6 underutilized ways to increase brand awareness

Whenever we talk about brand awareness, it’s important to start by defining exactly what brand is because the word gets thrown around a lot (and often incorrectly). Your brand isn’t your logo, wordmark, colour pallet, tone of voice, mission, vision, values, or attributes. No, it’s all of those things. Your brand is who the organization is in all facets.

So what exactly is brand awareness?

Now that we’re clear on what a brand is, let’s talk about what brand awareness is and why it matters. Brand awareness is the amount to which your target audience is aware of your brand. This can include familiarity with your logo or visual brand, recall of your name, understanding of your actual service offerings, and more. While most organizations would love for their target audience to know their brand in full detail, the first step to this is having general brand awareness. Don’t take for granted a familiarity within your demographic, it has better results than you might think. Have you heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon? It’s the technical term for when you become aware of something and suddenly you see it everywhere. Like when you find out a friend drives a red Volkswagen, and you start to notice them all over. You want the same with your brand. It’s the first step in understanding which is the only way marketing qualified leads make the eventual move to customer.

How can you increase your brand awareness?

Brands can further their reach by going beyond the usual marketing tactics (social media, advertising campaigns, content marketing, etc.). A lot of brand awareness can be generated from other intentionally planned actions and tactics.

Be controversial

There’s a social revolution going on right now. Get your brand behind something. Equity, diversity, combatting climate change. These aren’t small things, but brands can use their platform to get behind them and make a difference. Besides the obvious social benefits, research has shown that nearly half (49%) of consumers view the overall trend of brand activism positively.

Not only will taking a stand improve your brand awareness, but it might also help you sleep better at night.

Be consistent

This is a golden rule. But like all rules, it doesn’t always get followed. It can be hard to gain any space in the very crowded minds of your audience these days. So why not keep it simple? Don’t try to own too many spaces, just master one. Doing so will require you to say the same thing over and over and over.

Find your brand purpose and live it in your actions. Find your niche, and then do that thing really, REALLY well.

Be simple

Clear is kind. People’s minds are overflowing these days and not just with brands and endless information and streaming content. But with uncertainties, anxieties, angst, and overwhelmedness (making up words is allowed in advertising). Keeping it simple means making it memorable.

Say yes

When your team comes to you with ideas on how to increase your brand awareness, try them. Even if you’re kind of not 100% sure. Waiting for the perfect thing is the same as doing nothing. It won’t make your brand any more famous. And it will demotivate people from bringing you any more ideas.

As long as the suggested activity is in line with your brand, ‘giver!

Make it

After you say yes, don’t sit on it. Make it. There are literally endless amounts of ways to get your message to your audience these days. The best way to increase your brand awareness is to make stuff and get it out there. The worst way is to do nothing.

Give money away

Tom’s shoes. Space rocket launches. Pasta sauce. Giving money away will make your brand more famous. From Paul Newman to Jeff Bezos to your organization. Find a worthy cause your audience cares about. Back it. And your brand will have a win-win.

Brand awareness often comes down to consistent action over time. The tactics can (and should) change regularly, but regularly making an effort to build your brand is the most important piece. 

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