Brand awareness is an important way of promoting commodity-related products. This is because for these products, there are very few factors that differentiate one product from its competitors. Therefore, the product that maintains the highest brand awareness compared to its competitors usually gets the most sales.
For example, in the soft drink industry, very little separates a generic soda from a brand-name soda, in terms of taste. However, consumers are very aware of the brands Pepsi and Coca Cola, in terms of their images and names. This higher rate of brand awareness equates to higher sales, and also serves as an economic moat that prevents competitors from gaining more market share
The success of a brand depends a lot on how well people familiarise with it. An average consumer comes across hundreds of advertisements each day through television, radio, hoardings, newspapers and magazines, internet, text messages, etc. However, the ones that appeal his needs, interests, imagination, thinking, behavior, and/or lifestyle tend to win over others when it comes to brand recall. At the end of the day, an individual remembers only few advertisements out of the major chunk that he or she comes across on that particular day.
There are several businesses that consider social media as an expense rather than an investment. Conventional firms often stick to the traditional advertising vehicles and are reluctant to use social media tools, which is not a desirable move today. No doubt traditional mediums are important, but the growing significance of social media just cannot be ignored. It needs to be included while designing an integrated marketing plan.
To substantiate how social media can prove useful along with traditional advertising, let’s consider the following series of situations:
1) You come across a television commercial that captures your attention because of its uniqueness, creativity, easy understandability, relevancy, and/or need solving ability.
2) The commercial is shown a number of times throughout the day so that it gets registered in your mind.
3) Next time onwards, whenever you listen to the signature tune of that brand, or see a particular character in the advertisement, you make sure to see the commercial entirely. These are the signs of your liking towards that brand/advertisement.
4) You start discussing about the brand with your family and friends, and ask their views regarding the advertisement.
5) Then suddenly, you come to know that the character from your favorite commercial or the brand itself is available on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site. Thereafter you start following it, become its fan, use applications related to it, etc. to express your liking towards it.
6) Your connections, which also like the advertisement, follow your foot-steps and do exactly the same things like becoming a fan and so on.
7) Finally, the brand becomes a hot topic of discussion amongst your friends, and thus gains ‘extended’ popularity with the help of social media and social networking.
Following is the process in a diagrammatic representation: