Inevitably, after each art show we host at our other company #SELLOUT, the number one question we got was "How much art did you sell?"
Well, we sold a bunch of art, if that's what you're wondering, but that question shows that the real value of the show isn't obvious to most people. It's not about the immediate sales (though they are a nice bonus!) it's about brand awareness, this buzz word that is easy to define but difficult to put into action. It's about sales that will be made for years to come. So without further adieu-
I've heard of brand awareness.... Now what?
In this Article:
1. Brand Awareness- insight into the buzzword
2. #SELLOUT- how & why we did it (hint: brand awareness)
3. Applying the big business examples of brand awareness to your small business
1. BREAKING DOWN THE BUZZWORD: BRAND AWARENESS
Having a badass brand is important, but if your brand is the best-kept secret, it's not really working for you like it should be.
Brand awareness, created by being visible to your target on a consistent basis, ideally strengthened with badass visuals and press-worthy experiences, translates your "brand" into "more people knowing and buying your stuff."
Most branding articles will use examples like the Nike swoosh, or the Apple experience, to demonstrate the strong relationship we have with those brands because of incredibly powerful and consistent brand-awareness campaigns we've experienced over time. But how does this relate to your small business?
2. SMALL BIZ BRAND AWARENESS EXAMPLE
We created #SELLOUT, an experiential art event, as a brand awareness campaign for artists and sponsors. The goal isn't direct sales, but to create awareness for all parties involved, increasing their value and Brooklyn cool-points by being associated with a scene.
HOW WE DO IT
- Plan shows with artists who are into the idea of shameless self-promotion
- Pitch the idea to brands who want to be associated with a cool Brooklyn art scene
- Develop a badass brand that inspires curiosity and has a clear message
- Design all the materials to reinforce the simple message that everyone can understand
- Be really clear about the event's message in all press outreach
- Host events, this past one being a badass, week-long event in Brooklyn with 2 opening parties, interactive art and lots of ways for people to #SELLOUT
- 20 Press articles, interviews, reviews and listings totaling over 22 million impressions
- Live TV interview on Bloomberg TV
- 1,600+ emailed RSVPs and walk-throughs
- Line down the block in the rain to get in
- Art sales
- All the people who were aware of the events, viewing the marketing campaign, reading the articles, and coming to the parties, have a specific association when they see the logo for #SELLOUT.
- As we continue to host these events, the people who are currently aware of it will continue to strengthen that association and understanding of the brand, and new people will join that awareness.
Have you ever seen an event with a bunch of "unknown" artists garner that much attention? That's the power of a brand awareness campaign with a badass brand.
3. HOW THIS RELATES TO YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
The disconnect for many when they read about brand awareness is that it seems like something only large companies can afford because we usually talk about brand awareness in terms of the corporate companies building awareness nationally and worldwide.
But the exact same principles apply to you and YOUR PERSONAL WORLD. Think about all the people in your immediate network: colleagues, friends & family. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that just because they know you and what you do, that they are walking around with you top of mind, referring you whenever the opportunity arises.
What Nike does in brand awareness for the world is exactly what you need to do for the people in your world. Smaller scale, same power.
There are many ways to do it, but the overarching theme is that it must be done consistently and with a consistent message. It's why we are going to take #SELLOUT to SWSX this spring, then Chicago this fall, and then back to Brooklyn in the winter. Repetition is a crucial ingredient.
So whether it's valuable newsletters, or informative seminars, badass parties or fabulous cocktail hours, book clubs or poker nights... find outlets that make sense for your brand and then make sure you do it consistently and over time. This type of effort will create brand awareness, it will pay you back in spades as you become more and more top of mind to everyone who knows you, and it will create exponential value for you the longer you do it.