We sat down with Joe Soltis, CEO of ChoiceLocal, to learn some business advice about optimizing brand awareness. ChoiceLocal is a mission-driven and outcomes-focused franchise marketing agency that exclusively serves franchisors and franchisees. It is the first and only franchise marketing agency with a money-back guarantee and is one of the fastest growing companies in the United States
Knowing what your brand stands for is the main critical point for getting people to buy your product or service. Your brand is what makes your business unique, credible, and authentic. It also attracts like-minded people in areas beyond customers, such as potential networking opportunities to further your business.
‘Brand’ consists of three parts: Imaging, design, and messaging. Nail all three, and you are set to reap the rewards for years to come. Of course, as a franchisee, your brand must reflect what the franchise expects and depending on the business, that may be strict or lenient. Our value-proposition, also known as what makes your company superior in value compared to your competition is also part of your brand.
Building a brand serves to promote brand awareness, which is the likelihood that the public recognizes your logo, design, or message on a consistent basis. Think McDonald’s golden arches, Google’s primary color palette, or Nike’s slogan, ‘Just Do It.’
There is no need to worry too much about perfection because brands evolve. Rebranding is the term we use to describe when a company shifts its focus, whether in messaging or a simple logo change. It is totally acceptable, especially after you develop your initial brand and it is well-recognized by the public for an extended period.
The key is to be steadfast. Once you put your brand out there, keep it there. Your buyer pool, most essecially your ideal customer, must be able to trust you, and that starts with the most basic elements of your brand. Changing your imagery, messaging, or even your offer for the first year will confuse and alienate your potential customers. Make sure you loop your brand logo, at the least, on all your websites and social media pages for consistency.
A beautiful, clear brand equals an authentic, credible business in many customers’ eyes. Here are the best practices to achieve brand je ne sais quoi.
Where is Your Audience?
Step one is to build brand awareness by researching your ideal customer. Where do they hang out? What do they like and already purchase? What services are they googling? Who do they admire? Are they on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn?
Different folks live on different parts of the internet. While there is always overlap, getting a general idea of where your business should play will inform the rest of your decisions. You can do this by extracting data from your existing cusotmer database. Using advanced artifical intelligence, we have built tools to data-mine your customer database and then append massive amounts of data to see who your idea customers are, what they have in common, and how they benchmark against the national average. Then using, these data insights, you can then find these ideal customers in all marketing channels and micro-target them to make you the #1 brand in the world for your ideal customers.
Use social media to publish content marketing (link) with call-to-actions (CTAs). CTAs are any phrase telling the viewer what to do, such as, ‘Click here to learn more,’ or ‘Like this post for a chance to win.’ You can target these individuals using the big data analysis explained above. For example, if you own a home improvement company and you wanted to target people who live in a home over 3,000 square feet, that was built at least 10 years ago, who love home improvement, who live in a certain zip code, who have a track record of buying things online, and watch shows similar to HGTV programming, you can target these people with micro-targeted advertisments and content marketing and see amazing ROI and peformance.
By having a good level of consistent activity for your brand on social media and other channels, targeted to the right people you create a buzz around your business, thus building brand awareness and legitimacy. This buzz will include positive comments and reviews from your loyal audience, thus attracting more to the flock.
Now that you know where your people are, what are you showing them? Your brand needs to consist of the three elements we mentioned earlier: logo, design, and message.
Many people want to start by creating a logo when, in fact, messaging needs to come first.
As a franchisee, you will likely have your brand elements laid out for you. But depending on your franchise, you might have some leeway. Is there a charity you give back to with portions of your profits? What is your ‘why’ for starting your franchising journey? Even easier, with what parts of the franchise’s message do you resonate most?
All of these are great things to think about and post about on social media! You can create a personal logo and design (color palette) that reflects this, if your franchise allows, to pair with the franchise logo. Think business cards and your Instagram profile picture.
The Big Takeaway
Brand awareness is key to creating enthusiastic new and loyal repeat customers for any business. It is your franchise’s lifeblood and what keeps people engaged between purchases.
Brand awareness expands your reach, attracts like-minded individuals, and allows you to lead them through your marketing funnel to purchase and enjoy the goods or services you offer.
Boost your sales, grow your franchise, and authenticate the public’s perception of you by building your brand with an honest mission in mind; it will take you far.
ChoiceLocal is a purpose-driven and results-focused franchise marketing agency that only serves franchisors and franchisees. They are the 1st and only franchise marketing agency to offer a money-back guarantee. They are a member of IFA (International Franchise Association), named on the Inc. 5000 list, and rated as a Top Workplace for the last five years. To find out more about their franchise growth engine, please visit https://choicelocal.com/