Brand Awareness Marketing - Is Brand Awareness A Sham?
Brand Awareness Marketing and brand awareness is a sham, but only in certain situations...
Is brand awareness a sham?
Most people will likely think I am crazy if I say that brand awareness is a sham.
Most people will likely not believe me.
So many people have heard about brand awareness.
Heck, tons of seemingly legitimate companies are offering brand awareness services and products.
First, let's look at what the word Brand Awareness Marketing and brand awareness means
- the extent to which consumers are familiar with the distinctive qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services.
"a campaign to increase brand awareness"
Ultimately it is a marketing term regarding how well the market knows your brand. How well your brand is known. The awareness of it.
But instead of just a dictionary definition lets plunge in a little deeper.
Brand awareness has everything to do with consumer behavior.
Brand awareness has everything to do with consumer behavior. It itself is achieved mostly through advertising of one kind or another. It is a key concern for brand management.
And it must be included in strategy development. When a person decides to buy something they go through a certain process.
The level of their remembering your brand and recognizing your brand when they see it is your level of brand awareness.
Before someone considers buying something they need to know about it
The more brand awareness marketing you have the more recognizable your brand is to people. Before a consumer even considers buying something they need to know about it.
If you have zero brand awareness, you will have basically zero sales, because the consumer doesn’t even know your product exists, so they are not even aware they can purchase it.
Some even suggest that brand awareness is not down to a specific brand name but overall characteristics of that brand that help them recall it without knowing the brand name.
This may have more to do with psychology and how a humans brain remembers information, which allows for a reasonably accurate guess after they have seen a certain advertisement that prompted them to want to buy it. This is often down to a specific ad they saw.
Now that we understand brand awareness a bit better
Then let’s look at what the definition of sham is
a thing that is not what it is purported to be.
"the proposed legislation is a farce and a sham"
At first glance, it doesn’t necessarily look like brand awareness marketing is a sham.
The issue is within how brand awareness is often marketed and sold to people and businesses.
Another issue is the confusion of the marketplace. And yet another issue is with the perception in the consumer and business owner's mind.
And what is being delivered really isn’t brand awareness.
Does this make these companies illegal?
Not quite either.
They are simply not providing the whole truth and instead offering something as brand awareness when it is not.
They are using that name to offer a service of advertising, wherein they take your money to spread you to a certain amount of people, sometimes that use their network or platforms, sometimes not.
This is very dangerous.
The level of danger as a consumer or business warrants the shocking headline of the article.
Brand Awareness is just an opportunity for someone else to make money
So, I choose not to look at it like brand awareness, because that is just an opportunity for someone else to take money from me for ineffective advertising campaigns.
I prefer to look at it like advertising with my plan and budget dictating the reach of my message.
If I want to get my brand, product or service to x number of people, that is what I will do.
I do not have to compromise my ad or message in the name of brand awareness.
I do not have to suffer fewer clicks, fewer sales a lesser conversion rate, my mail being thrown in the trash, or any other negative result.
This is what brand awareness often doesn’t do for the consumer or businesses.
Far too many businesses and consumers are being essentially duped into overspending on certain services and products to receive much less than they should, all due to it being sold as brand awareness.
It is one thing to just get yourself in front of people, but if you don’t utilize the medium to its advantage and communicate the best message you can for your brand, then you might not be doing brand awareness but actually brand destruction!!!
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Warning: Brand Awareness Campaigns Can Be Brand Scuttling Campaigns
If done wrong an apparent brand awareness campaign can be nothing more then a brand scuttling campaign.
Oftentimes the actual tangible and real numbers that matter is not conducive to the service or product being sold.
If everyone is just going to throw your mail in the trash, that is not good brand awareness, that is brand destruction.
Not only will you spend a bundle of money, everyone will now hate you for cluttering their mailbox with junk.
The same goes for digital.
It is many times better to target specifically, with a great offer, and communication than to tire the whole market and consumer base out, with junk.
Unless you are making great offers or speaking directly to your ideal customer with the right message, you will just tire people out and often do your brand a disservice.
Advertisings goal is to sell
Also, your mission is to ultimately sell.
Brand awareness then is advertising.
Advertising's goal is to sell, that is what ads are for.
Why spend money if your goal is not to sell?
So, if you want to keep looking at it like brand awareness, then you should look at it as advertising with a purpose to sell, and let the spread be your awareness but with the right message and offer.
Not a lesser service for cheap clicks or views from a vacant detached user base either ignorant, not caring or upset at any ad at all.
The market likely isn’t going to change and brand awareness will continually be used as a term to offer service and product.
But it is smart to be prepared and to utilize each platform and mechanism the right way, to talk to the user base in the way they prefer, to either send them the right message or make a great offer.
Use the medium as best you can, let great ads and the right reach for your budget create the awareness of your brand
Print, television, radio, direct mail, Facebook and Google are all still worthy advertising platforms, just don’t compromise in the name of brand awareness, make sure to utilize the medium as best you can to ensure the most action for whatever your goal.
If you have the budget to get that message to a whole ton of people, then that will improve your brand awareness if the ad is right.
But if done the wrong way, it will not be a brand awareness campaign, it will be a brand scuttling campaign.
Now don’t get too worried, just one bad ad campaign isn’t usually going to fully scuttle your company or brand.
Tropicana nearly scuttled their whole brand
But it has been known to happen. Take Tropicana for instance.
They did more then do a brand awareness campaign, they decided to change the whole look of their container.
Tropicana then did a massive brand awareness campaign for the new look, and customers couldn’t find it on the shelves.
And it tanked and they were lucky to survive.
Marketing and advertising are much more than just a brand awareness campaign to make people more aware of your service or product.
This is why I will always look at it as getting my ad in front of "x amount" of people’s eyes.
Brand awareness campaigns should be seen as normal advertising with a target of reach, not awareness
If I am thinking logically about my marketing and advertising, I will be prepared to understand each platform and medium and utilize it to the best of my ability.
If I want to do direct mail, I will choose the right way to do it, and not because someone is suggesting brand awareness.
If I want to advertise digitally, I will do the same.
And because too many legitimate companies who otherwise provide great service and products are offering fairly shoddy brand awareness services and products, without the education or information or proper transparency, I will continue to say that brand awareness is a sham.
Don't use Brand Awareness to justify bad ad spends
So the next time you go to do some brand awareness or try to justify ad spend as brand awareness, I hope you consider this article and my reasoning of why you should be concerned of the word brand awareness when it pertains to advertising and marketing and service and product asking you for money specifically.
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