Day in and day out, your employees are out servicing your clients. For some, they are in multiple neighborhoods on a daily basis and being seen as the face of your brand. Whether your employees are out getting gas, eating at a local restaurant, or on the job. So what does that mean for you and how does brand awareness affect your business?
The knowledge of your brand is generally tied to two components: brand awareness and brand image.
Brand awareness is how we measure the ability of your customer to identify your brand under different conditions and also gives a perspective into the strength of your brand. Your brand awareness is also necessary in building the strength of your overall brand equity, along with the image of your brand.
Defining Brand Image
If I asked you, what is your definition of a brand? I would expect multiple answers.
Some answers might associate just the logo or what they do, while others may know the true definition, which is seen as the brand image. This is specifically described as how your consumers and customers perceive your brand, which is reflected by their brand associations held in the customer’s mind.
An example of brand associations would be showing the logo for Mercedes. Your word associations might be “status,” “performance” or maybe something else. If I showed you the logo for McDonald’s, you might think, “Big Mac,” “not healthy,” and so on. One more might be Apple and your associations might be “innovative,” “creative” or “cool.” So what words would your customers think of, when it comes to your brand? Ultimately, your customers dictate your brand and you should think of your customers as brand owners.
What is Brand Awareness?
So with this said, what exactly makes up your brand awareness? Brand awareness consists of two components: brand recognition and brand recall.
Brand recognition is your consumers’ ability to recall and confirm prior exposure to your brand, when given the brand as a reminder. Brand recall refers to your consumers’ ability to retrieve the brand from their memory, when given the service category, the needs fulfilled by the category, or usage situation as the cue. In other words, if you are a landscape company in a local neighborhood, will those local neighbors instantly think of your company, when they hear, “beauty lawn or landscaping?” Will they think of your service and recall your brand as the reason for that? Put simply, will you be top of mind?
Some think that brand awareness is enough to create a positive consumer response, and in some lower involvement cases, it is. However, in higher involvement cases, it is not.
If your customers only view your brand as a representation of the service category, then they will view it the same as any other brand that operates in that same category, and you don’t want this. Your goal should be creating meaningful differences between your brand and your competition. This can be done by establishing a positive brand image that resonates in your customer’s mind.
How to Establish Brand Awareness
So now that we know what brand awareness is and the importance of it, how do we establish it? As mentioned before, we want to create brand familiarity through repeated exposure. The more your customer experiences the brand by seeing, hearing, or thinking about it, the more likely they are to strongly remember your brand.
If repeated exposure helps brand familiarity, then it’s important to have consistency across all mediums that a customer or potential customer will experience your brand. So how do you get repeated exposure? It starts by knowing what is included, which is all of your branding elements: name, logo, symbol, packaging, character, or slogan. It can also include advertising and promotion, event marketing and sponsorship, publicity and PR, and outdoor advertising. Basically, it’s any place that your audience can interact and be exposed to your brand or branding elements. You can do this through outdoor advertising, ads in print, radio or online. However, you can also do this through your company-branded uniforms.
Brand Apparel and Uniforms as Brand Awareness
Your employees are out servicing the community, and early in this article, we discussed them being fully-involved in the communities they service. Your employee is not only a service rep, but a living, breathing, walking representation of your brand. From the branded vehicles they drive, to the customer service they deliver, they are in some cases the first experience someone has with your company.
Another way to drive brand awareness is with brand apparel. Depending on the industry, this might be branded coveralls, t-shirts, hats, polos or outerwear. Tying branded apparel with superior customer service is the perfect equation for separating your company from the competition.
If your business is looking to creating better brand awareness and is out in the community, then you branded apparel can help your company be seen, more. Beyond creating branded apparel, we offer an innovative, private uniform ordering service. Want to learn more about how easy it to setup a free uniform ordering website? Check out our checklist.