Brand recognition is one of the most important things that a small or medium business can have. If customers recognize your brand, they’re often more likely to shop with you again and again — or even recommend your products to friends and family.
You don’t need to completely reinvent your marketing strategy to improve brand recognition. Typically, if you’re already reaching some kind of audience and growing your company, it’s possible to naturally build brand recognition over time without major, structural changes to how you advertise.
These tips will help you organically create brand recognition with simple tweaks to the marketing strategies you’re probably already using.
1. Build Business Partnerships
If you can establish a long-term relationship or partnership with another business in your area, you can benefit from the positive associations — and brand recognition — that company has already cultivated with their audience.
Even if a particular customer has never heard of your brand, they may be more willing to trust you when they see you’re working with another company they do trust. Over time, this can help you build familiarity, recognition and awareness around your own brand.
Local partnerships can also provide a few other benefits, too. For example, your business partner may be able to offer you advice or expertise on the local market, or discounts on supplies and materials your business can use.
Not every partnership will work out — ideally, your companies will have common goals and brands that are easy to align. If the partnership is a good match, however, it can be a major win-win situation.
2. Reduce Marketing Waste
Efficiency in marketing spending can go a long way in improving brand recognition. If you’re able to increase the reach of your advertising without spending any extra money, you can more effectively build brand recognition over time.
Reducing waste is especially important when money is tight. Companies may be tempted to cut back on marketing spend — but research shows that even during a recession or period of reduced demand it’s better to keep your current marketing budget, or even increase it, and focus on improving efficiency of marketing, instead.
For example, if you rely on influencer marketing, looking to influencers with smaller platforms can drive down costs. Influencers with smaller platforms often have a close relationship with their audience, meaning this change may even help you build stronger bonds with potential customers.
Adopting new marketing techniques may also help you improve the effectiveness of your advertising while reducing spending.
Content marketing, for example, requires an upfront investment of time or money but will drive traffic to your site long after that initial cost. A good article, or archive of valuable content, can also encourage potential customers to trust your brand. If your content encourages them to come back to your site, it may even help them build deeper associations between what you sell and what you stand for.
3. Align Your Online and Offline Marketing
In general, brand awareness is built when you reach customers early and often. If you can, it’s best to do so through as many channels as possible — like print media, social media marketing, word of mouth and web marketing.
This kind of multichannel marketing strategy does, however, require some careful coordination.
Online and offline marketing can work well together, but only when your ads are consistent across each channel. Marketing both online and offline can help you build brand recognition more effectively than if you had just used one set of channels. However, brands typically only see success if they hit the same points and use the same imagery across channels.
According to LookOurWay, discounts advertised with the right signage can prompt a customer who’s on the fence to make a purchase. If you want to advertise store discounts online and offline, your marketing should be consistent across digital and physical marketing media. Otherwise, you may risk confusing your customers or losing out on the deeper associations that repetition in advertising can build.
If you’re not marketing offline, it can also be a good idea to invest outside of digital advertising. While not as popular as online methods, offline marketing is still relevant and a powerful tool for brands wanting to reach a local audience.
Not every potential customer is online — and even if they are, they may not spend 100% of their free time on the web. Simple adjustments to marketing spend — like putting some extra money towards signage, buying new print advertisements or even tabling at a local event — can all make a surprisingly large difference, especially for smaller businesses.
4. Keep Your Marketing Consistent
Regular updates, coupled with consistency in marketing, is one of the best ways to build brand recognition over time.
If you have a social media presence, posting on a schedule and providing frequent updates about promotions, new offerings and events will increase the visibility of your company. These updates will also give fans of your brand a reason to follow your page.
Content marketing benefits from the same kind of consistency. If you can develop a deep archive of valuable and relevant content, you’ll boost the chance that someone comes to your website from a Google search. You may also increase the chance that they stick around to read more than one article — and they could remember your site as a useful resource in the future.
Consistency also makes your brand easier to remember. If your marketing campaigns are consistently striking the same tone or using the same colors and logos, it’s more likely that customers will remember both your brand and what you value — long after seeing those few advertisements.
How Businesses Can Create Organic Brand Recognition
With the right changes, it’s possible to transform your marketing strategy and start building more brand recognition.
Simple adjustments, like the addition of a content strategy or the creation of a local partnership, can help you generate trust — and recognition — between your company and your audience.