Building attention around your brand can be difficult to do, especially when you are just starting out or in a highly competitive industry.
Sometimes it can seem like all the good ideas are taken or that you need to have a huge marketing or PR budget to make anything happen.
The truth of the matter is however, that getting your brand recognised does not have to be an expensive or tedious process. In fact, with some strategic planning and by following the ideas in this article, you will soon be on your way to the top.
Idea 1. Guerrilla Marketing
Guerrilla marketing or “PR stunts” entail making a strong statement without spending huge amounts of money. Instead of relying on high tech or fancy features, guerrilla marketing relies on creativity, unpredictability, controversy and virality.
In the past, guerrilla marketing was often only adopted by companies looking to get a leg up, but now even big brands are using guerrilla strategies in order to build more traction.
While there is no saying what will go viral, a good guerrilla campaign often involves taking a risk of some kind and putting your brand out on the line in order to be seen. For many companies, the idea of creating controversy can be a scary thing, but the rewards for getting it right may also be well worth it.
If you are considering running a Guerrilla marketing campaign it may be worthwhile considering the following-
- Think about your target audience- How can you get them to take notice? Perhaps you may want to research things that your audience feels passionate about. For example, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have run many viral campaigns where they show the horrible conditions that animals are kept in order to test cosmetics or make fur coats.
- Focus on the trends– if something is popular at the moment either in the world of entertainment, politics etc. work out a way to capitalise on it. For example, in the US when the movie, “Straight Outta Compton” came out, many brands used the logo and imagery from the film as an opportunity to showcase their own company.
- Consider your platform carefully– YouTube may be a fantastic place to share your soon-to-be-viral video, but Vimeo may not. Think carefully about which audience will respond to your marketing the best. Also, don’t forget to make sharing your campaign super easy to do as this is how it will go viral.
Idea 2: Ditch the .com
Would it be a blessing or a curse to ditch the .com altogether?
For many brands starting out, having an interesting alternative to “.com” may help get your name on the map and showcase your brand as a forward thinker.
Today, there are many different alternatives to .com including: .coffee, .photography, .florist and more, and companies that have used this strategy have done particularly well.
These companies include everything from a local coffee shop which has the URL- “Driftaway.Coffee” to the Hunger Games franchise, “TheHungerGames.Movie” and even Lady Gaga- “BornThisWay.Foundation.”
Jeff Davidoff, the CMO from Donuts.Inc, the largest operator of “not-com” domains believes that they are definitely a real branding advantage.
“New not-com choices let you combine creativity to the left of the dot, with specificity to the right. You can now choose incredibly memorable names and let people know the business that you are in at the same time. That can be a big win from the start.”
Idea 3: Conscious Causes
Businesses that focus on more than just their bottom line are increasingly gaining more traction with consumers. More and more, consumers are valuing a company that chooses to stand up and support a higher world cause.
By connecting your brand to a popular charity, service or conscious cause you instantly help to create loyalty and trust within the eyes of your consumers. Supporting a good cause also gives you a competitive edge when it comes to your competition.
For example, Tom’s shoes claim that for every pair of shoes they sell, they donate a pair to someone in need. Now, no matter how many copy cat shoes come onto the market place, consumers are often more likely to go for the Tom’s brand as it supports a good cause and therefore has a competitive edge.
Showing that your brand supports something other than profits can be huge in helping to shape your company and what it stands for.
Idea 4: Office Culture
Building a brand is not just about what your customers say about you it’s also about what your employees are saying too.
Having a clear and strong company culture is not only a great foundation for your business but it is also a great way to help your brand stand out from the crowd.
For example, companies like Walmart in the US are constantly under fire for treating their employees badly and not providing adequate wages or working conditions. This type of press can definitely harm your business and pushes consumers away from you.
On the flip side to that, companies that create a unique working environment like Google with their lunch time yoga and free food, or the Huffington Post with their sleeping pods, help to further establish their brands and make their company culture part of who they are.
Jonathan Lacoste, co-founder of the startup Jebbit comments-
“We are a company founded and largely powered by millennials. We pay special attention to our office culture because we realise that it sets us apart- not just in attracting and keeping talent, but also in how the public sees us and what we do.”
Creating brand awareness does not have to be slow, expensive or tacky, in fact building awareness is all about breaking the existing moulds and stepping outside the box in a way that will help distinguish your brand and your mission.