If you’re looking to increase brand awareness and generally get more people to know who you are and what you do, then I recommend doing what I call a brand explosion.
It was about ten years ago when I first started using this phrase. I was working with a company who was not only unknown in the market, but had the bigger issue of having a sister company with a similar name that was very well known in the market.
To protect who the company is, I’m going to use shoes as a comparison. (For regular readers of my blog, you may have noticed that I love shoes!). So the original company sold shoes. It was called ABC Shoes and sold to a mainly female audience. But then the owner realised that he had the knowledge in house to start manufacturing watches. The company understood fashion and how the industry worked, but this needed to be a totally different part of the company. They were also going to be men’s watches, meaning it was a totally different market. He called this ABC Watches.
I joined the team about a year after ABC Watches was formed, and other than developing a very basic website, they had done very little marketing. I completed a marketing audit to work out what we needed to do to grow the business. The first most startling thing I realised wasn’t that the company was unknown in itself, but that it was known for something else. As soon as I said ABC to anyone they immediately said, “Oh, you do shoes.” It was like starting further back that being unknown.
I knew one of the first major priorities of the marketing plan had to be getting the name ABC associated with watches. I couldn’t harm the shoe side of the company, but we were targeting a different audience anyway, so I felt quite safe.
I imagined that we needed to literally blast the market with our brand. Everywhere someone looked they needed to see ABC Watches. I wanted people not to be able to escape it. The “Rule of 7” states that it takes someone about seven times of seeing something before it sinks in. But this was worse. It was seven times of seeing something different and realising it’s different and then that sinking it. I had to speed that process up, and fast. I had big targets to hit.
This was when I came up with the term brand explosion. It was how I described it to my team.
I listed every possible place where we could feature the brand, optimising the marketing budget as much as possible, and we went for it.
Within a couple of years I went from speaking to people and them saying “Who?” or “Oh, the shoe company!” to everyone knowing ABC Watches. It made the job of the sales team much easier, it meant people were actively coming to us, and it opened up so many other marketing and PR opportunities for me.
One day I had a meeting with an editor of a very well known trade publication. He told me I’d done a great job and I’d put ABC Watches on the map. I felt very proud.
Two years may seem like a long time, but in terms of getting solid brand recognition in the market, it was quite a feat. Especially as it was a small company and I was working on a very limited budget. I had to be very creative with how I exploded the brand.
I absolutely know that I couldn’t have achieved all I did without doing this ‘brand explosion’. And what was more, people seemed to like this idea and understand it. So now I use it all the time.
If you need to improve how you’re known in your market, then why not try a brand explosion? Write down every possible place you could feature your brand. Be creative, innovative, do the basics and think outside the box. It’s amazing how much you can do for very little cost, and you might be surprised by the impact. But what it takes is dedication. You can’t just do it for a week or a month, you need to keep your name out there. It’s long term marketing but it works.
If you’d like some support with building your own brand explosion, talk to us at Lindsay Woodward Marketing.