“Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does…” ― Howard Schultz
A brief story on visibility. In 2000, Bell Atlantic rebranded to Verizon Communications. What seemed to have taken place in the span of a few days was a full-scale rebranding, and to a brand no one ever heard of — what’s a “Verizon?” An immediate and radical change. And it did something amazing. Seemingly in that launch week, everything a consumer would see on a routine basis – vans, billboards, ads – was now Verizon. It was as if Bell Atlantic went “poof.”
How did they do it? Certainly, it was a combination of effective planning, coordination, and logistics. Add to that the magic ingredient: the outlay of an enormous sum of money.
Very few of us have access to those kinds of funds, so our approaches will be somewhat less dramatic and less expensive. So we need to work with the tools at our disposal, and with the money we have to spend. And here’s what’s important when considering how to become more visible:
Budget. Spend more in the right venues and directed to the right audiences, and bingo, you’ll be more visible. I’m stating this as if it’s easy. It’s not. But it’s essential that you come to terms with quantifying your spending.
Consistency. If your presence or message is scattered, then no matter how visible you become your prospects won’t be able to connect the dots and you’ll be effectively unknown.
Know Thy Media. Being at play in the right media gets you known. The wrong media keeps you lost.
Loud and noisy does not necessarily translate into visible. You have to make the right kind of noise, or else you’re wasting time, money, and resources.
Know your audience and what they put eyes and minds on.
Build it and they won’t necessarily come. It might work in Field of Dreams. But in real life, while putting up a website is an essential first step, it’s just that: a first step. You need to devote energy and resources to market your brand.
Being known is much, much better than being unknown. Without a doubt. But some investigation should go into the price of that visibility, and what it really gets you. Is being known the same as being purchased? Or being profitable? These questions have a significant amount of complexity attached to them. But you already know the answer here is a resounding “not necessarily.”
It all comes down to being known in the best possible light; knowing your customer and understanding their needs; and making sure your efforts are measured and well directed. It’s also critically important to understand that the right kind of visibility is what’s required.
The way that I think about visibility and brand awareness is that it’s one component of a multi-step cycle that’s necessary to lead to a sale. It’s not an end-all and be-all.