There are only two ways to increase brand awareness with new customers: buy it or earn it. As the immortal John Lennon says “money can’t buy me love”.
I agree with John. Of course, we all know if no one in your target market has ever heard of you, your organization, your products, etc., it will be next to impossible for them to buy from you.
Awareness is the seed of everything that comes afterwards.
The difficulty nowadays is it’s impossible for a human brain to lock its conscious attention for more than 7 seconds. In the noise and clutter of life in the digital age, nobody is paying attention to much of anything– why should new customers pay any attention to you, your organization, your brand?
How is this typical market research question going to help you win new customers? “When thinking about Product Category X, which brands come to mind?”
Indeed, the Holy Grail of awareness is having your brand be the first to come to mind. But that’s not enough to pay the bills. Your business success depends on not only being first to mind–but first in their preference. The journey from awareness to preference is a long one indeed.
There must be a good reason why you should deserve the time of day from a prospective customer or client.
You have two options to increase awareness to the value you propose to new customers.
Buy it or earn it.
To buy awareness, you’re essentially paying a tax to enter the mind.
Big brands have the money to pay the mind tax. They’ve been doing it since – forever.
Now however, there is so much more digital media available to blast messages through, all people hear is noise and static. (Aka. Social Media) Even big brands are now finding the financial investment to buy attention is providing less and less of a return.
You can buy attention but it no longer buys you much.
Attention (desire) without preference (solution) is useless.
Our attention spans drift in the winds of our consciousness. We all become aware of brands that don’t mean anything to us. I’m aware of Spanks (the body girdle brand), I’ve even heard good things about the product. In my mind, its the first girdle brand I’m aware of, but I have no desire to buy and wear them.
To be preferred, you first have to be relevant. Nothing makes you more relevant to new customers than their belief you deliver in spades on their needs and desires–especially when they’re operating on pre-purchase faith from the good words coming from previous customers or a trusted third-party source.
To be the one and only preference of customers’ means their belief or experience with you, your organization, and your product exceeds their expectation. Thus faith is transformed into trust.
The result is, not only will your brand become the first to mind in a category, but the number one and only choice of customers in the category.
This platinum level of awareness can only be earned.
Remember, “money can’t buy me love”.
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