Making your brand known is important in today’s crowded field of new companies, but it can be challenging as well as costly. Until a business has enough cash flow to launch sophisticated marketing campaigns, some low-cost options to boost brand awareness can help. Word-of-mouth is the oldest form of advertising, as well as the cheapest, and an effective way to get your brand name out there. Thanks to all the online and mobile tools at our disposal, word-of-mouth has expanded from simple verbal messaging to more widespread sharing among peers, including text messages, social media posts, blogs, forwarded videos and links, and online reviews. All of these can be helpful in promoting your brand and making it more memorable to target customers.
People buy from companies they trust. Being in the market for a long time is a good way to establish a trustworthy name, but for companies that are new and starting up, longevity of marketplace reputation is not an option. The next best way to gain consumer trust is through other consumers. People ask friends, colleagues, and family members for advice on purchases and services, trusting that their experience with a brand will be similar. If your business is new, getting your name and logo widely recognized will help increase sales, bring in new customers, and hopefully create a returning customer base. Some low-cost adjustments to products and promotions can make your company recognizable and trustworthy while you try to grow your business.
Referral programs allow your customers to be your messengers and advocates out in the world. Using email lists, text messaging, website promotion, and social media channels, as well as in-store signs, many companies offer discounts to customers who refer or bring a friend. Incentivizing referrals from customers benefits everyone: the current customer attains a discount; the new customer attains a discount; the business acquires a new customer and converts a previous customer into a repeat customer. Most importantly, referral programs help spread the word about the company among peer groups so that more of these customers’ friends and contacts can hear about (read about) your company and recognize it more acutely. Encouraging both the referrer and the referee to leave reviews can help build an online reputation in half the time. While some expense is assumed in the discounting, referral programs can lower customer acquisition cost while also creating wider recognition of your brand.
Developing a logo is an important part of your overall marketing. Some entrepreneurs create their own logos with the help of software widely available, while others may choose to hire a professional designer to create a custom emblem that aligns with the business’s name, product, and values. A quality logo helps a business achieve brand awareness by linking an identifying image (or word) to the company for instant recognition. Logos should be simple in design and format but also convey a clear connection between the image and the company. An effective logo must also be unique and not too reminiscent of another brand.
Putting your logo on all business documents is essential for establishing consistency and building greater brand recognition. It should appear on every page of your website, as well as the mobile version, and on all paper documents, as well, including your business cards, invoices, and business checks.
Today more than ever, companies are looking for creative ways to build their customer base and promote their brands to new people. Partnering with another company that has a shared customer base is an effective, low-cost way to introduce your company to targeted consumers without having to do any special market research. Look for businesses that offer services or products that complement your own and create promotions that benefit everyone. Partnerships allow you to tap into another company’s existing customer base while sharing yours, widening the pool for both of you while also benefiting interested customers. These types of cross-promotions can boost awareness and recognition of your brand within a well-targeted audience quickly.
Brand awareness is a vital for increasing sales and helping customers feel comfortable with your products. The longer your name is in the market, the more reviews you garner, the more familiar your company feels to consumers. Until then, while you’re building your name and trying to attract those reviews, consider some low-cost ways to incentivize the word-of-mouth peer sharing that is the most time-tested, reliable way to make your company well-known, trusted, and quickly recognized.