Brand Awareness has two goals. The first is moving the knowledge of your product or service from the unknown or unconscious mind to the conscious mind. The second is making a positive association with the brand.
If the prospect is aware of your product and thinks positively about it, it is infinitely more likely that that s/he will buy from the company.
The following video will look at several dozen free and low-cost ways to create brand awareness for your business.
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Today I’d like to talk to you about brand marketing versus direct marketing. Brand marketing is the concept of taking something that’s in the unconscious part of your brain and moving it to the conscious and making some type of a positive association with it. In contrast, direct marketing is effectively converting a prospect into a customer.
In John John Jantisch’s book called; Duck Tape Marketing, he talks about a concept who’s premise says that that in order for a customer to buy your product they needs to Know you exist, Like your brand. and then Trust you before they will make a purchasing decision.
The Brand Marketing or what we sometimes call Brand Awareness really kind of covers the “Know” part and perhaps even works a little bit with the “Like” part of that Know Like Trust continuum.
Whereas direct marketing is really the building the Trust and actually getting the customer to be converted from a prospect into a customer of yours.
So, I’d like to talk a little bit right now focusing principally on the Brand Awareness part. Brand awareness helps with the direct marketing effort although itself it doesn’t create sales it sits there as a precursor to kind of help with the direct marketing effort.
That said brand awareness campaigns need to be a constant effort. It’s not something that you can just do a one and done kind of a thing. It is something that you need to continue to kind of keep pushing forward.
To go ahead and create your brand awareness however it doesn’t have to be an expensive effort on your particular part. Let’s talk a little bit about some free methods to create some brand awareness.
Free Brand Awareness Ideas
Related Post: 5 Free Marketing Ideas to Create Awareness
One very popular one would be a press release. There are many press release sites out there. You can write a press release and then release your press release to them and they’ll publicly distribute that to the organizations out there that do some of the press releases and they get picked up nationally depending on the quality of your of your press release and the quality of your product and the timing of it.
Another no cost type of a thing is to put together a message and contact your local television station. I know that when I had an invisible fencing company which was rather a novel product at the time, we went to all the local networks at the time ABC NBC CBS and each one of them did a public interest story and over the course of several weeks they played them. Remember each one of those is just one single data point that goes out there.
As part of that brand messaging you need to do quite a few of them. Similarly, you can go to your local papers. Business authors, writers, and journalists are always looking for news stories that they want to go ahead and include. So if you can create a public interest story they’ll be more than happy to kind of pick that up getting away from the mass appeal kind of a thing.
I’ve often found it valuable to create a poster and essentially find other like businesses and exchange posters. A good example is a sporting goods store that sells golf clubs for example might be a great place to elicit a golf a poster for a particular Golf Course in town and vice versa. Where you go to the golf course and see the poster there for a local sporting goods store those kind of things, you’re segmenting the population as they’re going to these particular things.
The last of the three kinds of things that that really kind of come to mind pretty quickly or are things like Craigslist listings.
Those are three kinds of things that you can generally do and they are free.
Related Post: 3 Marketing Ideas to Create Awareness For Under $10
Here’s a couple ideas generally under $10.
Business cards is a really good example. I know that when I was an invisible fencing dealer I frankly would take my kids to the mall. I would literally drop them off on one end of a column of traffic and I would instruct the kids to walk down the each of the row of cars and place my business card on everybody’s windshield or on the little rubber piece that right above the door. Something along that line some people may have some issues with that because you know it is unwanted solicitation and people may think about throwing the business card away it creates a bit of pollution.
It’s not an illegal thing unless essentially there are posted that say no solicitors in the parking lot. So it’s not an illegal thing. The most an owner of the parking lot can do it to tell you please don’t come back. But it’s not something you would get arrested for. This is something you may want to kind of take into consideration especially if you target a business again.
If we use a golf club example, if you were in front of a sporting goods store and you were promoting your golf course for example, you’d have a lot more segmented people. Actually, going to that sporting goods store might actually be golfers.
Another a good example we just recently got done with an election and every election year I see you know streets full of all kinds of yard signs. Those election type signs can clearly be extended to include such things as marketing about your particular company especially if you’re a house painter or a roofer or something like that. Somebody can see your work certainly while you’re there. Placing a sign in front of the property that you’re working on. Also at intersections for example you may want to stick the yard sign out there so people who are stopped at a stoplight or a stop sign for example they may be glancing around as they slowly work their way to the front of the line or waiting for the light to turn green. it’s a good place to have a yard sign where people can go ahead and actually see it.
We associate picket signs with bad things about businesses and organizations trying to picket a particular business. But if you had a restaurant or you had a local business downtown and you send one of your idle employees with a picket sign walk up and down the sign saying “Eat it Fred’s café” or “Shop at Mildred’s consignment shop or something along that line, people would take notice because it’s something that’s out of the ordinary.
People like things that are out of the ordinary and kind of spot those kind of things and internalize those messages which bring them from the unconscious mind to the conscious mind.
Related Post: 4 Marketing Ideas to Create Awareness For Under $75
Here are a couple ideas that cost a little bit more maybe in the $75 range.
Banners, these are like canvas banners or like a vinyl type of banners. Usually they have little grommets or something like that that you can then hang with a bungee cord. Frequently I see them hanging on chain-link fences in the school. Most recently I saw a gentleman selling bonsai trees on the side of the road and he had a banner that literally ran the entire length of his car. So when you drove up obviously you could see the bonsai trees but you definitely saw that you know he was selling those bonsai trees with that banner.
Generally, you can have those professionally produced for under $75.
As tax time nears most people have often seen those people with signs on the road side. Or actually open house guys too, they’ll have those spinning signs. They are usually a gentleman or a gal that’s sitting there listening to some kind of music and spinning a sign around. Maybe it is a little arrow pointing you to an open houses. Or “We do taxes” kind of a thing. Certainly the movement of that sign generates something that’s out of the ordinary or something that you wouldn’t expect to see and consequently people kind of focus on that.
Ever-popular is the magnetic door sign that you might put on a on a vehicle. Generally those are maybe a thirty thirty-five dollars apiece to have them professionally produced and then you use a pair them on each one of the doors. Still under $75 again this is a relatively cheap thing the beauty of this is when you’re using your vehicle for personal reasons you can take them off. When you’re using it for business reasons you can go ahead and put them back on.
For the people who are a little bit more permanent maybe a fleet vehicle or something certainly something that you wouldn’t be driving the kids to soccer practice with or maybe a more permanent solution is a decals that literally sticks to the car on the door. Most of those can be had for under about $75 for a pair of them as well.
Related Post: 5 Marketing Ideas to Create Awareness For Under $150
Something slightly more expensive but provide a little bit greater visibility let’s say somewhere in the neighborhood fund 150 dollars we often see cars, especially with pizza-delivery are very popular, they’ll put one of those lighted signs on the roof of the vehicle. That’s a certainly way to get some exposure as you’re driving especially in the evening. If your business caters to people in the evening and you drive around everybody notices that lighted sign on the roof of your vehicle.
Costumes is an interesting and another avenue. Usually many of those costumes can be purchased for under $150. We’ve all seen them on the side of the road somebody may be dressed up as a hot dog or Lady Liberty or maybe a big chicken advertising a wings franchise or something.
Along that line another popular piece is sandwich boards. We often see them particularly in restaurants sandwich board is essentially one of those little A-frame deals. It may be on the sidewalk it’s printable on both sides and for about 150 bucks. It’s actually half the price to buy the sandwich and the other half to get it professionally printed out. But the nice part about sandwich boards is you can move them or leave them at an intersection as we did with those earlier yard signs but slightly larger.
The beauty of them is they can be moved. I often see them when they’re advertising at a football game or something along that line.
There’s also the wearable version. We’ve all seen movies like Las Vegas vacation where a gentleman is walking around with two pieces of like cardboard in front of them and he’s walking up and down the street. The cardboard is connected with a piece of ribbon or something. They actually make wearable ones similar in price to the stand-up A-frame type sandwich boards.
There is certainly another option for you to make one. You can make them or purchase them.
Last among those particular items under $150 range is using a public address system. We often see old movies for example where they’ll you’ll see a vehicle driving down the road and I’ll have a speaker on the roof and inside the car somebody is playing a tape with a with a message. You know talking about a particular candidate this way is very popular.
For me growing up in the city I saw a lot of ice cream trucks. They would play music and it was like the Pied Piper. When that music was playing the kids could hear it and they would go run toward it.
Again that’s a great way to create that brand awareness and a relatively cheap way at under 150 bucks especially if you’re if you’re selling direct business-to-consumer.
Some other ideas for some low-cost marketing and probably a little bit over 150 dollars.
A wall painting for example. We often see them on barns driving across the country. In my many many trips I couldn’t help but see like “Mail pouch tobacco” was real popular and doing a barn painting and those kind of things and I’ve often seen many a bar and printed with a message. So certainly brick buildings doesn’t have to be painted on it could be a big old banner or something like that that you would paste up against the brick wall or something like that.
Another popular one now somewhere maybe in 150 dollar range again is what are sometimes called air dancers. We’ve all seen them there they’re also called the tube dancers. They generally have a big fan in them and they usually had a gentleman the air blows up through their in their arms wave and their bodies undulate and so on and so forth. They can be placed outside of your business and many people can spot that and direct their attention from maybe where they’re pointing down the road ahead of them and then turning their head or something like that.
Parade floats, you know each year we have Christmas parades and Thanksgiving parades and that kind of things that run through town during the Patrick’s Day Parade. This is a great way to take a trailer or something like that put your message on it. Include that as part of a parade float generally they’re things you make at home and are not very expensive.
Then there are theater ads. If you go to the movie theater for example we often see when you get to a movie a little bit early, they’ll have a little ad popping up on the screen. Maybe they’ll have some Hollywood trivia and stuff but then in the middle of that they’ll have a little ad for a pretty cute business or something. Those are generally pretty affordable on a daily basis although you might have to sign up for a rather longer contract.
Another avenue especially if you’re having a grand opening or something like that I don’t know that this would be something that you may want to consider a long term kind of a thing but a searchlight. Once that you know they search the skies and they move around and it creates it very much of a curiosity and people are forced to go and see what the origin of that searchlight is and go ahead and find them.
Bonus Brand Awareness Ideas
Lastly, I’ve got a couple kind of uncommon brand awareness types of things.
As a gentleman going into a bars there would have a men’s room as ladies rooms. Particularly in bars above the urinal will be a board with a bunch of ads spaced on it. Let’s face it your gentlemen they’re sitting there they’ve got a minute or so while you are emptying your bladder there is really nothing else to do but stare straight ahead. You’re a captive audience for roughly a minute.
Public transportation is another one. Whether it’s a taxi cabs on the trunk you sometimes see those little ads as they drive around town. Then there’s the side of a bus or something along that line.
These are ways to get your message and these buses and taxis are driving around anyway all day long So they’re carrying your message forward.
Lastly there are bench ads. Especially if the target are people who may not have their own vehicles a bus bench may be a great place to have that message. Or the enclosures where riders might sit waiting for a bus. Depending if you live in the city that’s a very popular way to go.
Related Paper: 27 Free & Low-Cost Branding Awareness Ideas