Awareness. The number one driver of brand growth. If people don’t know about your brand, they will not buy it. Sounds a bit obvious? Perhaps, but what should brands be doing to purposefully drive awareness?
Creating a successful brand begins with research – what resonates with consumers and where to pitch the brand when it comes to price and place. All these efforts are however in vain if there is no focus on creating awareness of the brand.
How do we create such awareness? Other than an initial introduction, the brand must be recognisable, memorable and trustworthy. In the wine business it brings us to the balance between having a distinctive label or brand, that simultaneously also gives assurance of quality and consistency. After walking through the world of wine represented at Prowein earlier this week, I again realised the enormity of this challenge.
There are the classic labels – elegant, understated and clean. I like them, but will I necessarily remember them if they are not already famous?
Then there are the bolder brands with modern labels – bright colours, strong graphics, memorable names and stories. As an example and without knowing the wine or the story – both which might be brilliant if I look at reviews – but just based on its name, The Hairy Arm wine label is one I might not forget, but one I also might not buy without some trusted recommendation.
Finding the balance between being distinctive and re-assuring is a challenge.
To really ensure brand awareness, the brand also has to be enthusiastic – let’s say obsessive – about one strong message. Yes, different brand associations are wonderful, but the one key message should be communicated in a way that is clear and continuous until it is synonymous with the brand.
Then of course in today’s world there is no getting away from a brand’s responsibilities – ethical, social and environmental. Accountability needs to be part of a brand’s philosophy. While it is a great to be accountable just because of the principle, using your efforts in marketing and introducing them to consumers definitely supports awareness – and that is an all-important connection or affinity that is not always easy to achieve.
Having people know your brand and love your brand is a wonderful achievement. To make business sense, however, one has to sell and that can only happen if your brand is available. This brings me to distribution – an area of the wine business I feel very strongly about. Not only is it such a crucial element of your success, it is also an ever-evolving environment. (Read more about the new face of distribution.) Traditional purchase patterns have changed to include online, now it is about finding a balance between retail experience and online shopping, the challenge of online security, data protection and managing expectations when it comes to availability, delivery times, etc. (Read more about the unique combination of experience and online shopping)
The industry has never been as competitive but making use of research and targeting as well as keeping up with trends and technology give us plenty of opportunity to succeed at creating brand awareness.