The Brand Awareness Strategy All Personal Brands Need to Adopt
When it comes to building brand awareness, there’s one simple phrase you need to keep top of mind: repetition is recognition.
This brand awareness strategy may seem simple enough, but the reality is that most personal brands struggle to commit to this idea of consistency.
What if I told you that not only does this growth strategy lead to more brand awareness but it also has the ability to improve the impression your audience has of your brand?
Keep reading and I’ll tell you everything you need to know to increase brand awareness as a personal brand.
WHAT’S BRAND RECOGNITION
Before your brand can be known, people need to be able to recognize your brand. In other words, brand awareness comes after brand recognition.
Recognition is akin to memorability and the best way to increase brand recognition is to embrace simplicity. The simpler something is, the easier it is for us to remember. It’s just how our brains work. And let’s face it — our brains are working overtime. Let’s cut them some slack.
Visual consistency means committing to your brand identity. To increase brand recognition, you need to keep using the same brand colours, brand fonts, and logos. Make it EASY for people to recognize your brand in a matter of seconds. This consistency leads to awareness and, eventually, trust.
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Now this idea of embracing simplicity isn’t just reserved for your brand identity. The same is true for your brand messaging. When you keep the language around your brand consistent, you’ll increase memorability around what your business can do.
THE UNEXPECTED BENEFIT OF BRAND RECOGNITION AND MEMORABILITY
A recent study by Siegel+Gale revealed that brand recognition and memorability often leads to an increase in positive attributes ascribed to that brand by consumers. Yup! You read that right.
Their study, which surveyed 3000 people across the U.S. and U.K., concluded that “consumers are more likely to ascribe a logo they recognize with positive attributes, namely Trusted, Respected, Reliable and Premium.”
This means that simply by committing to brand consistency as a strategy for building recognition, you have the opportunity to positively shift how your brand is perceived by your audience.
THE DEFINITION OF BRAND AWARENESS
There’s a small but important difference between brand awareness and brand recognition. Brand awareness is less about your audience’s ability to recognize your brand and more about their ability to recall specific details about your business.
We may recognize a logo and have no idea who or what that logo represents. But when we are brand aware, we see that logo and can identify specifics about that business.
“by committing to brand consistency as a strategy for building recognition, you have the opportunity to positively shift how your brand is perceived by your audience.”
THE BRAND AWARENESS STRATEGY FOR PERSONAL BRANDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Consumers want to work with or buy from real humans, not anonymous brands. Personal brands rejoice!
The rise of personal brands is a direct result of solopreneurship. Oh hey, I’m also a solopreneur and personal brand. Essentially, if you are the face of your brand, then you are a personal brand.
Social media is our saving grace as personal brands. It’s the best free marketing tool that allows you to personally connect and build trust with your future clients and customers.
In order to increase brand awareness around your personal brand, your business needs CPR: clarity, positioning, and repetition.
The number one step to this brand awareness strategy is to have clarity around your business. Think of branding as shaping your reputation. If you don’t have clarity around what you want your business’s reputation to be, your personal brand on social media will struggle.
Decide what you want your business to be known for: this means looking to your grand vision for your business, what your mission is, and how your business will evolve over time.
And trust me, it’s going to evolve a lot.
Once you have clarity around your goals, mission, and vision as a business, use this as your north star.
All of your content, your website copy, and your brand experience should be focused on supporting this central brand narrative to shape your reputation.
Brand positioning is how your audience thinks of you — or positions you — in relation to the competition. This means you need to know how you’re different and how to articulate that through your brand messaging.
Remember, you don’t just want to build brand recognition, you want to build brand awareness, which means your audience knows exactly who you are and what you do.
The key to success here is to work towards having a simple brand message that is not just easy to remember, but worth remembering.
This takes some time to achieve and may be in your best interest to work with a brand copywriter or brand strategist.
Your goal here is to find that connective tissue — those themes in your business — that can be translated into concise brand messaging. You want to identify keywords and develop cohesive language that will then inform your offers, brand promise, social media bios, and social media content.
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This is where the magic happens.
When you’ve successfully positioned your personal brand, you want to keep speaking to these themes in all of your content, on your website, and in everything you do. Remember, repetition is recognition.
The more you can speak to the same select few areas, you’ll begin to shape your reputation around those things and those things will become synonymous with your business and personal brand.
WHAT NOT TO DO AS A PERSONAL BRAND TO INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS
Here’s what most solopreneurs and personal brands are doing wrong. They can’t commit. We get impatient in business and the reality is these things take time.
Marketing experts say we must see a brand, ad, product, etc. 7–8 times before it sticks in our minds. Which means we have to give our future customers and clients some time to work their way through the journey.
If you don’t see results right away, DON’T give up and start over. It’s about holding true to your cause, your messaging, and your brand identity. Give them time to grow familiar, to slowly but surely become aware of what you do and interested in what you have to offer.
When building brand awareness as a personal brand, you need to do the strategy work so that you can confidently commit to these things as you grow. If you aren’t excited about your messaging or your brand identity, you’ll be quick to change it.
When you go off script with your brand, not only does it suggest you don’t know who you are as a brand, but it means you’ll lose any brand awareness that was starting to form in the mind of your future customer.
Growing your business as a personal brand takes a lot of self-awareness and reflection. I like to think of the branding journey like therapy for your business. With the right questions to guide you, you can easily create the foundation your brand needs to grow.
If you’re ready to adopt this brand awareness strategy for your personal brand, I can’t think of a better place to start than inside the Brand Discovery Workshop™. This self-led brand foundation course walks you through the necessary steps to shaping your brand.
Through 5 straightforward modules and 5 interactive workbooks, you’ll:
- Create detailed customer profiles that will influence how you show up as a brand
- Craft your vision statement, value proposition, mission statement, core values, elevator pitch and so much more!
- Learn emotional branding strategies to get their attention and grow your business
- Follow exercises to distill your messaging for emotional impact
Learn more about this affordable DIY brand strategy course here.
Jenny Henderson is a brand strategist and business mentor. She collaborates with service-based solopreneurs to design memorable brands that allow them to make a living doing what they love. Since 2020, her branding studio has become a place where small business owners come to learn to think like a brand.
Originally published on the Brand Building Blog on January 6, 2023.