There is a difference between awareness and brand building. Often, many marketers use these terms interchangeably. That would be a mistake and leads to disappointments, leaving them to believe that brand building or awareness doesn’t work. It’s not that the tools don’t work, they were just used improperly.
Awareness – It’s as simple as it sounds. The main goal is to get your potential customers to realize you exist and you are there to help solve a particular problem or fill a particular need. Nothing more. It’s not about making them buy from you on the spot. Very few people will, even if they do know of you. An awareness campaign is most effective when you center your message around the specific problem or need your prospects have and that there is something that exists to help them make their lives better/easier and that something is your product/service. Where most marketers feel disappointed is they believe just being aware will ring the cash register. This is not the purpose of Awareness, and if it does happen, it’s just a bonus, not a primary expectation. Simply, if prospects are unaware of you, there is no way you can start to develop a relationship with them in order for them to buy from you.
Awareness is best at launching a new company, new flavor or a new model. It’s also great at introducing a current brand into a new market or product category.
Brand Building – This deepens the Awareness. This is where gold is made. The main purpose of Brand Building is to get prospects and current customers to have a strong emotional attachment to your brand. It gets them to feel instead of just buying. If you don’t build a strong emotional connection with your brand, then you are reduced to commodity and your customers will leave you as soon as your competitors are one penny cheaper. They have no loyalties, and as a result, you will always be “shopped” and price compared regardless of the additional value you may deliver. On the other hand, if prospects and customers develop an emotional dedication to your brand, they will keep you in their lives because of the emotional connection that can’t be easily duplicated by competitors who can do the same things as you. When it comes to buying, humans are vastly more illogical than logical. We buy by emotion and justify by logic whether if it’s laundry detergent or fighter jet engines.
Brand Building is most effective at keeping current customers “in love” with your brand and to deepen your value in their hearts that goes beyond the commodity and price wars. It is also great at providing a short cut to understanding who you are for those who have never bought from you. Most of us have never bought a Bentley, but we have an emotional meaning already built in our hearts and minds. When we can afford to buy such a car, at least we’ll put Bentley on the list to be considered.
By understanding the difference, you will be able to use each tool to it’s fullest and not be disappointed because you used the tools in the wrong way. Set your objective and purpose and that should tell you if your marketing needs are centered around Awareness or Brand Building.