Building Brand Awareness in 2020: The Do’s and Don’ts

March 12, 2020
4 min read

Brand recognition is one of the most significant challenges facing business owners. There is a continual clamour of noise in the marketing sphere. Not only are you competing against companies similar to yours, but you’re fighting for attention. The average person spends hours each day on their cell phone, interacts on social media and sees advertisements until they begin to ignore any that comes their way. In this environment, building brand recognition can seem nearly impossible.

Havas Media surveyed consumers and discovered people wouldn’t care if as much as 77% of brands disappeared forever. These brands mean nothing to them and have failed to create value in their lives. Not only did companies not get the attention of the typical buyer, but they also didn’t communicate anything meaningful.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to grab the attention of consumers and get your name in front of them. Once they are aware of you, it’s your chance to shine and show them why you’re different than all the other brands out there. There are some distinct do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when it comes to branding.

Do: Offer Complete Social Media Profiles

Take time to complete your social media pages. Add a profile picture that represents your brand and complete details such as hours of operation, location, website link and anything else the platform lets you add to your profile. The more detailed you are, the better first impression you’ll make. Your profiles should all look similar.

Don’t: Get Snarky on Social Platforms

The public will take to social media to complain. Don’t come back with sarcastic or flippant responses, as you’ll not only drive that customer away forever, but will also make others reluctant to do business with you. People watch how you respond to complaints before deciding whether to make a purchase. If you don’t treat current customers well, why would you handle a new customer any better?

One of your jobs on social media is to build rapport and trust between your audience and your business.

Do: Present Your UVP

What is the unique value proposition (UVP) of your company? How are you different from similar brands in the marketplace? Your UVP needs to be something no one else is doing. Perhaps you offer curb side pickup or free shipping on your products. Whatever you can do to make your brand stand apart helps increase your name’s value.

Don’t: Copy Competitors

The rival company that always seems to be one step ahead of you just launched a viral marketing campaign. Seeing their results might tempt you to create a similar campaign and try to poach their customers. However, this approach is rarely successful, as people won’t find you very unique. Instead, try to come up with something none of your competitors have done. Think outside the box. Can you host an event for your customers and the media? Perhaps you should live-stream events or sponsor a youth sports league.

Do: Create Amazing Signage

Your signage can draw customers into your store. However, it needs to attract the attention of passersby. Make sure you use a font that is easy to read and doesn’t grow fuzzy from a distance. You’ll also want some contrast between your letters and the background so the text pops.

Don’t: Spam People

One thing hasn’t changed in the last decade, and that is how irritating spam is. People don’t like it when you contact them uninvited and try to sell something. Don’t send out unsolicited emails, and don’t go into online groups and start promoting your products. It isn’t a good use of your time, and you’ll turn off otherwise potential users.

In the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report, researchers found about 81% of consumers said they had to be able to trust a brand to do what is right before buying from them. If you’re spamming people, they’re never going to trust you to do the right thing in other areas of your business operations.

Do: Upgrade Your Website

Your website is the online face of your business. It should reflect who you are as a brand with language, colours, your logo and even the typography you use. According to Internet Live Stats, there are about 1.74 billion websites online, and this number changes by the millisecond. If your website doesn’t fully reflect who you are as a brand right down to the images you use, you risk visitors bouncing away to a different site. Update your site regularly to make it usable for your specific audience.

Don’t: Go Nuts With Hashtags

Have you ever seen a post on Twitter that was a series of hashtags, rather than complete sentences? This approach is very distracting to target audiences. While a hashtag or two does help guide the right people to your posts as they search for those terms, filling up all the characters with hashtags creates a post that’s too hard to read. Limit your hashtags to one or two per post, even on sites such as Instagram.

Know Who You Are

To build strong brand name recognition in any industry, you must know who you are as a company and why you do what you do. Once you understand your purpose and your target audience, it becomes much easier to figure out what the best methods of getting the word out might be. Try new things, have fun, ask your favourite customers to share what you do with others. You’ll be surprised at how easily recognition snowballs if you remain consistent over time.