Curious How to Build Brand Awareness? The Same Approach We Used for Aaron’s to Create 30 Million Potential Customers Can Be Used for Your Brand.

Want 30 million potential customers to know about your brand?

Your answer is likely an obvious “yes”. We were able to get these same results for our client, Aaron’s, with the campaign we created in 2021 to build brand awareness for their company. What’s just as amazing is that this same philosophy that produced these results can also be applied to your company as you look to build your brand’s awareness. Curious? Keep reading…

Back in 2020, Aaron’s reached out to Reckon Branding with a request to create a campaign to help reach new customers. As one of many players in the rent-to-own industry, Aaron’s was struggling to break through the clutter. Like their competition, they were attempting to build brand awareness through better pricing, promotions, and providing a wider selection of products. Aaron’s was focusing on their “what” rather than their “why.”

This is the part of the article where you should pause and consider your existing marketing materials. I like to ask business owners, if you remove your logo from your website, is it clear that the site is actually promoting your specific business and not one of your competitors? Are you expressing anything that your competition doesn’t? Are you selling what you do, and therefore just promoting the entire industry?

Remember: Someone came to your site looking for what you offer. This is your opportunity to tell them why they should choose you. This is paramount as you build brand awareness.

Looking for Aaron’s Opportunities

As with any client’s industry, we took a hard look at the Rent-to-Own industry. We reviewed what the competition was doing, and dug into their brand to see where opportunities existed. Our observations were:

  1. Everyone was offering promotional gimmicks with photography of their products.
  2. It was a sea of sameness. Nothing was memorable. Nothing was unique.
  3. Everyone was just attempting to out-promote each other.
  4. This proved to be a huge opportunity for us and for Aaron’s.

How Could Aaron’s Possibly Stand Out? 

We heard and observed through research that Aaron’s is more willing to work with their customers during trying times than most Rent-to-Own brands. And, we could lean into the name “Aaron’s,” since that is obviously unique to the brand and uses the “Aa.” One of the many campaign concepts we presented leveraged the concept of a good-willing team whose goal is to improve the lives of their customers. The Aaron’s A-team, or as we affectionately named them “The Aa-team.” Aaron’s leadership loved this idea and was willing to invest in engaging with Mr. T, of the original “A-Team” television series, to star in the campaign.

Did it Work?

Aaron’s had done some pre- and post-campaign studies on brand recognition. After the campaign, the data showed an increase in brand awareness from 50% to 59%. While that may not sound like much at first, the research was focused only on individuals identified as an ideal Aaron’s customer. Based on that data, a lift of 9% actually meant 30 million potential new customers.

Aaron’s also noted that pre-video advertising, like what you commonly see on YouTube before a video plays, was doing well. VERY well. On average, the completion rate (meaning the person being served the ad doesn’t click “skip ad” and watches the entire commercial) was usually 8% for all pre-video ads. Aaron’s leadership was hoping for 30%. The Aa-Team campaign performed with an impressive 86% completion rate. We were humbled, to say the least.

While broadcast spots were the star of the campaign, this was the first campaign in several years that Aaron’s applied to all areas of marketing: radio, in-store signage, billboards, truck wraps, social efforts, digital marketing, and more. It was a collective effort and Aaron’s was seeing the benefit of additional brand awareness.

What Could This Possibly Mean for You?

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the media budget of Aaron’s or can’t afford Mr. T as a spokesperson, the same philosophy and approach will give you the answers to the question of “How do I build better brand awareness?” Just review the following:

  1. Make sure you’re not saying the same things your competition can say.
  2. If your story is solely based on your service, product, or pricing then you need to change it.
  3. Don’t sell what you do or your industry. Instead, sell “why you”. If you need guidance in identifying this, we can help.
  4. Be sure you’re telling a story that is authentic to who you are and what you can provide. Your customers are smart. They can smell a load of manure from a mile away.
  5. Think about all aspects of your marketing. Every touchpoint is key and they need to be aligned for increasing brand awareness, even after the transaction.
  6. All of the above is made easier when you have clearly defined your brand’s focus. If that is where you need to begin, we’ve created a guide with resources and a video on how to identify your brand without hiring a branding agency.

We don’t mean to make this sound overly simple, but we can assure you that following these few steps will send you down the right path and begin to separate you from your competition. Increasing your brand’s awareness is critical to the success of your company, and we hope this article will be of help!