What do you think of when you hear “Just Do It” and see the “swoosh?” How about when you hear “More Saving. More Doing” and see the color orange? If you said Nike and Home Depot, then effective brand awareness is at work.
Sure, those examples are massive, long-standing brands that dominate the advertising world as we know it, but the same principles that work to make these companies recognizable can also be accomplished within your business.
Brand awareness is the extent to which a brand – such as your business – is recognized by potential customers. It plays a major role in a consumer’s decision-making process. For example, if a customer in your area is randomly asked which local heating and air conditioning company comes to mind first, will your dealership be mentioned? As you already know, the home comfort arena is a reactionary need rather than a planned want, which is why brand recall is so important when your customers are ready to move quickly.
Here are five fundamental ways to bring your business to the forefront of your local market through effective brand awareness:
- Establish your unique identity. A logo and slogan are key to your local identity. They should represent the light bulb that goes off in a customer’s head when they have a heating or cooling need. If your business doesn’t have either of these, your competition will. Once you do have a logo and slogan, make sure you use both consistently in all of your marketing and advertising efforts.
- Develop a digital presence, promote it and maintain it. Where do potential customers go to find information? Online. When they search for local business, will they be able to find you? A website is a critical component of any business, and it allows you to “tell your brand story” exactly how you want to. The key to a great website is to “promote” it through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and even social media. And, last, be sure to maintain your website by keeping it loaded with fresh content, including those ever-powerful testimonials!
- Stay in front of your existing customers. Existing customers are four times more likely to engage with you than a prospective customer. If you aren’t regularly staying in touch with your current customers via email marketing, social media, mailers or another tactic, you’re leaving the door wide open for your competition to nab them up. You know the saying: out of sight, out of mind.
- Get involved. Being an active part of your local community can go a long way when establishing your brand. It can be an inexpensive option too. Consider sponsoring a local youth sports team or getting involved in a local charity event each year. Spreading goodwill in your community will cement your dealership as a trustworthy, reputable company.
- Provide great customer service. Customers are looking for guarantees, fast service that’s on-time and exceptional service after the sale. There’s nothing more effective – or more detrimental – to your brand than customer service. Whether verbally or even online via social media and blogs, customers are out there praising or criticizing your business, so you want to be sure your team delivers excellent customer service at all times. If you hear negative comments about your business, find a way to quickly and appropriately resolve the situation.
Building your brand awareness won’t happen overnight. Make these five objectives a part of your everyday marketing efforts, and be consistent with each one, to propel your dealership’s brand in your local market!
– Original Article: Strategic America