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3 Examples of Indirect Channels For Brand Awareness

By March 1, 2024No Comments

When you think of brand awareness, what comes to mind?

People often think of familiarity, or how well an audience can identify a brand by its assets (a logo, a jingle, a color scheme, etc).

But it’s also about the feeling customers experience when they think of your brand. It’s about the impressions people make when they interact with your business at any point in their journey. It extends well beyond just recognition.

Think of it like a ripple effect. Every action your small business takes, from employee treatment to community involvement, sends silent messages that shape how people perceive you.

These actions and decisions may not always seem directly related to your marketing strategy, but they can have a significant effect on how people perceive and relate to your brand.

Below are three examples of indirect brand awareness affecting a company, both positively and negatively. By exploring each one, our goal is to inspire you to think outside the box about what brand awareness looks like in your company and to remember that every touch point with a customer sends a message whether you intend it to or not.

The Cost of Losing Customer Trust

Kyte Baby sells infant clothing and sleep sacks made out of bamboo material. Their products are designed to be soft, comfortable, and eco-friendly so babies and parents can have peace of mind.

They were in the news recently when one of their employees was denied a work-from-home request while her baby was in the NICU. This rejection was seen as a contradiction to their brand values of “priding [themselves] on being a family-oriented company”.

As a result, many customers and influencers expressed their disappointment and anger towards the company and decided to boycott their products. They’ve since issued an apology but the backlash from their initial decision has yet to balance itself out. This should serve as a lesson for businesses everywhere that a seemingly non-public decision can majorly affect brand awareness and reputation.

If your employees are in the same category as your target audience, it’s important to evaluate how you treat them and what benefits you offer. This sends a message to your prospects about what your brand actually values. By not aligning their actions with their values, Kyte Baby failed to create a positive and consistent brand image and lost the trust and loyalty of their customers.

Burger King: A Hypothetical Scenario of Positive Brand Awareness

There used to be a Burger King on the corner of South High St. and Price St. in West Chester, PA. In 2022, it shut down and the lot has been vacant ever since.

Every time I walk by the abandoned building and see the overgrown shrubs, I think about the old Burger King. When they decided to close this location, they probably weren’t thinking about the lot’s future. However, this could have been an opportunity for them to indirectly improve their brand reputation.

Imagine if Burger King decided to take responsibility for their old locations after closing them down. What if they paid for the demolition and rebuilding of their former sites? What if they turned them into a temporary park, library, or playground?

That would be the lasting connection I would make with their brand as I walk by the lot. I would associate their brand with something positive even though their business was no longer there.

Realistically, this may not be possible due to local zoning laws and access to the lot after the land is sold. But it poses a great thought experiment for business owners.

You’re likely aware of what it’s like for your customers when they’re directly interacting with your brand (i.e. standing in line about to order or browsing goods on your website) but are you aware of the indirect impact your brand leaves after a transaction is completed? Where does your brand show up after the customer has left your store or closed out of your website?

Reviewing every step of your customer journey can help you assess any areas of brand awareness you may be overlooking.

How Patagonia Goes the Extra Mile

Patagonia positions themselves as a company that cares about the future. While that includes the environment, it also includes future generations of humans that live on the earth. They back this value up by offering their staff an excellent parental leave policy and an onsite daycare.

By taking care of their employees and their families in this way, they’re putting their money where their mouth is. It builds trust in their brand and their customers know that they’re not all talk; they’re genuinely trying to invest in future generations by making it easier for their employees to work and show up for their families at the same time.

The Bottom Line: Think Beyond Traditional Brand Awareness

Recognition is only one side of brand awareness. It’s also about the feeling your brand evokes in customers and prospects.

Having a brand means representing that brand from the very start to the very finish. Your actions on behalf of your company affect the association that people have with your brand. Every decision you make is an opportunity to reflect your brand’s values.

When you assess your small business marketing strategy, don’t limit yourself to traditional methods. Think outside the box and consider how you can create positive and lasting brand awareness through your actions and decisions. This will help you stand out from the crowd and build a loyal and engaged customer base.

Need help assessing your current strategy? We can help you identify opportunities for you to improve your brand awareness. Contact Sweet Rose Studios today to get a free consultation.