You’ve got metrics and KPIs to hit, so it’s natural to focus on activities that can be tracked, analyzed, and attributed to company performance. You need to show the impact of your work, after all. But too often, marketers forget about building brand and don’t invest in strategies that build affinity among customers and awareness among prospects.
It’s more challenging to cleanly track the impact of a strong, recognizable brand. Yet, brand building is still important for companies to invest in. Brand awareness makes all the other marketing you do — and all the budget you spend — go further and have a bigger impact. Read on for three reasons why.
Personal Recommendations Will Always Beat Advertising
The vast majority of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising — Nielsen has reported up to 92%. And who can blame them?
Of course you’re going to trust someone you have an existing relationship with, instead of a company you may have never heard of. I’d go even further and say most people would trust any unbiased human (whether they know them personally or not) over a company trying to sell them something.
Rather than only engaging with your customers when you want to sell them something, focus on building authentic, supportive relationships through positive interactions. Your customers will turn into champions and have good reasons to talk about you — which can go a long way.
A great example is a tweet about Chewy that went viral last year. A customer’s dog died and they forgot to cancel their automated food order. When they asked to return the food, Chewy not only gave them a full refund, but also told them to donate the food to a shelter and delivered flowers with a personal note.
I contacted @Chewy last week to see if I could return an unopened bag of my dog’s food after he died. They 1) gave me a full refund, 2) told me to donate the food to the shelter, and 3) had flowers delivered today with the gift note signed by the person I talked to?? 😭— Anna Brose, MSc (@alcesanna) June 15, 2022
Do right by your customers and it will come back to you in dividends.
Buyers Already Have Companies in Mind Before They Start the Purchasing Process
Bain & Co surveyed 1,208 people at U.S. companies who are involved in B2B buying decisions and found that 80%–90% of respondents have a list of vendors in mind before they do any research. More importantly, 90% will ultimately choose a vendor from that list.
Who usually makes it on the list? Companies that have a pre-existing relationship with the prospect, companies that coworkers recommend, and companies that have a strong digital presence — that means an informative, clear website as well as coverage from industry publications, review sites, and trusted sources like Gartner. In other words, known brands.
Brand Affinity Dramatically Increases Search Performance
Searchers are more likely to click on your paid or organic search listings if they’ve heard of your company before, according to WordStream. This goes for both branded and non-branded keywords.
When I search for “best dog food brands,” I’m probably going to click on a trusted source like Chewy (maybe I saw that viral tweet) or the American Kennel Club rather than a random blogger or company I’ve never heard of.
In order for a source to be trusted, the searcher has to know who the source (likely a company) is and have some sort of brand affinity. At the end of the day, search is all about trust. So, if you’re investing in SEO and paid search, you should also be investing in brand awareness.