Awareness Can Be Important To Your Credibility
Competing in today’s markets can be difficult. It is made even more difficult by a lack of awareness of your business, product or service on the part of prospective customers. Positioning your company properly in the minds of potential customers is a critical, yet often overlooked part of promotional strategy.
When you are faced with several competitors in a market, it is likely that the firm with the highest level of market awareness will have some level of credibility established unless it has somehow deteriorated its reputation. If that firm has credibility through a higher level of awareness in the market, it will generally have a competitive advantage. But why?
It is well known that people are swayed by awareness of a particular company. They might know very little about that organization, but a company that has done a good job of frequently putting its name out in front of the market with a subtle message about the quality of its products or services or by presenting a highly professional look and image will entrench itself in the subconscious of the prospective buyers. When the buyer is ready to buy, the fact that they already have a positive image of the company and/or its products and services will serve as a compelling reason to at least consider that company and its products or services heavily.
A well planned and executed awareness campaign can establish a real sense of quality in the minds of those who represent your market. Suppose your sales people are making calls and competing with firms that have established themselves in the minds of the prospective buyer. Your firm is a relative unknown and people know virtually nothing about you. The dilemma that the buyer faces has to do with risk. Are they willing to take a risk and purchase something from you when they can buy the same type of product or service from a company that has credibility with them. That credibility might have been established simply by using institutional ads to attack the subconscious of the buyer by putting the name and some subtle message about quality or image in front of the market on a frequent basis.
Think about many of the ads you see or hear. They could appear on television, in a newspaper or magazine or on a billboard. You might hear them on the radio. A majority of those ads are insitutional in nature by virtue of the fact that they are not selling something specific. They are positioning the product or company in the minds of the prospective buyers and creating high levels of awareness. When the buyer is approached to buy one or more of its products or services, the fact that they have awareness of the company reduces the risk of doing business with that firm.
A very bad argument against this type of campaign is that they are expensive and don’t sell product. While such a campaign might be expensive, they certainly don’t have to be. And the argument that they don’t sell product is pure nonsense. That argument is usually used by the unenlightened as a way of covering up the, “I’m too cheap to do things right” syndrome. Awareness and image campaigns are designed to instill credibility. Therefore, they take time to work. Most business people don’t have the necessary patience to see such a campaign through. And institutional campaigns are more difficult to measure in terms of direct impact on sales. But the impact of the campaigns can be measured through pre and post campaign market research efforts designed to measure awareness and credibility levels.
Budget for some sort of campaign that is designed to position your product, service or business properly in the mind of your prospective buyer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a media advertising campaign. Newsletters and direct mail can often be used effectively. But keep in mind that the best campaigns generally use a combination of mediums and methods in positioning the company. Using an advertising agency for any sort of significant promotional campaign is recommended.