You may have the best website in the world, but if nobody can recognize or remember your brand name, you won’t have any luck generating or retaining a recurring audience. When you first launch your site, one of your first priorities should be building initial brand awareness—but how can you build awareness for a brand that didn’t exist yesterday?
The secret is to use unconventional tactics; surprises and novelty are linked to memory, and can spread brand recognition faster than conventional means.
Example Unconventional Strategies
So what counts as “unconventional”? These are some perfect examples:
- Be creative with your business and domain name. Your name should suggest what your business does in some way, and should be simple enough that it’s spelled the way it sounds. Beyond that, you’ll want to defy your industry conventions and avoid names that sound too typical for a business like yours. Plus, a weird or unconventional brand name will be cheaper (and available) as a domain, and easier for customers to remember when they want to revisit.
- Name a star after your business. Is your business out of this world? You might consider naming a star after it. There are lots of stars out there—over 200 million in our galaxy alone—so why not immortalize your business by naming a star after it? The move is a bit obscure, but will cater to any audience interested in space or astronomy, and is sure to get you some raised eyebrows from everyone else.
- Name a town after your business. If a star is too far away, you could consider naming a town after your business (and yes, that is possible). For a period of time, at least, Half.com managed to get the city of Halfway, Oregon to rename itself to Half.com. The company paid $110,000 for that right, and it only lasted a year, but it must have worked—the company was acquired by eBay just a few months later for $300 million.
- Stage a publicity stunt. Publicity stunts are a bit risky, but if they pay off, they could lead to instant recognition of your brand. There are too many amazing examples here to name, but the Drum has a concise list of some of the best publicity stunts of our era. Some of these include the Uber ice cream promotion, Lyft taking advantage of “Back to the Future” Day, the Red Bull space jump, and Greenpeace scaling the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
- Get the attention of a celebrity or influencer. You could also get initial attention by winning the praise or recognition of an important celebrity or influencer in your industry. Obviously, it’s difficult to make these connections if they don’t already exist, but offering something valuable could sweeten the pot.
- Ride on the coattails of another business or organization. Finally, you could try to ride the coattails of another business or organization—like how “Dumb Starbucks” became an overnight sensation when it decided to obnoxiously parody the most successful coffee chain in America. You could also go a less antagonistic route by working together with a bigger brand on a collaborative project, or volunteering for a local organization to earn some extra press and visibility.
Measuring Your ROI
The real secret to effectiveness with unconventional tactics is knowing what works and what doesn’t; you should be plugged into your ROI at all times. SAP’s marketing analytics software offers all the tools you need to ensure your unconventional strategies hit the mark.