In our last blog, we started a deep dive into the Nielsen 2022 Annual Marketing Report, where Nielsen revealed that Brand Awareness has never been more important in the marketplace. They identified that some of the traditional marketing choices for building brand equity have changed due to pandemic triggers and based on reduced traditional visibility opportunities. For those who aren’t sure exactly what ‘brand equity’ is, it’s defined as: the commercial value that derives from consumer perception of the brand name of a particular product or service, rather than from the product or service itself.

Something that we all saw coming pre-pandemic absolutely exploded during it, and that’s what Nielsen calls ‘the online shelf’. Because of the World Wide Web, the online shelf for shopping is nearly infinite, which makes it increasingly difficult for brands to stand out in the crowd, especially when that crowd is the whole planet. Alas, let’s not forget the other pandemic factor noted in the Nielsen report, ‘supply chain’. From automobiles to lumber to electronics to toilet paper to baby formula, supply chain issues have affected not only prices, but the very availability of products, and that alone opened the door for consumers to stray from brands they’re loyal to and seek out available alternatives. Girls, your boyfriend just went to the club with all his single buddies on Ladies’ night…

Before we reference the steps Nielsen says you need to take to increase your brand awareness, ask yourself, “Am I ready for this? Is my product or service the best it can be, do I have the inventory, is my marketing message bold and consistent, is my support staff ready, is the website all good and can I handle the volume of business that can result from this?” As a wise mentor once told me, “Good marketing makes a bad product fail faster…” Don’t give potential customers any reason to cringe or stray. Shore up your product, your appearance, your customer service, and all your processes…because they all contribute to your brands’ perception. Trying to do all this on the fly can be disastrous…like trying to hit that Exit off-ramp 15 feet before it while traveling at 65 mph. Have a plan, Stan, and never market mediocrity! If your house is in order, let’s invite your guests in and get to the key steps.

First, the Nielsen report suggests “You must be Top-of-Mind across the wide array of platforms where your customers spend their time.” From TV to TikTok, Billboards to Message Boards, Print to Podcasts, Direct Mail to Email, and from AM/FM to in their DMs. Make sure your message is consistent across all channels of marketing. Frequency breeds recall. We’ll certainly do a deep dive into all the marketing avenues in future blogs.

Secondly, “Create Brand Loyalty.” A great, enviable, loved brand bares repeat-customer fruit like nothing else…just ask an original 2007 Apple iPhone user who is now, 15 years later, an iPhone 13 Pro enthusiast. Start with meaningful, real engagement. Partner with the customer. Being a loyal consumer of a brand is often an emotional connection, so be mindful of that and nurture a customer experience that would make YOU a raving fan. Have a clear articulation of your brand’s value proposition (there’s another business buzz phase…) ”Hey Siri, what’s ‘value proposition’ mean?”  Value proposition is an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers. (You heard that in Siri’s voice, didn’t you?) So, know what you’ve got and know how to present it attractively and convincingly.

Lastly, I would personally add, thank them for their business. They’re shopping the infinite online shelf and they chose you. Be appreciative of their support, as an above-and-beyond ‘personal touch’ customer service experience with your brand will always be shared with friends, and that word of mouth/friend referral is significant for your brand, as it’s one of the most trusted and effective forms of marketing. A recent example of this I can share comes from I’ve had several friends whose pets sadly passed away. They’ve cancelled recurring orders and sent them consolation flowers with a sympathy card for their loss. It’s a classy, personal, ‘human touch’ kind of thing to do, and it has solidified their brand loyalty.

In the end, outstanding customer experiences and excellent brand metrics lead to increased sales and larger customer bases. And that’s a happy ending everyone loves to see. Let CMOco work with you to increase your brand awareness and help your business grow and succeed!

In our next blog, we’ll dive into interpreting the Nielsen 2022 Annual Marketing Reports’ statistics on the perception of effectiveness of paid traditional channels, like TV, Radio, Billboards, Print and Direct Mail.  And then, we’ll look at paid digital marketing channels.

Bruce Thiem, CMOco Director of Integrated Media