Customer Awareness: Tips for Small Businesses
Even if your brand offers the best possible products or service, they will remain not utilized or sought if your customers are not aware of them. There is a huge gap that separates your brand from your market. The gap is bridged by customer awareness. Your customers must know your brand.
Customer awareness and brand familiarity are key for small businesses trying to get noticed in a sea of other businesses. Customer awareness is an important part of brand management and yet many small businesses do not prioritize it.
Customer awareness is the strategy around making sure audiences know about your business and what the value it provides.
Basically, it is how your potential customers can know you and learn what you offer. This can be achieved in several ways. We will discuss some of these ways later in this article.
5 Stages of Customer Awareness
There are five stages of customer awareness as outlined by legendary copywriter and marketer Eugene Schwartz in his book Breakthrough Advertising. It's critical for businesses to identify these stages so you can create a strategy to move your brand through each stage.
- Unaware Customers: These customers do not know that they have a problem and that you have a solution to fix it. The customers’ problem can be solved by the products or services your brand provides. But these customers must first realize that they have a problem in the first place before they seek your brand.
- Problem-Aware Customers: These potential clients know that they have an issue or lack, but they cannot specifically point out what it is.
- Solution-Aware Customers: They know what the problem is, and they are now trying to find the solution to it. They’re thinking of possible ways their problem can be solved but they don’t know that they can get the solution from you. Your company can directly benefit this audience through segmenting and targeting them with messages around how your company can provide the solution they seek.
- Product-Aware Customers: These customers have identified the solution to their problem and are now reviewing and weighing the solutions offered by different brands. These customers know what they want and are now looking at options on where to get it. You are one of their options.
- Most-Aware Customers are informed. They know the specific solution they want for their problem and they can get it from you. These are the customers that have found you, your product or service, and have decided to seek your brand. When they are satisfied with your products or service, most likely, they will continue to patronize your brand. In the long run, your brand can establish not just awareness but loyalty among these customers. These satisfied customers will recommend you to other people.
7 Tips to Increase Customer Awareness
- Create a logo and tagline
- Use your social media presence
- Take advantage of word-of-mouth recommendations
- Communicate to your audience using your blog
- Offer unique value
- Maintain strong customer service
To improve how your company moves customers through each awareness stage, use these 7 tips to help your brand build insights and create a solid strategy.
1. Advertise Extensively
The more people your advertising campaigns teach, the more who will know about you and your business. Partner with an advertising agency to develop a strategy that grows the exposure of your advertising efforts and increases the size of your potential market.
2. Create a Compelling Brand Logo and Memorable Tagline
Your company's creative collateral – e.g., a logo or tagline – will most likely be the first thing customers see about your brand. Make sure it is well-designed, clear, and easy to relate to. Consult a branding company to ensure these materials will also help in distinguishing you from your competition.
3. Maximize Your Social Media Presence
Nowadays, everyone is online. Your brand cannot afford to be absent in social media. The good thing about social media is that it is a relatively inexpensive way and effective way to advertise your brand.
A well-executed partnership with a social media marketing firm can make it possible for your brand to quickly interact with your customers.
For customers to be aware of your brand, you must be present on more than one platform. Having multi-platforms also expands your reach. Also, even if you decide to use only one or two sites, hold on to the other ones too. This is to ensure that no one else can use them and dilute your media presence with phony accounts.
4. Take Advantage of Word-of-Mouth Recommendations
One of the oldest ways to increase customer awareness is through word-of-mouth recommendations—and it still works. People react more positively to a recommendation made by a friend than from something they read online or saw in an advertisement.
Invest in resources such as case studies, testimonials, and online reviews to give potential customers access to people's actual experiences with your company.
5. Consistently Communicate to Audiences Through a Blog
Video and blog content provides potential customers consistent content from your company. The more high-quality and relevant content you can provide, the more opportunity for it to be re-watched and shared.
6. Offer Unique Value
Offer your most-aware customers unique value. To drive customer loyalty, you must to treat your most aware customers with care: Provide them with exclusive deals, discounts, free shipping, loyalty program, and other perks. These extra values will maintain and foster new loyalty among customers.
7. Maintain Reliable Customer Service
Customers will sometimes have issues with your product or service. One of the brand attributes you want people to recognize is your commitment to customer service. To make this happen, you must respond immediately and take every possible way to resolve their issues. You want to keep your customers’ loyalty. They will not come back if you give them a hard time.
Small Businesses Commit to Customer Awareness to Grow
Creating customer awareness around your business is not be quick nor easy, especially for small businesses. Through recognizing key types of customer awareness and driving toward customer awareness through consistency and perseverance, you can experience success with engaging and retaining customers.