You’ve got your swag bags ready. Your brand is on target. Your logo looks great. When it’s time to lock down that relationship, your prospects’ and clients’ ability to remember your brand is crucial. But being seen is not the same thing as being remembered. And being remembered is not the same thing as locking down a purchase or developing a relationship. They have to go together. But how does one lead to the other? Brand recall, a customer’s ability to bring you to mind in association with a particular product or service, begins with visibility and recognizability. And then it’s all about remembering your brand, and remembering it positively when a customer is ready to commit.
This is the stage at which you need to just get out there, get known. The best way to do that is going to depend on your context, but you must employ some combination of digital exposure and tangible, real-world outreach to build a cross-platform marketing strategy that gains you visibility. A social media presence that best suits your target audience, as well as an attractive, informative, and navigable website, are non-negotiable. Direct mail, “Grand Opening” banners, targeted email campaigns, connecting with other local businesses, flyers, strategic promotional products, and making person-to-person relationships in your locality all serve as ways to announce your presence. Multi-channel marketing is the first step in building a brand that comes quickly to a customer’s mind. It lets people know you’re around, and solid landing platforms give them a place to go to explore the services and products you offer. This is the first step.
Once people know that you’re around, and know what you offer, you can begin to build brand recognition. With enough brand visibility and enough business in progress, your target audience begins to know what you do, even from a passing glance at your logo, and even if they have not directly engaged with you before. For example, if you have never owned a pair of Reeboks, you would still instantly recognize the brand on the side of a shoe or a shoe box, on a sign in a store, or on a Twitter handle logo, because they have built enough brand visibility over the years and done enough business that they have earned wide brand recognition. Even a smaller company, like Texas Capital Bank, has built a strong brand recognition in North Texas through special community relationships, earning trust, maintaining a strong online presence, placing a clear logo front-and-center in downtown skylines, and airing strategic radio ads.
However, recognition is not the same thing is reputation. Your customers and prospects need to learn what to expect from you. And what they expect from you needs to be superb. Great service, clear communication, a transparent sense of identity, and the ability to offer something unique to your industry add up to the kind of brand recognition you want.
Maybe one of your goals for brand recognition is to change or refresh your reputation in light of a setback. Blue Bell ice cream, for example, has high brand recognition, but in just the last two years has had to change that automatic customer recognition from a negative reaction to a positive one. They even leveraged their brand recognition toward their redemption, by making a concerted effort toward higher standards in the ice cream industry. While brand recognition essentially describes the ability of people within your circle of influence to name who you are and what you do quickly, it is your reputation that can turn brand recognition into what you want at that moment of decision: brand recall.
Brand recall describes the phenomenon in which people who have been exposed to specific brands over time can recall them by merely thinking of a particular product or service. If I say “hamburger,” no matter what your culinary preference, you might recall McDonald’s, Rally’s, Burger King, Hopdoddy, and Whataburger. If I say “vacation,” you might recall Disney World, Myrtle Beach, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, or Scandinavian Air. Now depending on your experience, the reputation a particular brand has built in your mind will draw from this bank of brand recall to help determine where you’ll eat when you’re in the mood for a burger, or who you’ll ask your travel agent to call.
When browsing a department store or seeking an item online, a customer may be just as likely to choose the best product on hand, with the right price, as one made by a reputed brand they recognize. It can all depend on what flies to the top of the search bar or what seems like the better deal on that particular day in the brick-and-mortar. Getting out in front is the most important aspect, at least in the short game. But if what you offer doesn’t primarily fit on a shelf, and you’re in it for the long haul, the most prominent display you want is in prospects’ and clients’ memories. If you have built good visibility and positive associations with your brand, brand recall is the hidden turnkey that works for you, even when your customers are away from all marketing outlets. Be present in the imagination, even more than on Facebook.
Whether you need to build visibility, recognition, reputation, or recall, Safeguard is here with multivalent marketing solutions carefully tailored to your business needs. Our customers are loyal, and our results are real. Get in touch with your personal consultant today and discover the Safeguard advantage.