Need Top of Mind Brand Awareness? Try These Hacks

Need Top of Mind Brand Awareness? Try These Hacks

Women’s hands using smartphone laptop computer

Top of mind brand awareness is becoming increasingly important in a world of instant decisions, online shopping, and voice activated purchases.

At the heart of every marketing effort is the need to capture and maintain the customer’s interest, converting it into an intent to purchase. To do that, brands must create and maintain the kind of connections with consumers that foster trust, and eventually loyalty. 

Here’s how brands today are earning top of mind brand awareness through some simple marketing hacks.

How to earn top of mind brand awareness 

You don’t have to be a large, international brand to earn top spot in your customer’s mind. You just have to follow a few simple hacks and use these techniques consistently to build a relationship with your consumers.

1. Regularly offer instant value

Communication from your brand should regularly offer some form of instant value—such as timely information or a link to useful online content—and not only mobile coupons or flash sales bulletins. This engenders consumer trust. When consumers believe that a brand cares not only about their customer experience but about who they are as a person, then they can begin to see the brand as an ally, not just a product or service.

While inspiring positive feelings about your brand among a consumer base is crucial to establishing enduring customer relationships, it isn’t enough on its own to stoke purchase intent and consistently drive sales. Just like a well-loved, but rarely-in-the -playoffs baseball team, your brand will have to stand above the crowd—and win your audience’s attention—in order to convert your fans into active buyers.

That’s because consumers are inundated daily with thousands of highly sophisticated appeals for their attention on virtually every online platform. Advances in technology allow marketers to incorporate futuristic features—from psychological profiling using algorithms that predict customer online behavior to consumer-tracking ads using artificial intelligence—into mobile and online marketing campaigns.

2. Use text marketing to convert fans to buyers

Many researchers say that there are so many ads, most consumers experience “ad blindness”—meaning that they simply don’t see them any more than they remember the license plates of the cars that they pass during a morning commute. In these cases brand recall—a consumer’s ability to remember the name of a brand and the content of an ad that it presents— is virtually nil.

Regardless of how engaging your mobile marketing campaign is, your brand may get lost in that anonymous blur of sales pitches.

Statistically, a well-timed SMS is far more effective than a mobile or online ad when it comes to reaching customers and gaining a response. Mass text messaging is a tool that’s easy to manage on your end and can have a huge impact when it comes to communicating with your audience to convert them into buyers. You have ultimate control over when your texts are sent and can personalize your SMS marketing them to really be valuable to your customers so they’ll actually want to read each text you send. 

3. Create recognition

Customers should not only be able to know the name of your business (“O’Reilly’s is the oldest restaurant chain in the state”) but also what your brand is all about—your brand identity. Brand identity isn’t just what a business claims it represents (“O’Reilly’s— the best pancakes in town”) but also the value to the consumer that can be demonstrated. Similar to showing a driver’s license to verify your identity, a brand’s identity must be proven in order for customers to recognize it as credible.

From the example above, O’Reilly’s has two choices in its effort to be heard above the din of the competition: keep insisting that their pancakes are delicious in traditional online and print ads, or offer consumers a chance to prove it to themselves. It could be as simple as a banner targeting restaurant passersby (“We’re so convinced you’ll love our pancakes, we’ll give you a sample! Text #### to get a free side order of our legendary pancakes with any breakfast purchase”) or a post on a social media page offering a 2-for-1 special for restaurant customers who bring in a friend.

While this isn’t an uncommon marketing tactic by any means, when combined with business texting tactics, it has greater reach and deeper impact on the audience. Why? Because 98% of texts are read within three minutes, and approximately 45% of text marketing messages win the desired response (such as making a purchase).

The interactivity aspect of text marketing is important too. Similar to the difference between opening a gift wrapped present or just finding it sitting on a table, we have deeper connections to experiences in which we have to respond to a request or perform a task (like untying a bow and unwrapping the present) to meet a need or a desire. When an O’Reilly’s customer has to follow steps in order to get something that they want then they are more likely to remember the source of their delicious bonus.

The result? O’Reilly’s brand identity (at least for customers who enjoy the pancakes) becomes “the oldest restaurant chain in the state” and “that restaurant where you get free pancakes when you text”. The later is the most important component for restaurant patrons—it represents how the O’Reilly’s “brand” translates into “value for me” (they offer great deals to customers who sign up for texts).

4. Achieve resonance 

The second challenge in promoting brand recall is developing resonance with targeted consumers. Resonance isn’t (just) generating a good number of likes on social media or receiving a healthy response to a mass text messaging campaign. It means creating a connection between brand identity and customer values that the customer views as significant, unique, and enduring in relevance. 

Example: To use the O’Reilly’s example, Tiffany, a young stay-at-home mother, might enjoy meeting early mornings with friends for breakfast once a week. Their most important values when choosing a restaurant are affordability and  simple, traditional meals for their very young children who are very picky eaters. O’Reilly’s brand identity (traditional breakfasts and great customer deals) resonates with Tiffany and she forwards the text message with the “text to get a free side order of pancakes” deal that she saw to her group, who in turn share the news on Facebook with other moms. Because O’Reilly’s meets her most important criteria in choosing a restaurant, she has developed a significant brand affinity—or an emotional connection similar to a feeling of friendship—with the brand.

Achieving brand resonance through mass texting:

Let’s continue our example from above. When Tiffany subscribed to O’Reilly’s texts, she found that instead of only getting messages about discounts, she also received content that was tailored to her interests: the occasional link to an article on the restaurant’s blog about dining with picky eaters and a link with information on nearby parks with special classes for toddlers.

Because she felt as if O’Reilly’s knew her, she was more open to participating in other sales offers—even ones that might not be an exact match to her profile. For example, when O’Reilly’s sends out a mass text that touts a NFL game watching party with a 2-for-1 meal special, Tiffany forwarded it to her sports fans in her circle of friends and recommended they go, even though she’s never been herself, because “O’Reilly’s always has good promotions”.

The right text marketing campaign will ignite not only customer interest, but it will also turn them into brand ambassadors.

The unique value proposition of a brand

When faced with an array of choices, we look for an element that stands out and that feels significant enough to inspire us to make a choice. Earning top of mind brand awareness is going to rely on your ability as a brand to define your value proposition and consistently convey it to your audience.