Technology advances, new marketing platforms pop up and outdated platforms die out, internal and external strategies adapt and change, but the basic building blocks of brand awareness will always hold true. When it comes to creating powerful brand awareness, it’s all about your foundational communication strategy. So, how do you create brand awareness that really resonates with your audience?
Building Blocks of Brand Awareness
To build powerful brand awareness, your brand message must have these three fundamental building blocks. These include:
- Clarity: What product or service does your brand offer and to whom, specifically?
- Credibility: Why is your brand the best choice for your ideal patient? Does your brand instill consumer confidence?
- Visibility: Is your brand regularly seen in the media and easily found online?
It’s crucial that these building blocks are developed in this order — each block building off the previous one. Suffice it to say, being highly visible in the media and online without a clear, authoritative messaging strategy will likely cause consumer confusion or skepticism that results in minimal return on investment.
1. Brand Awareness Building Block: Clarity
This is the most important step in brand building that leads to powerful brand awareness. A strong brand has precise messaging that answers the following patient and employee questions:
- What industry does my brand represent?
- What is my organization’s specialization? (What specific product or service is provided within said industry, and for what specific clientele is the product/service intended?)
- What problem(s) does my brand solve?
- What unique solution(s) to that specific problem do we provide?
- What is our corporate mission or vision statement? (Why do we do what we do? And why is it important?)
This clarity in messaging and organization-wide focus will attract the right patients and team members. It will also help with employee retention, as team members are able to see the big picture and understand the important part that they play in fulfilling the organization’s goals.
A well articulated brand message will not only attract the right patients, team members, and strategic partners, it will just as effectively deter the wrong ones. A clear brand message will alleviate a lot of frequently asked questions in advance, making your team and your patient journey that much more efficient. And, patients and recruits will easily find your organization through a simple search while potential strategy partners — who have similar corporate cultures — will be drawn to your organization for partnership opportunities, further widening both of your circles of influence. As a bonus, powerful brand alliances with other organizations will magnify your visibility.
2. Brand Awareness Building Block: Credibility
Once a potential patient, recruit, or strategic partner has pristine clarity about a brand that they may want to consult or align with, they will want to know if the organization is credible. Is this a solid brand? Is it sophisticated? Does it have a strong foundation, and is the organization sustainable? Will it be around long enough to solve my problem?
One of the best ways to build credibility into your message is by using numbers. That’s because numbers can’t easily be refuted. Some common credibility factors easily communicated through numbers include:
- How many years have you been in business?
- How many patients do you serve weekly, monthly, annually?
- How many industry recognitions have you achieved?
- How many times has your organization been mentioned in the media?
- How many locations do you have?
- How many service providers do you have?
Patients want to feel that they are going to the best provider with the most experience to solve their particular health issue. Recruits and team members want to feel that their roles within an organization are secure, even through economic downturns. Strategic partners want to hitch their wagon alongside a stable, sophisticated brand. By building credibility into a brand message, you resolve the concerns from these scenarios and start to build trust. Once your clarity message is defined, you’ll then determine the credibility factors that communicate your brand as the best-in-class for your specialty.
3. Brand Awareness Building Block: Visibility
Once the clarity and credibility messages have been determined and published, the fun begins. The brand’s visibility in traditional media, and especially online, will lead to massive brand awareness. Common brand awareness strategies and campaigns include:
- A modern website that reflects the organization’s level of professionalism
- Internal and external communication
- Marketing and advertising messages
- Earned media opportunities
- Speaking engagements for leadership
- Published content on your blog or monthly newsletter
- Partnerships with other highly visible organizations that share similar ethos
- Focused efforts toward social responsibility that match the organization’s vision
The importance of building the clarity and credibility messaging before going straight to visibility is for scalability purposes. To invest money into marketing and advertising without a clear message about the focus of the organization’s efforts — and without establishing the organization’s credibility in no uncertain terms — creates confusion in the marketplace. The ill-defined message may be heard, but it will likely be by the wrong consumers. This leads to unqualified inbound calls and team members answering unnecessary questions.
Most potential patients and recruits will research your company before reaching out. And, if they don’t find the organization to be credible through an online search, they simply won’t call. If your website is outdated and slow, and the user experience (UX) and messaging is unclear, the patient will assume that they will receive the same level of mediocrity in the service provided by the organization.
Brand awareness is what every organization covets. However, like the service that the organization provides, brand awareness must be approached with meticulous attention to the human experience. A well thought out brand and messaging strategy is vital to creating powerful brand awareness that leads to more patient consultations, qualified recruits, opportunities for exciting partnerships, and solid preparedness to scale.