By Katie Mientka

When you have a cold, do you reach for a tissue or a Kleenex? When your child has a scraped knee, do you apply a bandage or a Band-Aid? When you put away your leftovers, do you keep them in plastic containers or in Tupperware?

These companies have achieved the holy grail of brand awareness. Consumers know them, and what they do, so well that they just go ahead and call every similar product by their names.

The reality is you don’t need to be Xerox or Legos or Coke to achieve outstanding brand awareness, reach your audience, and realize business-building results. You can, however, learn from their marketing efforts.

Stand Out from the Crowd

When consumers have a problem, they can find five, ten, fifteen companies that promise to provide similar solutions. The goal, and value, of building brand awareness is that it empowers you to stand out. It shines a spotlight on your brand as not just a solution but the brand awareness

1. Target Specific Audiences.

It’s the basic, start-at-the-beginning step of building brand awareness. Know who you want to reach: maybe it’s consumers who want to build an energy efficient dream home or business owners who want to remodel their office space for a dynamic workforce. Tailor your messaging and content to their needs – and demonstrate that you have the answers for which they are searching.

Your industry doesn’t need to be renamed after your brand. You just need your name to be synonymous with quality and results amongst your target audience.

2. Leverage Word of Mouth.

While many marketing endeavors have moved online, word of mouth is far from dead. It’s alive and kicking – fiercely.

The vast majority of consumers (83%) trust recommendations from peers over brand advertising.

You can leverage that trust by identifying and reaching out to influencers, encouraging testimonials, reviews, ratings, and other user-generated content (UGC), and engaging on social media. If appropriate for your business, you can also implement a referral program with a perk. Dropbox, for example, offers 500mb of extra storage for users who refer a friend.

These efforts enable you to spread the word about your brand.

 3. Get Social.

Seems like you can’t avoid social media these days. Nor should you! This is a tremendous tool to help you build brand awareness. A social presence enables you to connect with your target audience.

Nearly 70% of American adults use Facebook; 30% of Instagram users are 25 – 34 years old; 81% of Pinterest users are women.

Depending on the segments you are targeting, you can create a comprehensive social strategy that encompasses optimal platforms. From there, you can interact with your audience in a meaningful way, share compelling content, solicit feedback, feature user-generated content, generate buzz, engage influencers, expand your reach through shareable content and contests, and more.

Build brand awareness – and trust.

4. Finetune Your SEO Efforts.

When consumers need answers, they turn to Google. Ensuring your SEO game is strong will help you rank advantageously in the search results, so they find you. Your SEO strategy encompasses everything from content to targeted keywords to links to site speed.

Solid SEO not only attracts traffic, it helps keep visitors on site. For example, site speed is a critical ranking factor for Google and other search engines. But it also impacts visitor behavior.

According to Google, when page load time increases from one to five seconds, bounce rates increase by 90%.

Your reputation is directly impacted by the experiences your visitors have on your website. They’ll be far less likely to share, recommend, or rave about you if you are running outdated SEO and website technology.

 5. Did Someone Say “Free”?

Who doesn’t love free swag! Why not hand out reusable water bottles, shopping totes, device chargers, t-shirts, exclusive discounts, and other useful items at festivals, fairs, community events, trade shows, etc.? Items that relate back to your brand in meaningful and creative ways are even better.

Don’t forget another valuable asset you own: content. For example, you can offer exclusive content to social media followers or those who fill out a simple form on your website with their email address.

Strong brand awareness empowers you to stand out from the pack. These five tips don’t even scratch the surface. Download our 9 Steps to Effective Marketing in the Design and Construction Industry eBook to see Haven’s definitive blueprint for creating a successful marketing strategy.