This is the sales funnel:
For explanation of what it is how it works in general, see Part 1 of this series.
The topic of this article is the first tier of the funnel, Attention. For businesses, a better term is Brand Awareness. Simply put, before consumers can buy from you, they have to know you exist, and they have to be reminded constantly.
What does Brand Awareness (Attention) look like?
Here’s an example:
Notice what you don’t see those very clever ads. There are no arguments, no appealing pictures, no celebrity faces. Just the logo and an arrow. The message is clear, “McDonald’s, that way.” All you need to know is that one exists 200 meters, no 197 meters, away. That is brand awareness.
Admittedly, McDonald’s has one of the most recognizable brands in the history of the universe. But how did they achieve that? By barraging you with advertising at every possible moment. They never let you forget they are around.
One would think that McDonald’s, or Coke or Nike or Disney for that matter, would not have to remind us they exist. But they do. So, why? Because for businesses, brand awareness is the necessary first step in the sales funnel, and the less attention people pay to your brand, the less you sell. Plain and simple.
So, how do I achieve Brand Awareness (Attention)?
1) Know your target audience(s)
Does McDonald’s advertise in Vegan magazines? Of course not. Does Disney sponsor programming on MTV? All the brand awareness in the world wouldn’t work there. It might even hurt. So spend regular time defining your target audiences. Look over your sales records, talk to current and past customers, even look at what your competitors are doing. A well defined target audience means well targeted advertising.
Then, find where they are hanging out and how they like to take in information. Are your targets young? Maybe malls are a good place to advertise. Are you a tech company? Put your advertising where techies like to go, on shows they like to watch, and in periodicals and websites they like to read. Also, give people your brand in a way they like to take it in. Try to think like they do.
2) Focus on frequency
Remember, the point of brand awareness is to remind people you exist, that’s all. You are not trying to win arguments yet. So, think shallow and wide at this point. Get your name in as many places as possible (appropriate to you targets, of course). If you spend on TV or radio, think :05 or :10 adlets instead of :30 spots. On Social Media, go for regular, quick hits instead of lengthy posts. Shotgun, not rifle.
3) Use minimal messaging
Think about the McDonald’s ad. Bold, but simple. Use bright or contrasting colors to stand out. Think of a catchy, striking tagline. Maybe something like this:
How many times did you see that in it’s heyday? Which brings us to our next point…
4) Strive for consistency
Again, think of the big brands. After all the years they have been in business and all the success they have had, they still spend tons of time and money just letting you know they exist. This never goes away. You must consistently make your targets aware of your presence. Do not assume they will remember you. They expect, and need, to be reminded.
I hope this helps you understand how to gain Attention, or Brand Awareness, and get your customers moving down the funnel toward a sale. Good luck, and good branding!
Thanks for reading. Any other ideas for achieving brand awareness? Please share!