Sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. As a business owner or savvy marketer, there will be times where you’ll feel stumped or confused, and it’s in these moments that you should rely on the foundations to find a way to move forward. And every marketer knows that the foundations of marketing are the Four Ps, otherwise known as the marketing mix.
Yes, the concept you learned about in your first marketing or business class can be the key to growing your brand, and in this special case, your brand recognition. If your brand is struggling to make an impact or is being overshadowed by others, read on because this article will show you how you can use the 4 Ps of the marketing mix to increase your brand awareness and brand recognition.
What is brand recognition and why is it important?
Nike is well known for its slogan – Just do it. Source: Clubhouse
Brand recognition refers to the extent that your brand is recognisable amongst consumers – hence the name. It’s what makes people say ‘Oh, I know that brand!’ and is what makes your brand familiar and memorable in the minds of consumers. Strong brand recognition can take your brand to incredible heights, making them synonymous with the product or service you provide it. You Google something online; you Photoshop an image, you FaceTime your mum.
If you want your brand to be just as recognisable as those above examples, you’ll need to take steps to consistently improve your brand recognition. So how do we go about doing that? There are many ways but getting back to basics and focusing on the marketing mix will put you on the right path.
What is the marketing mix?
If you’ve been reading this without knowing what the marketing mix is, don’t feel bad! We’ll give you a quick refresher. The marketing mix is the actions a business takes to market their products or services. In its simplest form, the marketing mix is broken down to four key marketing functions known as the Four Ps:
Product refers to what your business is actually selling. What is the purpose of your business? What is your main offer?
When refining the product element of your marketing mix you’ll need to do comprehensive market research and product development to ensure that your offering has a clear purpose, solves consumers’ needs and wants, and differentiates from the offerings of your competitors. Important aspects of the product function can also include things like product packaging and product functionality.
Price is relatively straightforward – it refers to how much you charge for your offering. It also encompasses the research and different decisions and pricing strategies you use to come to that final price. Price will also determine your profit and revenue as a business and your positioning in the market i.e. how your brand is perceived or recognised by consumers (more on that later!).
Using competitive pricing analysis helps to set the most appropriate price for your product. Source: MBN
Place refers to where your product or service will be made available to consumers. In other words, where will your offering be sold? To really nail this aspect of the marketing mix, think about where your target market is more likely to be.
Where are the bulk of your customers? You should also consider which distribution channels you’ll use and if you choose to go through middlemen or choose to sell directly to your customers.
Promotion is the aspect of the marketing mix that most people think of when they hear ‘marketing’. It’s also the aspect that most marketers enjoy doing the most. It includes advertising strategies like commercials, billboard ads, paid Google ads, social media marketing and content marketing. Promotion is a big factor on how well your brand is recognisable and determines how likely your customers will buy your offering.
The Other Ps
The big four Ps are the core elements of the marketing mix but we can delve in deeper to find more Ps that are just as important as the big four. The main three that are often added are:
- Process: the steps taken to support a product launch including goal setting, the people involved, resources required and timelines.
- People: specifically refers to all the people involved in marketing – from customers, manufacturers, suppliers and internal team members.
- Physical evidence: all the tangible things your customers engage with when interacting with your business. This includes the physical environment, packaging and your actual staff/salespeople.
How to get the right mix to increase brand recognition
Increasing brand recognition and brand awareness is an important goal, one that is especially important in the early stages of the business life cycle. To help you do that, it’s essential that you align and use the four P’s of the marketing mix to specifically increase visibility and recognition. Here’s how to do it in regards to each element of the marketing mix.
How do you make it so your product stands out and is easily recognisable by consumers? It might seem like a tough ask, especially if your product or service is quite similar to your competitors. To make your offering truly memorable, you have to rely on Unique Selling Points (or USPs).
Nike Air Zoom Mercurial has a number of USPs such as combined computational design with air bag technology. Source: Nike
What exactly separates your product from others? Is it an innovative, new feature? Can it solve multiple consumer problems at once?
If you’re looking to distance yourself away from the competition, you have to create a product or service that has unique features which consumers will be able to easily remember. For example, at the end of the day, iPhones are just mobile phones but consumers recognise it by its unique UI and custom design.
Earlier, we touched on how price plays a big role in positioning your offering within its market. It’s because price determines how others perceive your product or service. If it’s too expensive without justification, your brand might seem pretentious or a general waste of money. Too cheap, and your brand might come off as poor quality.
If you want to rely on price to increase your brand recognition (good recognition), make sure that you justify your price with solid promotional and content marketing.
You’re selling an expensive, top-of-the-line product? Let consumers know that it’s worth the price with informative articles, influencer marketing and appealing product photos. You’re pricing it very cheaply? Use customer testimonials to demonstrate that it’s a quality item despite the price.
The luxury brand Porsche has high prices but is justified with both high-quality manufacturing and a prestige brand image. Source: Porsche
Improving brand recognition with ‘place’ is straightforward – put your product or service where it will be easily seen and obtained! Noone is going to know about your brand’s offerings if you don’t place them in appropriate avenues.
To find the right place, do research on your target audience to see where they frequently shop. Then work with your chosen distribution channels to make sure your offerings are prominently displayed e.g. the front page of an online store.
When increasing brand recognition, promotions will take up the bulk of your marketing mix. Why? It’s because promotion is where you’ll have the most room to move and freedom to do whatever it is to make your brand stand out. Promotional activities make your target audience aware and excited about you, your brand and whatever it is you’re selling.
You can opt to do digital marketing strategies such as PPC and SEO, promote on social media or do more traditional activities like tv commercials and word-of-mouth. To choose which activities to do, you’ll need to do extensive research about your industry and market to determine the most effective strategies.
Make your brand stand out with the right marketing mix
Elevating your brand recognition doesn’t have to be a complex task. By taking a look at your marketing mix and adjusting it appropriately, you can turn your brand from something plain to one that captures the attention of consumers.
Want us to help you figure out the right marketing mix combination to make your brand recognition skyrocket? Contact our team of branding experts to find out how we can help you!