CPG brands must learn how to increase product awareness—especially in the advent of voice search. Consumers can now order products instantaneously through voice-enabled devices, without searching online, comparing prices, or dealing with shopping carts. These consumers are asking for products by name, often by brand name, and they’re speaking these requests aloud from memory. It’s never been more apparent which brands are top of mind for customers, and it’s never been more crucial for companies to achieve that distinction.
To reach that extreme level of brand awareness, your brand needs to be present everywhere your target customers exist. Your product needs to be featured on TV commercials, in social media feeds, and in magazines at your target customers’ family doctor’s office. Your color scheme must be instantly recognizable, so customers see your product at a single glance down the grocery store aisle. The more they see you, the more likely customers will be to ask for your product by name using their favorite smart speaker.
The following strategies can help to increase product awareness and develop the distinction of “household name” around your best-selling product. Before long, your customers will be saying the golden words every CPG company longs to hear: “Alexa, add [your product] to my shopping list.”
How to Increase Product Awareness
- Craft a social media persona. Social media is rapidly becoming a major cornerstone of CPG marketing, and tactics are changing equally fast. For marketers, the ultimate goal is to project a distinct personality for your brand, and that personality needs to go beyond the “cheerfully professional home company” cliche. Companies like Old Spice and Progressive took this strategy to new heights by instituting a “brand character” as their spokesperson—a fictional person played by an instantly recognizable actor who shot their commercials to viral fame. Today, up-and-coming companies like Nume and Poo-pourri are following suit with brand characters that are just as loud, but far more relatable. Personas like these instantly elevate a product awareness campaign and help customers think of you first when they voice search.
- Invest in influencer marketing. Consumer brands are starting to invest in influencers as a powerful product positioning strategy, and now is the time to get on board. Charmin is one brand that’s making waves with influencers on social media. The toilet paper brand recently sent influencers on a trip to a sustainable tree farm—the kind of event that would normally only be offered by major beauty brands. Our advice for CPG influencer marketing is to start small. Launch a grassroots-style campaign with a host of smaller influencers rather than targeting the big names. Chances are, your target customers will see your ad come through on multiple accounts and remember you even more for it.
- Pursue remarketing ads. Display ads are perhaps the least human-friendly form of advertising. Customers hate pop-ups, banners, and intrusive video ads. But specifically targeted remarketing ads might be less intrusive—and thus more effective. Remarketing ads only present your brand to individuals who visited your site previously, especially focusing on those who left before converting. Through remarketing you can project the idea that your brand is everywhere and has a significant advertising budget. You’ll be more top-of-mind for those consumers the next time they find themselves in need of a product in your category.
- Partner with bigger brands. Social media stars cash in on lucrative collabs often—so why not do the same with your branded marketing? Bounty, for instance, maintains a respectable 74,000 followers on Twitter and 1,500 on Instagram. The company partnered with Tasty (a Buzzfeed product) to produce a delectable French toast recipe video that received over 1,300 shares. But the engagement on the post itself isn’t the most important factor to Bounty’s success. It’s the fact that Tasty is followed by over 97 million people on Facebook, where this video was widely shared. Talk about increased visibility! Brand partnerships like this work particularly well as part of a new product marketing strategy. Pairing your product with other collaborative brands might be enough to double or even triple your brand awareness over a brief period of time.
- Support a deeper cause. Corporations want to be known for more than just their products. Brands work hard to ensure they’re seen as more than money-making machines. Your company needs to stand for something greater—and in 2019, major politically-adjacent causes might be the best way to stand apart from the crowd. Dawn is well known for their environmental work in saving wildlife, featuring adorable yellow ducks in their marketing material. Dove’s “Show Us” campaign is helping consumers fight for reduced #beautybias and more appreciation for unretouched beauty. Support a cause that fits with your company’s values. The publicity you’ll receive will be great for increasing brand recognition and improving product awareness.
- Offer meaningful rewards. In an era when consumer choice is at an all-time high, it’s important to offer customers more bang for their buck. You start by creating the most high-quality, effective, and pleasing product you possibly can. But CPG brands today are learning they have a lot to gain from offering even more to their repeat customers, and coupons and sales aren’t the only ways to add value. Clorox is one of many consumer brands who have cashed in on social media contests—their #UltraMess campaign offered serious cash rewards to loyal fans and generated significant engagement in the process. Other brands (like Rimmel London, Tyson, and Georgia-Pacific) are using innovative shopping apps to drive in-store traffic and offer valuable perks on top of existing retailer-specific loyalty programs. By giving back to your customers, you’re giving them even more reason to think of your brand when they use voice search.
Succeeding With Voice Search Through Increased Product Awareness
You’ll notice that none of the strategies above have anything to do with optimizing your product for voice search or investing in up-and-coming “voice search SEO.” That’s because we consider voice search to be another integral part of an omnichannel retail strategy beginning in 2019. It’s not a fad or a temporary consideration. Voice search will only continue to grow and the technology will continue to advance in sophistication in ways we can only speculate about today.
CPG brands must learn how to increase product awareness—especially in the advent of voice search.
It’s wiser to invest in overall brand awareness—the fundamental basis of every CPG sales strategy—and to pursue creative and innovative marketing strategies that will put your brand front and center before your target customers until they make a purchase. All of that important work has to happen long before the customer says “Alexa…”
At Shopkick, we’re excited and energized by new trends in consumer retail. Our partners use our innovative shopping app to revolutionize the shopping experience—driving traffic, offering rewards, and turning stores into fun scavenger hunt destinations. Above all, these brands and retailers use Shopkick to increase product awareness and expand market share. Contact us to take advantage of this unique technology and prepare your company to compete in the voice search arena.
Image courtesy of Andrey_Popov