18 Sneaky Ways to Build Brand Awareness


When you need a tissue, do you ask for a tissue, or for a Kleenex? When you’re ordering a drink at a fast-food restaurant, do you ask for a cola, or a Coke? What about when you cut yourself? Do you look for a plastic bandage, or a Band-Aid?

Brand awareness

These terms are known as proprietary eponyms, and they’re the apex of brand awareness. These brands have become so well-known, they’ve replaced the generic terms for similar products in our language. 

For a brand or product to become a proprietary eponym is pretty much the pinnacle of brand awareness (sorry, Pepsi). Although you might not achieve this in your business, that doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot more to boost awareness of your brand.

While there’s no quick fix for becoming a household name, here are 18 brand-building strategies to help launch (and continue) your efforts. You may not become as well-known as Coca-Cola, but it can’t hurt to try, right?

Here are our best pieces of brand-building advice.

1. Referral Programs

Users will gladly spread word of your product or service when they know they’ll get an added perk. Dropbox is a great example of how smart referral programs can growth hack a business. Dropbox gives existing users 500 MB of extra storage space for every friend they refer (up to 16 GB). Back when Dropbox was still new, this referral program helped generate tons of word-of-mouth, delivering a huge number of sign-ups and saving Dropbox countless advertising dollars.

Brand awareness DropBox

2. Impressive Guest Content

Another great way to get your brand known on the web is to deliver ultra valuable, gorgeous looking content to share on other blogs. Guest posting (despite what some might tell you) is still a powerful way to get your name known in your industry.

However, run-of-the-mill content won’t cut it – you need to be guest publishing high-quality stuff. Create memorable, valuable content and you’ll be introduced to new audiences and make a lasting impression.

Check out our free guide! Hacking AdWords: How To Get a (NEAR) Perfect Quality Score. 

3. Infographics

Infographics are a bright and colorful way to display interesting marketing data and statistics. These content powerhouses often get shared far and wide, making them a great tool for brand building and thought leadership.

Take a look at the infographic WordStream produced earlier this year – it got thousands of social shares and brought in valuable links as well!

Brand awareness WordStream Bing Ads infographic

4. Freemium With Credit

Many awesome online products allow users to choose from a free version, which includes a watermark or credit line, or the option to upgrade to the paid version, which allows users to remove the mark or replace it with their own logo. While many users will opt for the free version, they’ll also be promoting your brand to others users. Some of those new users who see your product will go with the paid version! Providing a freemium product means getting yourself in front of more eyeballs, building your brand and bringing in paying customers.

Brand awareness newsletter signup

5. Local Partnerships

Another great brand building strategy is to get involved with local partnerships (this is tremendously important for local-oriented businesses, but can be applied for other businesses as well). Partner with other local businesses to hold join intro seminars or festivals. Sponsor local sports teams and donate to charity events. Getting your brand plastered around festivals and events will do big things for your brand.

6. Car Wraps

A classic tried-and-true strategy for building your brand is getting a car wrap! Car wraps are customized designs that can cover your entire car (don’t worry, you can still see through the windows)! They can attract a hefty amount of attention, and it’s a great way to ensure that wherever you go, people are becoming more familiar with your brand. Wrap your company car or even your own personal vehicle!

7. Freebies

Everyone loves free stuff! Put your brand name on koozies, pens, Frisbees, etc, then give away your items at local festivals. 

Brand awareness giveaways and freebies

Koozies from Philly Phaithful

8. Social Media Contests

Run a social media contest in which contestants submit a photo or video, with other users voting for their favorites. Contestants will share the link with friends and family to get more votes, building your brand awareness as a result.

Brand awareness social media contests

A contest hosted with the help of Woobox

9. Social Focus

With the number of social networks constantly increasing, trying to be forever active on all of them is a fool’s errand. If your business is best suited to a particular network, then don’t be afraid to put the majority of your energy into a few sites. For example, photo-heavy sites might focus on Instagram and Pinterest. B2B companies often do best on Twitter, whereas small businesses in creative industries (like craft marketing) can do well on Instagram. Know where your audiences hang and focus on those networks. You won’t want to totally abandon the other social sites, but save your biggest efforts for what you know works. Not sure about your core network? Start digging into analytics to see where your referral traffic is coming from.

10. LinkedIn Publishing

We already talked a bit about the value of guest posting, but there are also other methods to get published and spread your name across the web. Recently, LinkedIn began letting all users publish posts right to LinkedIn via the publishing tool. If your posts get enough attention, it could wind up in the LinkedIn home stream for many users. As an added bonus, having posts attached to your LinkedIn account also helps establish you as a thought leader! Of course you can also always set up your own company blog and post there – just make sure you share and promote your posts after publishing.

Brand awareness get published

11. Pro Story Telling

Want to be a memorable brand? Start with stellar storytelling. If you can create emotionally moving, compelling stories that connect deeply with users, they won’t soon forget your name. Here are some storytelling tips to get you started

12. Unique Personality

One surefire way to increase band awareness is by giving your brand a fun, unique brand identity. If you work in an industry were a little dose of comedy or personality is appropriate, being outrageous can make your brand extremely memorable.

A few major examples of businesses who inject humor and comedy into brand promotion include Old Spice, Poopouri, and Dollar Shave Club.

Not only did these hilarious ads leave an impression with audiences – they also became viral sensations, shared across the web and driving sales.

13. Podcasts

Starting your own industry podcast where you interview industry experts is a great way to build your brand while also developing relationships with others in your field. Some industries, like marketing, already have a hefty number of podcasts that would be tough for a beginner to compete against. (Here are a few of our favorite marketing podcasts.)

However, for niche industries where there isn’t much on the airwaves, you could easily make yourself a household name.

Brand awareness podcasts

14. PPC Advertising

With SEO becoming more competitive every day, while organic Google real-estate shrinks, PPC is a smart solution for getting your brand seen on Google. With targeted keyword research, you could be showing up at the top of Google for relevant searches. Even if users don’t end up clicking on your PPC ad, seeing your name at the top of the search results makes an impression and is incredible for building brand awareness. Check out PPC University if you're not sure where to start.

Brand awareness keyword targeting

15. Remarketing Campaigns

Remarketing is a pro strategy for boosting that good ol’ brand awareness. Why? Remarketing involves showing ads to users who visited your site, but left before converting. Remarketing ads are placed all across the web on sites your customers visit. Soon they’ll be seeing your business everywhere – on their favorite blogs, while shopping online, etc. This gives the impression that your brand is much larger (and has a much bigger ad budget) than it really is. And it's a great way to increase your conversion rate.

16. Paid Social Advertising

Organic social marketing is becoming more difficult by the day, leading more businesses to turn to paid social advertising. Facebook and Twitter ads are relatively cheap and help get your brand seen on social. Whether or not users convert immediately, every added piece of familiarity counts when users finally are ready to make a purchase.

Brand awareness paid social

17. Controversy

While this strategy isn’t for everyone, one way to get your brand noticed is by being controversial. Take an unlikely stance on a hot industry topic, and you may find yourself attracting quite a bit of attention. Whether it’s good or bad attention depends on the subject matter and your approach. Then again, there’s no such thing as bad press (so they say anyway).

18. Influencer Marketing

Getting friends in high places is another easy way to boost your brand awareness. Find existing influencers in your industry whose business you could potentially complement, rather than compete with. Make use of your partner’s influencer network to promote your brand (while also building up valuable partnerships you can continue to make use of long-term).

With these brand awareness tips, you’ll be a super-star brand in no time. Any bonus pieces of brand awareness advice you want to dispense? Add your thoughts in the comments. 




SEO Uzmanı
Jul 11, 2015

Great post! Thank you.

Jul 12, 2015

Great brand awareness post. In my opinion, guest posting with phenomenal content is one of the biggest sources of both brand awareness and traffic.

Bruce Anderson
Jul 17, 2015

Thanks for this post. It seems that these tips can really turn out to be valuable. I knew some statistics that you presented before but some information is amazing. I am going to use your tips.

Emerson Wang
Jul 17, 2015

Hi, I have a question here.
I'm doing marketing for a university in Chicago. My target customers are Chinese students (who might not understand English websites), and there is a comment hanging at the top three searching results saying that my client is a bad school based on nothing. I tried everything to make it going away including contacting the author and write other comments to dilute the negative situation but nothing works. Do you have any suggestions?

Jul 28, 2015

With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has
a lot of exclusive content I've either created myself or outsourced but it seems a
lot of it is popping it up all over the internet
without my authorization. Do you know any techniques to help prevent content from being ripped off?

I'd certainly appreciate it.

Jyoti Chauhan
Aug 01, 2015

Hi Megan,

Building brand is very important today world. Since in every field, there are several competitors and everybody claims they are best. So to out stand from crowd, need to build brand. You shared great tips here. Using these all tips anyone can make their brand if he/she follows all tips.


Catherine Heeg
Oct 07, 2015

Great tips. I really like #16--Paid advertising. Social media is moving us to a Pay to Play arena faster than ever.

MIlton Kamwendo
Oct 20, 2015

Well done and thank you for these ideas. Any other ideas of increasing brand awareness offline?

Natalie Darcy
Oct 21, 2015

I agree that infographics are a great way to appeal to whoever you're trying to advertise to. Personally, I am not a big fan of pictures without words or words without pictures. This applies to a lot of people, we are subconsciously attracted to things that provide both. I think I am going to create something like this so that I can get my brand out there and attract more business.

Reyna Urduja
Nov 06, 2015

Your list is awesome! In addition to paid social advertising, a business can also offer incentive programs for customers. They can be offered points for the purchase they made now which they can later use for purchasing later. They can also share a good review for the business and in turn earn additional points for doing so. This is better facilitated with a platform. This way, the business is monitored closely and you don't give out points that have no actual benefit for the you and the customer. It's like paid social advertising with a twist.

Jack Scott
Dec 01, 2015

Thanks for the amazing tips. It's indeed useful and found th

Growisa Advisors
Jan 29, 2016

Very helpful & informative post

Feb 19, 2016

I think that in most cases people don't really care about say for instance what is in the can, they care about how popular it is and how many people choose it over other brands...gaining people's trust through marketing a brand and making it appealing to the public is everything. I watched a movie that was all about creating brands and advertising them making them instant hits...what the public also loves is to see what Celebrities are buying, what they're into that is also great for product image. Like light steel framed buildings and just living green because of the climate change altogether most celebrities are doing that and that's why its so easy for people to then consider living green too...Brands are powerful but how you choose to put it out there is entirely p to you.

Feb 26, 2016

wow really great and useful to me , thanks alot

Ranjan Jena
Mar 25, 2016

Thanks for sharing the points. Few I could literally use to create a strong brand presence online for one of my client, who is into Jewellery Shopping.

Mar 28, 2016

Great read and helpful tips. Thanks. '
Unique personality trick is awesome ;) LOL

Will Edridge
May 02, 2016

It's funny how direct response marketing tactics have merged into branding tactics after all these years.

Though it's hardly surprising, the internet is a direct response environment. Practically everything can be measured.

Tessa Doghor
Jun 13, 2016

Great action points

Jun 20, 2016

Thanks , it was great

Pramit Singh
Jul 24, 2016

Great list of tips of brand building for the common person. This list should be printed out on a page and kept handy.

Aug 02, 2016

Great tips will absolutely try some of these. I am currently working on creating professional social media accounts ( referring to tips 8, 9, and 10.) It is very important to get your name out there if you want to be recognized

Sep 29, 2016

These are the great tips about brand awareness, but i need to increase my website Brand name is this helpful? or not because for working on all these points its more difficult to us. Lets try as much we can applying in our website. Thanks for the Post.

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