Thursday, 22 November 2012

Why brand awareness is is commonly overlooked by UK SMEs?

Constraint is the word that comes to mind every time an employee or a business has an excuse. Why is a project not completed? The deadline was not realistic. Why is a website not ranking in search engines? The cost involved is too great. The questions and excuses are never ending, but that doesn’t solve the issue that is on the table today.

It is the constraints that business owners connect with brand awareness that mean many SMEs throughout the UK are not necessarily avoiding brand awareness, but overlooking it completely. They assume that time and money invested in brand awareness can not be measured in terms of return on investment (ROI). Of course, when developing a cost-benefit analysis, ROI is important, so without a measurement, an analysis can not be developed.

Brand awareness is slightly different to a marketing campaign that is designed to promote or sell a product. Brand awareness is creating awareness within a demographic about a brand and its products. This helps potential consumers to assign a certain value to these products. Ideally, the brand and the products on offer are the first things that this potential consumer is going to think of when they are need of a product, without seeing a direct advertisement.

Effective brand awareness takes time, money and strategy, but is it really worth it? For those that are looking for a few sales on eBay, no. That being said, for those people that have a vision of creating a leading brand in their industry, brand awareness engagement is something that should be considered part of their every day business activities.

In fact, starting to create a brand image might not be as complex, expensive, or time consuming as many people might imagine. Even well designed banners, located in the right places can start to implant a seedling into the brain of a consumer that can grow into something of high value. The more diverse brand awareness strategies become, the more a customer will relate to that product. Look at the likes of Coca-Cola and Red Bull, both brands that are well known by people across the globe; thanks to brand awareness.

Let’s assume a brand is a manufacturer of extreme sports casual wear. By visiting extreme sports events and consistently placing banners at these events, they will start to create awareness for their brand. They might not be able to instantly and effectively measure the ROI of their efforts, but the end result is that next time a potential consumer walks into a retailer, that stocks their products, they are likely to look twice, knowing that they have “seen that brand before”.

The impact of that initial sighting of the brand is not really measurable. The potential consumer gets in the spirit, at an event relating to their passion, they see the advertisement and assign this with their passion. From here they see the product in a store, buy it and who knows how many like minded people buy the same product as a result of a positive review?

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