The brand funnel is an instrumental controlling tool for companies that want to know how their target audience perceives their brand. More so, it eliminates one of the biggest problems that brand managers face today: guessing. That’s right. Despite trillions of dollars being spent every year on marketing, a minute number of brands can actually pinpoint the exact impact their campaigns are having on growth.
Companies that use a brand funnel powered by some brand tracking software are able to enforce strong marketing direction rather than decisions based on gut feeling. Why? Because the software directly asks your target audience how they perceive/interact with your brand at different stages of the customer journey. These audience insights can help you build strength at each stage of your brand funnel, increasing your chances of loyal customers at the end.
The Brand Funnel
A brand funnel accurately shows how strong a relationship between customers and a brand is at different stages of the customer journey. It usually consists of the following segments:
- Awareness: people who have heard of the brand;
- Consideration: of the people aware of the brand; those that would consider using;
- Preference: people would choose the brand over the competition;
- Usage: people currently using the brand;
- Advocacy: people would recommend the brand.
The benefits of a brand funnel
A brand funnel eliminates the guessing game already mentioned in the introduction of this article. Having a brand funnel in place means that you can easily determine the health of your brand. This can be done by looking at each step of the brand funnel individually, or simply by examining the shape of the funnel.
The Skinny Funnel
If you see a skinny brand funnel, you are in trouble. Either you don’t have a marketing plan in place or your current plan isn’t resonating with your target audience. A brand that finds itself in this situation needs to go back to basics and launch some engaging brand awareness campaigns. It’s about getting inside the minds of your target audience and climbing up the Google rankings. One efficient way to do this is via content marketing, which 53% of marketers say is their most effective SEO tactic.
The Upside-Down Triangle Funnel
If your brand funnel is robust at the top but narrow at the end, you are losing customers along the way. This can happen for a number of reasons: the competition is offering something better, consumers don’t see the value in your product, customers weren’t satisfied with your product. You need to ask yourself why this might be happening (the answer may also lie outside the marketing department).
The Fat Brand Funnel
If you have a fat brand funnel, your brand is in the best health it can be. But don’t abandon the funnel! Increasing competition and fickle consumers mean you can lose custom at any time. Always keep an eye on your brand funnel so you can be on top of any changes. Proactivity over reactivity!
Moving customers along the brand funnel
Awareness to Consideration
If you haven’t defined your target audience, it will be extremely difficult to move consumers from brand awareness to consideration. While it can be difficult to fight the urge to target everyone with your marketing campaigns, targeting a specific audience means reaching the people who might actually become loyal to your brand. Otherwise, your campaigns will be ignored and this is something you cannot afford to let happen, especially as marketplaces become oversaturated.
One other thing to remember when running brand awareness campaigns is that you need to have the right messaging. Right now, messaging needs to be personalized and able to foster an emotional connection. A great example of messaging that ticked all the right boxes is the Lego “Rebuild the World” campaign.
Consideration to Preference
Building an emotional connection isn’t something just for the brand awareness campaigns; it will also help change your target audience’s mindset from considering your brand to choosing it over the competition.
The best way to build an emotional connection at this stage of the funnel is by clearly presenting the value of your product. You need to give consumers a personal reason as to why they should choose your brand over another. Show them the life-changing benefits your brand can provide that others can’t. Check out the Coca Cola “Choose Happiness” campaign, for a good example.
Preference to Usage
It’s time to convince your target audience to make that all-important purchase. To achieve this goal, focus on product marketing, in particular customer testimonials.
Customer testimonials are your ace card when it comes to building trust with consumers. Although to have come to this stage your target audience will have taken on board everything you have said about your product, most will only make a purchase after checking out what their peers have to say. Publish customer testimonials in a prime spot of your website to showcase your most loyal customers, while also increasing your credibility.
Usage to Advocacy
Finger-pointing doesn’t often solve problems – but did you know that U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service? If you are having trouble converting one-time purchasers into loyal customers, this issue might sit in this department.
Cross-company teamwork is the key to eliminating this pain point. Encourage your customer support team to be your brand’s biggest advocates by helping them effectively communicate, devise processes based on your marketing message, and providing any content materials that can help in their role. Once any necessary changes are made, you will get your funnel flowing smoothly from top to bottom.
By now you should have a pretty good idea of what the brand funnel is and how it can benefit your business. You should be able to easily pinpoint where your brand funnel is running into issues, and have some insight into how to seal any leaks preventing consumers from moving onto the next stage.
However, and most importantly, you should now understand how important a brand funnel is to your marketing strategy and desire to build a strong brand. The insights that a brand funnel fuelled by brand tracking can provide can be key to you making the right decisions, ultimately, the ones that will fuel growth. Eliminate the guesswork from your marketing and devise effective campaigns that appeal to your target audience by implementing a brand funnel.
Cover image source: Nathan Langer