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5 Ways to Increase Brand Awareness in Tough Economic Times Your brand awareness can increase during strenuous times if you follow these five marketing and branding strategies.

By Chris D. Bentley Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Branding has become such a buzzword that all the gurus and paid speakers tend to overcomplicate it. Branding is simple; it is everything people experience about you in public and what makes them want to do business with you. It makes people want to buy your product or use your service.

Branding is even more critical during strenuous times when the country is facing an economic recession. Many people start losing their jobs during these times, and inflation makes living costs more expensive. I will share five keys to increasing your brand awareness even during tough economic times.

Related: 6 Innovative Ways to Increase Brand Awareness

Go out and win

People are always looking to cheer a winner, especially if you're an underdog with a story. An underdog that wins is always front-page newspaper material. Your winning inspires others and gives them hope for their success. This is especially true if people can relate to your background and story. When you start winning, and people know it, other people begin to think you can help them too.

To win, you need to do a few different things. Ensure you have core values in place personally and at your company. Your company policies must reflect your core values to create a winning culture. You must also ensure your product or service is of the highest possible quality. Make sure you create an exceptional customer experience worthy of a five-star review. If you focus on chasing excellence inside of you and your company, you're going to win, and winning solves a lot of problems. Brand excellence always creates brand awareness. If you win, people are going to talk, and the brand is going to expand.

Customer experience

It is crucial to care for each customer and treat them like they're the most important person in your world. Treat each customer like they are your only client. Your company must restore faith to others that good people still exist. Make the word "caring" not some buzzword your employees may have heard of in training but an actual core value. Listen to your customer's situation. Have empathy and understanding to make them feel important. Most people listen to reply instead of listening to understand.

Related: 3 Strategies Entrepreneurs Can Incorporate to Build Brand Awareness

Utilize social media

Compelling social media content will work for your business. People want to be entertained. They want to smile and laugh and forget about the hardships of their current situation and surroundings. People also want to be educated. This is why some people go back to school to continue their education or learn a new skill when times get tough. You must build and grow a customer social media following interested in your product or service and your and your company's core values.

Partner with an influencer

Partnering with a famous social media influencer is turning into a must-have for branding strategies. This can be done by knowing an influencer personally or directly messaging the influencer or their marketing agency and negotiating a deal with them. The easiest method is to pay them to promote your product directly. The other way is exchanging your product or service for their assistance in a promotion. Promoting your product or service by an influencer is the quickest way to gain followers on social media.

Be a local asset

The fifth key is to be an asset to the local community by joining, sponsoring and supporting local organizations and events. When times are tough, people are looking for help anywhere they can find it. Hosting or sponsoring a local event will allow you to meet people face-to-face to gain their business. There is no substitute for in-person relationship-building. People prefer to do business with people and companies they know and trust. Your brand and company will be more relatable when people see the actual person behind the product or service instead of just a social media personality.

To summarize, your brand is your core value. Your company needs to share those same core values, and you need to make sure your employees are aligned with those same core values. People want to be associated with a winner and someone they can relate to. Treating your customers like gold and providing them with a great customer experience will help spread the word about your product or service, leading to more sales. Creating compelling and entertaining social media content will help your brand get noticed while partnering with a social media influencer. Lastly, getting out and meeting people face-to-face by joining, sponsoring and supporting local organizations and events will help people relate to your story through in-person relationship-building.

Related: Want to Increase Sales? Leverage this Brand Hack

Chris D. Bentley

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Award Winning Dallas Real Estate Broker

Chris D. Bentley is an award-winning real-estate broker and owner of Bentley Fine Properties. He is a eight-time multi-million dollar producer, author of four eBooks, was voted D Magazine's "Best Realtor in Dallas" six times, and has been featured in multiple popular magazines.

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