Branding—it’s your company’s first impression, that initial moment of attention, the way you gain a consumer’s purchase consideration. It stands to reason that brand awareness is the fast-track from virtual obscurity to increased sales. After all, how will a new prospect buy from you if they don’t know you exist?
There are so many brand awareness touchpoints over the course of a buyer’s journey, so where does a marketer begin? When exploring how to drive brand awareness, brands must consider when it matters most.
When Does Brand Awareness Matter Most?
Marketers used to think of the buyer’s journey as a funnel, with awareness at the top, followed by opinion, consideration, preference, and purchase. We now know that each person’s path to purchase is somewhat unique. Shoppers don’t pass sequentially down through the funnel. Rather, they progress in a more circular manner, going around and around until they reach the right decision.
Nearly three-quarters of consumers use more than one channel to do their shopping. They can be swayed by a point of purchase display to put a product in the cart, only to pull out a smartphone and retreat back to the research phase. Even though most consumers conduct research on their PCs, tablets, and phones, stores still reign supreme for closing sales.
According to a survey of more than 16,000 consumers, 82% of consumers are more inclined to purchase after seeing, holding, or demoing products in-store. It’s this moment—when a person is in the store, looking at your product—that is the most decisive moment of truth. They’re either going to pick up your product and head to the checkout or they’re going to choose a competing brand.
How to Drive Brand Awareness at the Point of Purchase
Undoubtedly, there are many paths to prosperity. A combination approach should feature in-store touchpoints that cultivate attachment once a brand is in the shopper’s initial consideration and engagement that rewards the shopper for purchasing. Here are elements to consider when exploring how to drive brand awareness:
Build a Consistent Brand Experience Across Channels
Branding isn’t a one-time deal. Your brand has to remain in the consciousness of shoppers at all times. To increase sales, position yourself wherever your constituents are: social media, mobile, point of purchase displays, local banner ads, and events. Consumers today can be overloaded and distracted, so you need a consistent and powerful brand experience across platforms to cut through the clutter.
Personalize the Experience
Ultimately, the brands that stand out and gain the most repeat business are the ones who invest in personalization and excel at getting to know their shoppers. One study found that 75% of shoppers were more likely to purchase from a company that knows their name, knows their purchase history, or makes recommendations based on past purchases. If you want shoppers to know about you, get to know them—what practical solution they can benefit from, what information they need to make a decision, and what appeals to their emotions. As famed marketer Elmer Wheeler put it: “Don’t sell the steak—sell the sizzle.”
Use Experiential Retail
Fun brands are the most noticeable and memorable. Traditionally, in-store promotions involving games, samples, contests, and brand ambassadors—sometimes referred to as “guerilla marketing”—have been used to create a favorable, feel-good emotional impression. Now, shoppers are looking for an experience. Millennials, for example, are spending the majority of their money on experiences, and retailers are responding with services and products that are perfectly packaged for that purpose. Stores are becoming prime locations to take classes on everything from outdoor survival to gourmet cooking. It’s an effective way to reach customers and get eyes on your best-selling products while driving brand awareness and building affinity.
Brands can leverage the power of a mobile shopping rewards app to drive brand awareness. With Shopkick, for example, partnering brands have access to an audience of loyal shoppers who are incentivized to interact with brands in which they’re familiar, and many with which they aren’t. The innovative mobile retail rewards app helps brands reach consumers at all different stages along the path to purchase—including before they even arrive at the store—driving brand awareness when it matters most—at the shelf, when a shopper has the product in their hands.
Brands can leverage the power of a mobile shopping rewards app to drive brand awareness.
Shoppers are always on the lookout for helpful suggestions. You can build your promotion around a holiday, a recipe, or a cross-selling partnership to build greater brand awareness and influence. For instance, Georgia-Pacific—one of Shopkick’s brand partners—leveraged post-scan video, in-store, to highlight product details while the product was in shoppers’ hands. Because the campaign offered customers the convenience of learning about the product right in the shopping aisle, it drove incremental purchases as nearly 50% of purchasers were not initially planning to buy the products before their visit to the store.
Ready to Drive Brand Awareness?
Shopping apps allow brands to influence their audience at the moment of purchase, making more impactful marketing. With Shopkick, branding begins the moment shoppers download the app and continues along their shopping journey, incentivizing sales and interactions. Brands enjoy access to a built-in audience to expand their reach with new prospects and continue connecting with loyal customers.
Image courtesy of New Africa