How to Improve Your Brand Awareness Strategy in Malaysia: A Complete Guide
Brand Awareness Definition
Name me 5 smartphone brands you can think of.
Thought of them already? Good.
I’m pretty sure you would’ve thought of: Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, or Vivo.
Right now, you’re probably wondering: “So, what does this question have to do with brand awareness?” 🤔
Short Answer: A LOT. I’ll explain why: Each brand you’re able to name earlier, is the result of each company’s hard work.
Their hard work that went into building their brand awareness.
Let’s explore deeper into how brand awareness fits into your overall brand strategy.
Why is Brand Awareness Important in Malaysia?
It’s becoming difficult to earn brand awareness in the Malaysian market.
This isn’t news. Our market today is immensely saturated. Things will only continue to become more competitive.
That’s why creating a strong brand awareness strategy is important. I’ll explain why it plays a critical role in your brand strategy. ♟️
I won’t give you any nonsense, just in-depth explanations.
So, here are 3 reasons why developing a brand awareness strategy is important:
- Improves brand familiarity
If your brand awareness strategy is done right, you can help people become familiar with your brand.
Brand familiarity is important because: most shoppers are more likely to buy from a company that they know. 🤝
For example, if you’re looking to buy a new pair of sport shoes, would you consider buying from an unfamiliar brand, or an established brand like Nike?
I think you already know the answer. Most people would remember and consider Nike over a brand they have not heard of.
That’s why brand awareness is so important, because it builds hard-earned trust with your customers. 👨👩👦
As a brand, Nike has successfully built brand familiarity with its customers, and eventually created a following of loyal customers that we’re seeing today.
- Brand awareness creates association
Brand Awareness also helps to train your customers to associate certain products and services with your brand in their minds, it subconsciously encourages them to replace common words with branded terms. I’ll explain.
For example, if you’re going for a night out with your friends, instead of telling them you’ll order a taxi on your phone, these days you’re more likely to say “I’ll order us a GrabCar.” 🚗
Another good example is telling your child to get a Tupperware from the kitchen cupboard, when actually, you should be saying “please get the food container from the cupboard.”
When people start to replace the actual names of a product with your brand name, like the marketing examples given above, then you’ll know your brand awareness strategy is working. 💪
This is great for your business because brand association itself is also a form of marketing, each time a person references your brand, they’re helping to spread more awareness about your brand to other unreached customers. 📢
- Brand Awareness Can Lower Customer Acquisition Costs
The costs are high to acquire new customers. In the digital world, consumers are becoming more cautious and savvy, as such they won’t engage with the first business they come across. It takes more effort to attract and convert them.
That’s why many businesses are spending lots of money and resources on marketing. But by investing in brand awareness, you can help to lower your business’ customer acquisition cost. 💡
When you develop a strong brand awareness, you don’t have to spend as much money to acquire new customers. This is because you already have a loyal customer base. 👨👩👧
Loyal existing customers are cheaper and easier to retain, than acquiring new customers. Moreover, loyal customers are more likely to buy your products repeatedly. This could significantly increase your ROI when you invest in your business’ brand awareness.
If you’ve already read this far, you now have a better understanding on the importance of creating a brand awareness strategy.
In the next section, I’ll explain how to improve your brand awareness strategy in Malaysia, and the tools available to create more awareness.
How To Improve Your Brand Awareness in Malaysia?
Bigger brands tend to have higher brand awareness. 💰
This is because: their audience is already aware of their existence in the market.
So, if you’re a SME business, prioritising your brand awareness strategy should be your main objective to get noticed.♟️
That’s why I’m going to share 5 digital marketing tactics, and 5 other traditional marketing tactics to help you improve your brand awareness below.
Digital Marketing Tactics
- Video Marketing
Have you gone fishing before? 🎣
Even if you haven’t, it’s easy to understand that every fisherman needs an irresistible bait to attract many fishes.
In the marketing world today 🌎, video marketing is one of the most irresistible baits to attract your audience. According to a report, 80% of Malaysian netizens stream or download video content each month!
As such, videos are a good tactic to have in your marketing arsenal.
There are a few ways to craft a brilliant video to grab your audience’s attention:
- Storytelling: Craft your video around a story, not sales.
- Humour: Use humour to connect with your audience, be human.
- Educate: Teach your audience how to make the most out of your products
- Animation: Avoid sounding too formal. Create animated videos to make
your ad look more casual.
- Trends: Pay attention to current trends happening around the world, and
craft your videos around those trends.
One of the campaigns that heavily relied on video is the Ice Bucket Challenge, which generated huge brand awareness for The ALS Association.
The Challenge was launched in July 2014 to help The ALS Association raise awareness of the disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“ALS disease”).
Basically, the Challenge involved people video recording themselves pouring buckets of ice water over their heads, and then posting their videos online.
Within weeks, the internet was filled with countless viral videos of participating celebrities in the Challenge like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and millions of regular people around the world. I’m sure you remember watching the videos and even recording your own challenge!
These viral videos helped increase a total of $115 million donations to The ALS Association, just within the first 6 weeks after the Challenge was launched!
Eventually, medical researchers were able to use these donations to get closer than ever to real breakthroughs in diagnosing, treating, and curing the ALS disease. 🏥
Takeaway: Videos have the highest chance to go viral if they are engaging and entertaining. That’s why video marketing can give companies a higher chance at increasing their brand awareness in the market.
- Social Media Marketing
Social media is a place to interact and understand your audience better.
More than that, it’s a popular way to expose your brand to newer audiences to improve your brand awareness strategy.
To begin with, social media marketing uses both organic and paid posts on social media platforms to reach your target audience.
Regardless of whether you’re using organic or paid posts, your content is the most important thing to connect with your audience. 👨👩👦
Your content should be something which grabs your audience’s attention easily, and shouldn’t look like what your competitors are posting.
While this may seem obvious, many brands fall into the trap of producing social media content for the sake of it, just because their competitors are doing it.
If you’re still doubtful about the effectiveness of social media marketing, just take a look at successful brands like Oxwhite.
Oxwhite’s social media marketing strategy was rock-solid. Just in one month, the brand sold 10,000 shirts! 😮
When asked how they achieved those impressive sales, CK Chang, Founder of Oxwhite, said their brand efforts were intensified through social media marketing, and primarily paid ads.
So, it’s easy to see from Oxwhite that social media marketing is extremely effective.
If you’re interested, you can read more about Oxwhite’s digital marketing success here.
To wrap up this section, here are a few popular social media platforms you can start using today:
- SEO & PPC
“Do people still read blogs nowadays?”
That’s probably the biggest question on your mind. 🤔
To put your mind at ease, I’ll give you some facts on blogging.
According to Statistica, there are over 4.54 billion people around the world using the internet, and approximately 70% of these people read blogs!
That’s a huge number of readers! SO YES, it’s important to write your own blogs!
Blogging is also good for SEO. It helps your website rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing.
But, you’re probably still wondering: “how exactly does blogging help me achieve more brand awareness?”
Whenever an internet user enters a search on Google related to your blog, your blog will show up on the search results page.
From there, if the internet user finds your blog title interesting, they’ll click it to read your blog. That’s how they start becoming exposed to your brand.
As such, you’ll gain brand awareness because the internet user is now on your website. They can also see your brand logo on your website, and even explore your website further if they want to.
In short: they’ll know you exist because of that blog they clicked on!
Pro Tip: If you want to achieve more brand awareness, you can also go the extra mile by guest blogging on other websites.
Some marketing pros have been proclaiming that guest blogging is DEAD since the stone age! 😵
BUT, I can assure you that this digital marketing tactic still remains alive and well, to promote your brand.
Buffer’s testimony is huge evidence that guest blogging helps to increase website traffic, and has potential to lead to higher conversion rates.
Use blogs as part of your brand awareness strategy now!
Podcasts are also a great way to improve your brand awareness strategy. 🎙️
It’s such a great marketing tactic which a lot of Malaysian businesses are still not using. So, take this opportunity to jump on it now!
Plus, podcast marketing is also easier for business owners like yourself, compared to video marketing. Why?
It’s because: Creating high-quality videos require a lot of technical know-how and are extremely time consuming. ⏳
More than that, podcast marketing is also convenient and easily accessible for your audience.
They can multitask whilst easily listening to your content, regardless of whether they’re driving to work, or cooking their evening dinner. As such, it’s a win-win for you and your audience.
Bonus: You can also collaborate with business owners who have their own podcasts and ask for their permission to appear as a guest.
This will increase your brand awareness because you’ll be exposing your brand to newer audiences. Hence, increasing the effectiveness of your brand awareness strategy.
The benefits of podcast marketing are very similar to guest posting on blogs.
The only difference is: you’ll be targeting people who prefer listening to podcasts, rather than reading blogs.
Not everyone enjoys reading, so turning your content into something audible is a good idea for your brand awareness strategy.
If you’re interested, you can also check out Jobbie Nut Butter’s podcast here, to learn and observe how they do podcast marketing.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and PPC refers to Pay-Per-Click.
SEO is about ranking on the organic (or natural) results of search engine pages like Google. 💻
Ranking on the 1st page of Google is important for your brand awareness strategy because it gives you more brand exposure.
Internet users can easily find your website if it’s on the 1st page, rather than on Google’s 2nd or 3rd page.
Remember Booking.com? A few years ago, they weren’t even ranked 1st on Google. But now, everyone knows their brand!
Ever since they improved their SEO, they’ve been ranking #1 organically for highly competitive keywords like “hotels in London”. 🇬🇧
You can start improving your SEO today by using tools like SEMrush. Here’s what Booking.com’s Senior Product Owner, Leonardo Saroni, has to say about using this tool:
“Using SEMrush helped us look more strategically at how we could strengthen our presence in international markets and the US… Our branded search queries and organic traffic have seen impressive growth since then,” says Leonardo.
Pay-Per-Click marketing is the opposite of SEO.
It is a method of advertising on search engine results pages. Basically, you’ll have to pay for your ads to appear in the sponsored results.
So, whenever an internet user types in a query that includes your keywords, your ads will appear on the search results as well.
Each time an internet user clicks on your ad, you’ll have to pay for each click. Hence the name Pay-Per-Click.
The great thing about PPC is: it can help you get in front of your target audience with a precise level of targeting that traditional advertising doesn’t allow for.
For example, if you’re looking to target customers in Kelantan who are looking to buy batik shirts, PPC can easily get this done for you.
Aside from that, using PPC can also help you to rank your ads faster on the top page of search results, instead of ranking organically, which is much slower.
This allows internet users to come across your ads much easier and quicker. Thus, achieving more visibility for your brand.
How do you recognise a Google Ad? Well, usually in the search results page, you’ll often find paid ads placed at the very top of the page, with the word ‘Ad’ in bold.
If you’re interested to learn more about the difference between SEO and PPC, you can check out this article here.
Note: Or if you want to learn about all the digital marketing tactics available, you can click here to read this complete guide.
Traditional Marketing Tactics
Don’t write off traditional marketing tactics just yet! Here are 5 highly effective tactics that still work today.
Billboards are effective because they are BIG, and extremely hard to ignore! 👀
Think about it: bright and colourful lights catch our attention quickly. That’s why billboards are so eye-catching.
Also, you know how business owners are always complaining they lack sufficient exposure for their brand?
Well, billboard marketing can help resolve that problem!
When a billboard is placed, your audience can see them anytime of the day when they pass by that area in town.
Yes, I agree. It’s not enough for your audience to see your ads only once.
To achieve great brand awareness, your audience must be regularly exposed to the message multiple times.
But that’s why billboards are so effective. They regularly expose your audience to your ad, especially if they use the same road or highway many times a week.
A good example of a Malaysian billboard is: Joey Mattress.
The company invested RM 31,800 for the campaign which ran from 5th August to 5th September. 📅
The results of the campaign: Joey Mattress’ spokesperson said the campaign saw a 16% increase in site visitors, and 10% increase in total revenue in August.
So, what’s the BIG SECRET behind Joey Mattress’ billboard success?
Answer: They related with their audience on a human level by being cheeky, witty, and funny.
For example, one of their billboards said: “Honk if you love sleep.” This played on the fact that Malaysians aren’t shy to honk when faced with frustrating traffic.
Another cheeky message on their billboard: “Try us in bed, you won’t regret it. 😉”
These billboard messages work so well for Joey Mattress’ brand awareness strategy because it humanises their brand.
They don’t sound like a faceless corporation at all! 🎭
- Brochures & Flyers
Never underestimate the power of a brochure! 🙅♀️
This traditional marketing tactic is still extremely effective because it is easily distributed.
It is also more cost-effective compared to most marketing tactics on this list.
Cost-effectiveness can be achieved because: many printing companies offer large discounts to clients who order brochures in bulk quantities.
One major benefit brochures have over PPC Ads and Facebook posts is: they have no word limit.
For example, a Facebook post has a limit of 25 characters, and a description limit up to 125 characters.
Designing a physical brochure has no such limitations! ❌
In fact, it has more space for you to describe your products in greater detail, which are harder to explain in a Facebook post or PPC Ad.
Bonus: One great way to distribute your brochures is by placing them inside your delivery boxes or product packages.
If you need inspiration for colourful brochures with creative designs, I’d suggest looking at Nando’s.
Their brochures are designed with incredibly eye-catching colours. Don’t believe me? Do a quick search on Google for Nando’s brochures now!
Pro Tip: When writing your brochure, it’s important to remember writing in short and succinct sentences. Avoid writing long sentences with bombastic words. 💣
Your copy should be written in basic, simple, and easy English words so that the majority of readers can understand your message.
Get your message across clearly. Don’t focus on ‘wow-ing’ your audience with your language skills.
- Sponsoring Public Events
Another traditional marketing tactic to consider in your brand awareness strategy is sponsoring public events.
When sponsoring public events you should prioritise customer experience and entertainment value during such events. 🎉
Think of Red Bull. They’re known for sponsoring extreme sports and events.
It’s extremely rare to see Red Bull promoting their own energy drinks during these events. Instead, they’re mostly focused on giving their audience a good time.
People are more likely to engage with brands who give them a good time, instead of those who over-promote their brand. Then, slowly, you can earn their trust like Red Bull.
As a sponsor, you’ll most likely get the following privileges:
- Brand mentions.
- Your logo will be placed on banners.
- An opportunity to engage with your audience.
These privileges all help to boost your brand awareness strategy in Malaysia.
Your brand will gain more exposure as your logo will be placed on banners and brand mentions online and newspapers.
A good Malaysian sponsorship event is: The Great Eastern Viper Challenge and The Great Eastern LIVE Great Runs.
These two events are sponsored by Great Eastern. If you haven’t heard of the Viper Challenge, it’s basically an intense obstacle course for participants to test their strength and endurance.
In 2016, Great Eastern Live said the event attracted 40,000 participants across Malaysia.
Just imagine how much brand awareness is generated through one Viper Challenge event. Branding gold! 💎
- Workshops & Conferences
Organising workshops and conferences are useful for your brand awareness strategy, which can benefit B2B businesses. 👍
It’s because: you’ll have a chance to build trust with your target audience and expose your brand to people who haven’t heard of you yet.
Whenever you organise workshops, the people attending them will grow to trust you, and become aware of your existence.
So, this is your chance to lead them deeper down the marketing funnel!
Organising workshops also come with other benefits such as the opportunity to network one-on-one with your prospects.
Bonus: With COVID-19 on the rise, you can organise your workshops through webinars, instead of doing it physically.
Although it’s harder to build relationships with your prospects online, webinars are still an effective way for you to demonstrate your expertise to your audience.
It’s the best alternative we have with the ongoing COVID-19 situation in Malaysia! 🇲🇾
Brand360 regularly conducts workshops to help business owners and marketing leaders improve their knowledge on brand and marketing. We do this both online and face-to-face.
We cover topics such as: Brand Strategy, Digital Marketing, Personal Branding and Brand Storytelling.
Take this opportunity to learn how to improve your brand and grow your business!
More details on our workshops here.
- Branded Merchandise
Branded merchandise isn’t all about cheap pens and plastic toys! 🧸
Instead, you should view your merchandise as an extension of your brand.
Dive into your brand, and create a merchandise for everything which your brand represents.
It’s a good way to introduce your brand to new people who aren’t familiar with your products yet. 💯
For example, if your merchandise is a T-shirt, your customer who wears it around their friends and family will give your brand more exposure, especially to unreached audiences.
This is a great way to advertise your brand (for free), because your customer literally becomes a walking billboard for your brand!
Aside from that, people are also more inclined to remember the name or logo of a brand they saw in public, and then Google them later.
In fact, studies have shown that consumers can recall a brand even after a few years of seeing its logo on promotional products.
That’s why branded merchandise is a great way to improve your brand awareness strategy! 🤩
Remember that hype GSC Cinemas created? “Hello. Cannot.”
Ever since that big hype, GSC Cinemas has been selling their t-shirts, and surprise, surprise, many people are buying them. That’s a good example of a branded merchandise that helps raise brand awareness!
Before we wrap up, here are some merchandise ideas to help you get started:
- Tote bags
- Printed t-shirts
- Notebooks and pens
- Promotional sports bottles
- Promotional hoodies
- Promotional key rings
- Branded coffee mugs
- Branded Bluetooth speaker
- Branded wireless earphones
That’s a wrap. Use these digital and traditional tactics to take your brand awareness strategy to the next-level today!
How to Measure Brand Awareness for Malaysian Businesses?
Yes, it’s true. Measuring brand awareness can be challenging. 😫
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to measure your efforts at all!
To help you out, I’ve written down some ways you can use to measure your brand awareness strategy better.
Here are my top 3 recommended ways are:
- Website Traffic
Google Analytics is the perfect tool to measure the results of your brand awareness strategy. Why? 🤷♂️
It’s because Google Analytics helps you to determine:
- Your website traffic’s sources.
- Identify your user’s demographics.
- How engaged are your visitors with your website.
- Keywords driving visitors to your website.
If you don’t have a Google Analytics account yet, you can create one here.
Bonus: Use Hotjar.
Hotjar is a behaviour analytics tool that helps you understand how your visitors interact with your website through: heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys.
You can also send out online surveys via emails to measure the effectiveness of your brand recall strategy.
In your survey form, you can ask your audience questions to measure your brand awareness like:
- How did you hear about our brand?
- Have you purchased our product before?
- When was the first time you heard about our brand?
- When you think of this product, which brand comes to mind?
- During the past few days, how often do you hear people talking about our brand?
Bonus: To entice your audience to fill up these survey forms, you can also offer them something for free in return. 🎁
This could be anything ranging from free content or even a discount for your products or services!
- Review Sites
It’s also good practice to monitor your reviews under Google My Business.
These days, if a customer isn’t sure about using a product, they’ll Google reviews to see what others say about their customer experience.
If there are many positive reviews on Google, it shows you’ve gained positive brand awareness for your business. 🤩
In fact, you can also use these positive reviews as part of your promotion as well, and include them on your website.
If you’re interested, you can learn more about getting reviews on Google here.
Successful International Brand Awareness Campaign Examples
Sometimes the best to get inspiration for your brand awareness campaign is to observe how others do it.
I’ve listed a few successful brand awareness campaign examples to help you out.
Hopefully, these brands will provide you with better ideas to create more attention-grabbing campaigns for your brand awareness strategy.
Brand Awareness Campaign Examples:
- Coca-Cola: Share A Coke
Hashtags are a great way to improve your brand awareness strategy on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
In 2011, Coca-Cola launched their #ShareACoke campaign in Australia which encouraged the creation of user-generated content.
The brand added the country’s most common English names on their bottle, to encourage users to buy a Coke with their own name on the bottle.
Users were also encouraged to share pictures of their bottles on social media using the hashtag.
This was a brilliant brand awareness campaign because Coca-Cola successfully connected with its customers on a personal level!
How did they do it? The answer is through: personalisation.
Coca-Cola personalised the common English names on their bottle, to provide their customers with a better customer experience.
When people see their names on the Coca-Cola bottle, they feel like the product is specially made for them. Psychology. 😉
- Red Bull: Crashed Ice Competition
Red Bull has long been a popular sponsor for extreme sports. 🪂
Since 2001, Red Bull’s Crashed Ice competitions have been pitting the world’s fastest ice skaters against one another.
The Crashed Ice competition features a sport created as a combination of skiing, hockey, and boardercross.
All participants must ski downhill side by side their opponents whilst navigating through an intense obstacle course. 😱
This competition is a race to the finish, where participating athletes must ice skate on a steep downhill course, up to 600 meters long
As you can see, Red Bull puts its products second, and prioritises the customer’s experience first!
So, why is the Crashed Ice campaign SO beneficial to Red Bull’s brand awareness strategy?
Answer: It exposes Red Bull’s brand name to the world by capturing their audience’s attention through wild, dangerous, and extreme sports!
That’s what makes their content attention-grabbing!
Don’t believe me? Check out the video for yourself, and see how entertaining it is!
- Chevrolet: Manchester United (Shirt Sponsor)
In 2012, Chevrolet signed a $559 million sponsorship agreement for a 7 year deal with England’s football club, Manchester United. ⚽
I know what you’re thinking: “So what if Chevrolet sponsors Manchester United?”
“It doesn’t mean that every single Manchester United fan will run to Chevrolet to buy a car.”
And yes, I’d agree with you 100%.
But here’s what the CEO of Chevrolet has to say: “Manchester United gives us access to a worldwide audience, even here in the US, which is rare.”
From Chevrolet’s CEO statement, it is clear that their goal was to achieve international recognition and brand awareness through Manchester United.
Of course, I’m sure they’d want more people to buy Chevrolet cars. But their purpose of reaching out to Manchester United was to beef up their brand awareness strategy. 💪
Chevrolet’s brand awareness strategy worked out great because their partnership with Manchester United helped them reach parts of the world where their brand wasn’t previously influential!
Moreover, Chevrolet also achieved greater brand exposure through Manchester United with their banners hung at: football stadiums, LED boards, and back-drops during post-game interviews.
With that said, this wraps up our top 3 brand awareness strategy campaign examples that made it to our list!
Wrapping It Up…
There you go, you’ve made it to the end of the article!
I really hope this complete guide gives you more ideas to improve your brand awareness strategy!
If you would like to learn more about developing a successful brand awareness strategy, you can reach out to Brand360 here for a chat.
For now, I wish you all the best in building your brand.
Feel free to get in touch anytime! 🙂