5 Reasons Why Influence Is More Important Than Brand Awareness

5 Reasons Why Influence Is More Important Than Brand Awareness

Many entrepreneurs have a misplaced focus on brand awareness, but brand awareness alone does not create conversions and sales. More importantly, it doesn’t guarantee them. 

Jim Steinfeldt | Getty Images

Let’s use Toys “R” Us as an example. They were in business for 70 years before ultimately filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and thereafter liquidating. 

While companies like Walmart and Amazon may have taken additional market share with their ability to offer lower prices, Toys “R” Us likely would have survived if they had taken better advantage of their own influence. By the time they filed for bankruptcy, nearly every living generation in the U.S. had at least some active awareness of the brand. 

In 2019, the National Retail Federation said: “Nearly nine in 10 parents say their children influence at least some aspect of their purchases — either for household items or for the kids themselves.” 

This wasn’t a new trend in spending. Businesses and entrepreneurs need to be responsive to market changes without being impulsive and tone-deaf.

Years ago, more parents also began focusing on giving their children experiences. That didn’t make products obsolete; it simply created the need for a company like Toys “R” Us to accentuate their products with services and experiences. 

Instead of using their influence to take charge of brand responsiveness and not only retain but grow their customer base, they failed to take the lead. Don’t make the same mistakes. Here are five reasons why influence is more important than brand awareness. 

1. Brand awareness won’t keep you from going bankrupt 

Consumers still rely heavily on product and service recommendations which is why influencer marketing still works so well. When consumers are indicating their wants and pain points, allow them to influence your direction. Brand awareness doesn’t happen overnight or with one person. Appropriate and ethical influencing of consumers can yield immediate results and can start with a single act or person. It might even save a business from becoming dismantled. 

Related: Now Is the Ideal Time to Invest in Influencer Marketing

2. Even negative buzz can create opportunity 

If you make a mistake as a company or brand, acknowledge it. Offer a sincere apology, then take immediate and corrective action. Implement a strategy for preventing a repeat scenario. Consumers are often willing to forgive errors when a company is willing to take responsibility for them. 

3. Influence directly affects behavior while brand awareness may not

Suppose a colleague asks you if you’ve ever heard of hamburgers and french fries. You’re probably thinking, who hasn’t? They are some of your favorite foods. In fact, you know where they come from and where to buy them, how to cook them, and all the ways they can be served. That’s brand awareness. Great! For lunch, you grab a bag of chips from the vending machine and a cup of coffee. Hamburgers and french fries get no benefit. 

If the same colleague said, “Hey, let’s go grab some hamburgers and french fries down the street,” you might agree. Knowing about something and consuming it are two very different things. Influence over brand awareness, again.

4. A brand that works to influence will also work to innovate

According to a 2019 article in The New York Times, “At some drive-throughs, McDonald’s has tested technology that can recognize license plate numbers, allowing the company to tailor a list of suggested purchases to a customer’s previous orders, as long as the person agrees to sign away the data.”

Another trend that has been on the rise for some time in B2C products and services is personalization. Is there even a handful of people who have never heard of McDonald’s? They’re masters of brand awareness, but that alone doesn’t optimize their profits. They’re always looking for ways to influence consumer spending in their direction by using innovative approaches to enhance consumer experiences.

Related: Turn the Curious into Customers: How to Market Your New Business

5. Everyone has influence over someone

People talk and share stories. Whether it’s in person or in digital form, your business will be mentioned more often than you think. Every interaction your brand has with another person, whether or not they are a customer, is an opportunity to immediately influence their opinions and actions. 

Emotion Prepares Customers to Take Action

Emotion Prepares Customers to Take Action


According to the NCBI, emotions are “situated conceptualizations” (cf. Barsalou 2003) because the emerging meaning is tailored to the immediate environment and prepares the person to respond to sensory input in a way that is tailored to the situation (Barrett 2006b).

We know that emotions and customer journeys are important. When we design an experience that supports a journey to the full scope of emotion, results are seen in your bottom line. According to Forrester®, CI leaders will shift 10% of their budgets to emotion analytics. Increase positive results by serving every customer with a tailored fit experience.

The primary driver of customer loyalty is emotion. Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) research shows that emotion is the strongest predictor of customer experience outcomes such as customer loyalty.

Emotion drives loyalty and loyalty drives sales. When a company inspires customer loyalty, the benefits are exponential. Customers engage with your content, are willing to provide Zero-Party data, and make more frequent purchases. Loyal customers become brand ambassadors.

Don’t forget that the functional aspects of the experience are emotional, too. Two of the top considerations for customers when making any purchase is price and fit. Enhance customer experience through effective implementation and execution of hyper-personalization.

Experience Your Customer’s Emotion and Journeys

First, go beyond the assumption that emotion is merely a scale between delight and disdain. In order to shape memory, we have to create optimal ratios of emotion.

To maintain an optimal ratio of positive to negative emotions, we need to understand the emotional makeup of journeys.

Second, we need to design emotional customer journeys that lead to desired outcomes – a social engagement, opt-in, or purchase. With the right data, analysis, and journey development, a customer enjoys their experience from first engagement, to checkout, and beyond. A post-purchase thank you is a great way to continue the journey of positive emotion and cultivate loyalty. For example, with high-ticket items, customers need high-frequency positive-reinforcement along their journey, before making a purchase. They need to feel positive about their investment and see the benefits prior to making a purchase.

Evolve Journey Mapping, Measurement, and Design

Take a closer look at your journey maps and journey data visualizations to figure out what the customer is seeing and experiencing. Approach it through the lens of emotion to better understand the experience of your customer. Make purchases from your own store or website, subscribe to your email list, follow every path you have laid out for your customer. This process will help you evolve journey mapping, measurement, and design. Also, you need to have the power of data and an ai-driven content marketing strategy. Optimal customer journeys use a human approach that is enhanced by technology.

Drive decisions by thinking ahead with prescriptive analytics. Once the desired outcome is defined, behavioral data can be used to forecast outcomes. When the journey starts with positive emotion it’s easier to elevate your brand. Make a commitment to understanding every area of interaction.

Hyper-personalization develops a more intimate and successful CX. Prioritize focus on functional things that drive emotion. If your customers’ experiences are mostly neutral and devoid of peaks, seek to arouse states such as wonder, pride, and — yes — even delight. Make sure that the lowest moments on the journey are not let-downs.

Single location access to a macro view of analytics helps you to make critical micro-adjustments to the design phase of the journey. When data is not readily accessible and consolidated into an easy-access location, important information is lost – creating an increased risk of poor decision making when creating the design.

Emotion analytics takes time to create and implement. You will have success when these strategies are used effectively. However, many businesses lack the technology, manpower, and experience to accelerate success in this complex arena. Implementing the necessary tools and people yourself isn’t always the most cost-effective approach.

Super Bowl 2020 Twitter | Best Reaction Tweets

Super Bowl 2020 Twitter Was On Fire

On February 03, 2020, the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl 54

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thank you <a href="https://twitter.com/JLo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jlo</a> for a night that shows how much Latinos have to offer! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SuperBowl?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SuperBowl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PepsiHalftime?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PepsiHalftime</a> <a href="https://t.co/Pe2kzFxUNR">pic.twitter.com/Pe2kzFxUNR</a></p>&mdash; Shakira (@shakira) <a href="https://twitter.com/shakira/status/1224204219454054400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 3, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
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