Can we all agree the primary branding goal for any business is to achieve brand awareness, and be remembered until the time comes for your customer to buy? In order for that to happen, your brand must stand out in the mind of your customers. Catch their attention. Be memorable. Not forgettable. Not regrettable.
Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, your customers are pelted with anywhere from 3,000 to 20,000 messages every day, every hour and every minute. And that's just from advertisers. Add in news headlines, social media, etc. Let's not forget about all the daily communications we experience at work or home. Our brains get tired from being over stimulated, and in my opinion, lazy or bored. Things that once caught our attention are no longer novel or worth our attention. It's an uphill battle for brands to pull our attention away from the messages we choose to receive and process.
THE POWER OF SEVEN
In the advertising field, you’ll hear "it takes at least seven times of seeing the same ad or message for viewers to even notice it". Clearly, that's just an estimate, but depending on the product or service you offer, the industry and the medium, that number may be significantly higher. High frequency advertising messages annoy all of us who watch TV, but it's is a very effective mechanism to imprint your brand in the mind of your potential customers.
Consider the automotive industry, in which I spent 12 years as a creative director for a $1.5 Billion company. The automotive industry spends about $14 Billion every year on advertising through, not just TV, but all mediums. The automotive company I worked at had a $15-20 million dollar advertising budget. I can tell you from personal experience, $15-20 million is chump change. We had to be creative in our approach to garner the attention of our customer who is continually besieged with car commercials or ads.
BIG BRANDS – 7 YOUR BRAND – 0
That, in its self, is a real problem for a small business like yours with a limited or no advertising budget. So, how does your brand get the attention you desire with a limited budget? You can't compete with big brands in the frequency and brand awareness battle, but you can be competitive with a well-thought-out branding and marketing strategy.
At No Moss Brands we believe the secret to your brand getting attention is to be unusual, not what was expected, and to connect with your customer emotionally. Humans can't control what stimulates their brains emotionally. There are studies that show we are more likely to respond or pay attention to things that pull our emotional strings. The combination of triggering an emotional response and by being unusual there's a better chance of your brand being noticed. Keep in mind, relevance is key.
BIG GREEN ELEPHANT
Consider the green elephant icon I chose to represent the upcoming "Creating a Memorable Brand Workshop". How about the fact that I chose to colorize the "elephant" graphic a bright green? Can you still continue to ignore the elephant in the room? Is that green elephant stuck in your head? Is it memorable? I am banking on the fact that the largest land animal on earth when painted green is even more unforgettable…memorable. Shouldn't your small business' brand be just as big. As big as an elephant. And as bold and patient as an elephant waiting for that moment when your target is ready to buy. And, voila…they remember your brand!
What about the fact that elephants are known to be extremely intelligent, and to have a memory that spans many, many years. Did you also know that elephants are one of the few animals to exhibit human-like emotions? Or that they also are known to form deep family bonds and live in tightly bound matriarchal families or groups called herds?
So you see, the green elephant is a well-thought-out icon to represent branding and brand awareness. Just like your brand, every aspect of your branding should be as well-thought-out and have meaning. We call this brand intelligence. This includes your logo, colors, messaging, company name, website advertising and other external branding elements. It also includes your internal branding as well, from your call center, receptionists or even your outgoing message on your voice mail. The more integrated your brand is throughout your entire company's culture, the more successful your business will be in achieving high levels of brand awareness. There's a reason the female lead elephants live together as herds. There's power in numbers. There's strength in numbers. Each element of your brand contributes to the power and impact your brand has on your customer.
Your entire approach to getting attention and establishing a strong brand awareness cannot be taken lightly. You can't let your limited budget cause you to be cheap. It'll only hurt you down the road.
In 2015 we are on a mission to create memorable brands through our workshop series – Creating a Memorale Brand, masterminds, collaborative brand coaching and brand development for small businesses like yours. And that folks, is why 2015 is going to be the year of the Elephant, not the Sheep as some would believe. Memorable. Not Forgettable. Memorable. Not Regrettable. You in?