Top-of-mind impressions, or awareness, is a basic concept, however with major implications. Simply put, any brand or product that comes to mind when a particular sector is mentioned is what is at the 'top of your mind".
Soft drink? Toothpaste? Pen? Smartphone?
I'm sure some brands automatically sprung to mind while you read the above products. The concept of being "top of mind" is as uncomplicated as that, however coming up with a plan to be at the top of your customer's mind may prove more complex. With the plethora of options available in the market, offering similar services and holding same promises, how do you make your brand the No 1 go to for your customers? How can you be sure that the marketing strategies you've employed would help you achieve your aims?
Avoid difficult names
You may say what's in a name? It's a whole lot, actually.
A name that is hard to spell or pronounce would be difficult for your customers to remember. Imagine they want to refer your services to a friend and keep smacking their hands saying, "Oh what's that name again?" Most successful brands that have been present for a while have simple names and you should try to adopt same model.
However, there may be exceptions to this rule as your business name could have been borne out of an affinity for something local and so the name isn't in a popular language. However, ensure that the name can either be associated with something familiar or it can be easily coined into a nickname.
Also ensure your name is easy to remember, spell and type for users who want to reach out to you or visit your webpage through their mobile devices.
Invest In Aesthetics
Your office space and most especially the reception area is most likely the first impression your customers would have about you. Is it tidy? Is it appealing?
Your lobby should be welcoming, relaxing and visually interesting.
Sometimes, this is all it takes for a business to keep standing when a major and bigger chain of business comes to town. As solid as that brand may be with the advantage of a larger market share, your personalized touch, community ties and the "feel of home" may be all it takes to earn your customer's loyalty. Whether you choose to own the property or rent one, be sure to create an unforgettable impression with the aesthetics when your clients walk in.
We are emotional beings therefore, appeal to emotions with your décor. Discover the emotional experience your would-be customers desire and infuse it into your ambience which will in turn open their hearts and mind to your business.
Your logo and banner should bring some bespoke standard to your structure. Having a creative yet unique banner stand outside as a creative anchor to the space would definitely draw people in to learn more about your products or services.
Invest In the Best
A freebie would only give you the value of a freebie because well, free things are free for a reason. You can't expect the same quality from something free and something that costs 100 dollars. Except in some really unique cases.
When going for anything that would represent your brand, even if it's a branded pen, ensure it's of standard quality. You save yourself the embarrassment of setting up a cheap banner stand at your important event, only to see it wobble, bend or even crumble at the slightest turbulence. Your brand shines through the perceived strength of your image so ensure to present yourself in the best possible way.
Be a sponsor
Go out. Be seen. Attend trade shows and conventions. Sponsor local events in your community. It's a positive way to build sentiment for you and showcase your brand.
"Have beautiful solid banners on display. Make sure your staff wears uniforms. Give out free branded items", says Chris Trembath, Graphic Designer and Business Building Enthusiast of over 10 years.
This in turn creates top of the mind awareness for your would-be customers. These strategy is inexpensive, yet gives out huge returns for your brand.
Have a brand message
"Just do it." You most likely know who comes to mind.
However, crafting a brand message that is short, relevant, and memorable may be harder than you might think! You should first know the essence of your brand, your target market then tailor your message to suit them. After coming with suggestions, you should seek other's trusted opinions to be sure your message is apt and relevant.
You may also do a focus group of customers with your target demographic and ask for their perception or opinion about a service, concept or product. This would help to further fine tune your message to perfectly fit your brand.
Run A Campaign.
All the said above is aimed at gaining your customers attentions, because, Top of Mind Is Key!
You want people to talk about your brand. So run a campaign that would go viral and create a buzz!
What will interest your target audience? What will make them glued to you? What will make them recommend you to their friends and family? Find out these things and use it to activate a giveaway or service delivery campaign. You ask teaser questions. It could be creative memes which will have your social media handles (if your business has one) and your web link. This will be of great help in increasing leads and driving traffic to your website.
Put these things to work for you and see how your brand evolves to getting the recognition it deserves.