, leverage your marketing budget to the maximum by getting the best ROI and differentiate yourselves from the competition. This is what we help you achieve. Even if you exist in a commodity market differentiate yourselves by offering a better quality, value and most importantly the best customer service. First and foremost even when you deal in products in a product oriented environment you are still in a service business. At the start of the blog I had mentioned that a brand is a holistic experience of a consumer, association with the company and its consumer touch points. It starts from every experience they have from your Website, Social Media Presence, Search Engine Presence and Mobile Presence. It also involves face to face interaction, telephonic interaction and any other communication by post, print or by email. It does involve the interaction with all the media elements that exist in the marketing world that they can touch, feel and interact with, including complete web presence, content marketed and Video’s Marketed. The importance of all these elements in brand awareness and credibility cannot be over emphasised
Marketers earlier over relied on Mass media and above the line campaigns to build brand awareness and credibility and it required mammoth amounts of marketing spends. Harvard Business Review in its article “Building Brands Without Mass Media” by Erich Joachimsthaler and David A. Aaker outlined the fact that communication through traditional mass media has been ineffective, inefficient and costly. Many companies have relied on alternative communication channels to create brand awareness, convey an association and build a loyal customer base. Our experience has revealed that when an organisation is able to differentiate its brand, product and services; public relations and third party consumer endorsements can be very powerful tools to help build brands, create brand awareness and credibility in a product and service. We offer unique services that manage your Online Brand Reputation and Customer Testimonial Service.
As Europe continues to struggle in the current economic climate with a stubborn sovereign debt crisis the continents online ad spending is on the rise continuously. Given the harsh fiscal climate the total media ad spend is not rising substantially, however online ad spending is forever rising, taking a greater share of the ad spend, growing substantially year on year. Online advertising formats such as paid search, display ads, social media marketing experienced an increase in spending in UK and the EU markets, continuing the shift away from online advertising such as print, radio and Telly. This trend will continue through 2012 and beyond. A relative new bee, Mobile Marketing with the collection of site, social media and local locations is exploding and becoming one of the leading forms of online ad spending. With over 90% of the population owning a mobile phone, smart phone sale and usage having overtaken the dumbphone sales, the explosion in social media in this form of marketing is not like to ebb its flow in the near future. More than 50% of searches happen through a mobile phone.
Importance of Brand Awareness and Credibility
The explosion of digital marketing is quite evident from these figures. Building differentiating brands for brand awareness and credibility is essential and no better way of doing that than through online mediums. Some brands are conscious and some linger in the background till triggered by a stimulus. Numerous benefits accrue for brand awareness and credibility. Reasons why people turn to brands is, because it saves them time, they need not worry if the products or services are legitimate and the experience is likely to be predictable. Hence Brand Creditability is just as important. It is important that when a consumer goes on the internet, they witness a unprecedented presence online including a quality website, social media presence, search presence in organic as well as paid and Mobile marketing. The first and second page search of your business name, should be dominated by your brand. Perception is everything and people will draw their inference from your online presence. You need to think of the value of your brand in terms of emotional equity, the positive association your customers have with your brand. In today’s environment customers positions brands, move them and remove them. In today’s environment with explosion of social media, customers decide the brand positioning.
Brand Credibility-In order to be credible a brand has certain responsibilities:
Contract of intrinsic value, expectation of performance, covenant of goodness, predictability, unwritten warrantee, mark of integrity, presentation of credentials, mark of trust, reduced risk, a reputation, memories that can be triggered by a stimulus and it needs to be a sum of all of the above and more in order to be credible. It is obvious that a brand has certain responsibilities in order to create brand awareness and credibility.
Importance of Social Media in Brand Credibility
The importance of Social Media cannot be undermined; the last few years have witnessed an explosion in social media. Going far beyond a mere destination for friends to hang out and chat, social media in the form of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, blogs (such as WordPress) and forums have changed the face of online communication forever. Every individual has a mobile smart-phone today which gives them instant access to a camera, Internet and access to social networks instantly. Every purchase decision that is made today involves accessing the Internet and seeking opinion from friends/peers to seek their opinion before a purchasing decision is made. With the Internet at our fingertips, people are searching online to learn more about a company, brand, product, and service prior to making a purchase. They go to their favourite search engine, type in a few keywords and click on the first few links that appear. Though consumers will likely visit your site for general information (if your site is ranked), they are more likely to view third party review sites (discussions, forums, blogs) to help them formulate an opinion. In Social Media now Customer Controls the conversation: The introduction of social networking sites and consumer-generated content to the Web has dramatically altered that landscape. The means for customers, champions and critics to disseminate information about their experiences and opinions are now accessible to anyone with an Internet connection and a browser-enabled PC. The good news is that savvy companies who are open to communicating with their customers, can leverage the online trends to generate new business and deepen existing relationships in ways that are more effective and less expensive than old fashioned mass broadcast or print media campaigns
Companies who shy away from the trend and are uncomfortable adjusting their relationships accordingly are in for rude awakenings. And this is true across the spectrum from very large to small, local businesses. For many small and mid-sized businesses, you may find that you have very little online recognition so far. The time has come to promote your own brand by making your website visible and beginning to communicate regular updates through a blog mechanism.
At a minimum, the top result for a search for your brand name on major search engines should be your business website. If it isn’t, you need to revisit your website to make sure that it was constructed in a search engine-friendly manner. Your brand name should be prominently used in text on the Home and other “About” pages, and the HTML Title and Meta-Description tags. Manage and protect that position as it may be vital to keep your content ranked above any other comments or news that may come out about your brand.
Engage The most critical factor in this online brand management game is to engage in conversation and create communities specifically in the local area. The simple fact is that marketing in the Internet world is not a one-way activity. Use social media to pro-actively generate leads, influence your consumers, engage, measure and reach out. Be present and use mediums your customers are using.
Additional blog on brand awareness and credibility will follow…….
Additional blog on brand awareness and credibility will follow…….
We have already established why brand awareness and credibility is important for a business and the benefits to both consumer and the business. The ultimate objective is always brand preference.
We have also established why Internet Marketing and social media marketing are important aspects of enhancing your brand awareness and credibility. It is also important to have the best brand recall and also have a squeaky clean image to go with it.
We have the experience to not only build your brand awareness and credibility but also to protect it through our Online Reputation Management service
Click here to know more about our brand awareness and credibility service