Commentary

Lasting Brand Awareness A Matter Of F.A.C.T.

Have you ever wondered why so many brands spend a fortune to build visibility, only to then fall short of the results they desire? 

That question has been on my mind, too. That’s why I took some time recently to research what makes a brand great and makes awareness stick. 

I believe success comes from doing four simple things correctly, while failure comes from getting just one of them wrong.

‘F’an base building: Greatness comes from firm foundations. Brands that take the time to identify key stakeholders, involve them throughout the process, and allocate the right resources to internal marketing will build a strong base. Internal support will allow the time to get the other three steps right.

There was a soft drinks campaign that had one of the top 100 effective campaigns of the year. However, senior management were not involved throughout the process, and the campaign’s platform was not picked up for a second year. Why? Management and marketing had not talked enough to align on what the brand stood for. Lesson learned.

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‘A’ctivation across channels: Know your customers well and identify the journey to their point of purchase. Consider also the products and channels with which they’re currently engaging. How do you build a dynamic message that keeps you top-of-mind? Are you articulating your goals and vision in a meaningful way?

A commercial vehicle dealer had great brand-building advertising but was not driving sales. Then they learned the salespeople in the dealerships hadn’t even seen the advertising. Consistent, branded communication is key to building visibility.

‘C’ontinue to learn: When things aren’t going according to plan, the temptation is to try something different —often radically different. Ensure your brand has a clear north star and view all changes in relation to holding to your course. Building continuity enables longevity when it comes to brand awareness.

I worked with a brand that had five CMOs in almost as many years. Each week as results came in, they tried new tactics, changed communication and shifted strategy. At this point, the staff didn’t know the brand, so how could the customer? Stay true to your core.

‘T’est, Test, Test: Know the difference between measurement and testing. It’s a good feeling to show your brand awareness is increasing (measurement), but what you need to know is if the activity is having the desired effect overall (testing). It’s worth the extra effort to put a testing plan in place before spending significant budget.

A food service brand measured every digital “cost-pers” to continually beat benchmarks. It was only when they developed a way to test the impact on truly incremental sales (the desired effect) that they saw the effective budget spend.

Just these four simple things, I believe, will improve your brand’s success. That’s a FACT.

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