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5 Ninja Tactics Used by Global Brands to Build Brand Awareness

Whether you’re just launching a startup or an established company making millions in sales, building brand awareness should be a key objective in your marketing strategy. There’s a reason top companies hire brand managers and perform various activities to build brand awareness – they influence purchasing decisions.

So what can you do to build brand awareness? Well, there are many, but let’s take a look at the highly effective methods used by global companies.

Attending Conferences / Participating in Contests

Conferences are an excellent way to build brand awareness because most of the time the audience is a perfect match for your product or service. It gives you a chance to demonstrate all the best features of your product and educate potential buyers. Plus you have the chance to give away branded swag which will give you even more exposure. Stay away from the usual key tags and pens and try to come up with something memorable and lasting.

Similarly, if you’re a startup, you can participate in contests. And if you happen to win it, that’s even more publicity for you. Creately applied for DEMO Fall in 2008 and got selected to launch there. Needless to say, the press publicity alone was a great boost for us.

Freemium with Branding

Many companies, especially web-based products, offer a free version of their service to users. And this is not out of the goodness of their hearts, but more specifically to give potential buyers a chance to test out the product before paying for it.

But the free plan comes with some caveats. Most of the time, these free plans have subtle branding in the form of a watermark or promo message. So even if most people choose to use the free version, it provides more exposure for the product.

For example, if you use a Creately free plan and export a diagram, you can see the Creately watermark at the bottom of the template.

Build brand awareness through watermarks

Watermark in free account

Hold an Event / Sponsor an Event

Events are another great way to promote your product or service. It doesn’t even have to be a large event with many sponsors and stalls. With services like Meetup, even a small company can find relevant audiences, plan and organize an event.

Don’t have the time to organize a local event? Then you can hold a webinar instead, using a webinar tool like ClickMeeting. Webinars are particularly effective in a niche market. Not only will they boost your branding efforts, but you will also stand out as an authority in the industry. Plus you can use them as an educational resource or a free download for your newsletter subscribers etc.

If that is too much for you, then you can simply choose to sponsor an event. Most event organizers are actively looking for sponsors, so finding one to sponsor won’t be too difficult. Many leading websites run sponsored webinars frequently, so it’s not going to be too hard to find a webinar to sponsor.

Referral Programs

Referral programs are a tried and tested method that helps build both brand awareness and increase revenue. This is particularly effective for digital products because they don’t have storage, production and transportation costs. So paying out a small commission for branding and sales leads is worth it for them. Even if you have a physical product, it’s still worth it because it’s like having your very own sales and marketing team.

The payment for the referral doesn’t always have to be money. A good example of this is the growth of DropBox, an online file storage service. They offered their users extra space for every new customer they referred to the service. It was an instant hit and helped them become a company worth billions. Of course, if you’re offering something other than money, it needs to be something worthwhile for the user. In the case of DropBox, almost everybody needs more space.

Viral Infographics

Some of the most viral content on the Internet are infographics. Most marketers agree that infographics bring impressive results. But a very small percentage of marketers actually go ahead and do it. And an even lesser percentage of marketers actually market it in the correct way.

Coming up with a viral infographic is a process that starts way before the creation. You need to identify a topic that is popular or trending. It needs to be related to your product or service as well. Then you need to do some research on it and come up with interesting facts. Then you can go ahead and create the infographic.

Creation is only half the job. Promotion is what makes it go viral. You need to contact relevant bloggers, websites, influencers etc. and ask them to promote it. It’s a process that takes some learning, but if you want to see results like the big brands then you need to master the process.

Any other Ninja Tactic to Build Brand Awareness?

Listed above are some little-known tactics you can use to build brand awareness. However, there are so many more successful methods to get it done. Have a tactic you’ve mastered? Do let me know in the comments section so we all can learn from it.



Software engineer turned tech evangelist. I handle marketing stuff here at Creately including writing blog posts and handling social media accounts. In my spare time I love to read and travel. Check out my personal blog Rumbling Lankan where I write about online marketing stuff.


  1. rodman

    You just gave me a great idea for a contest oriented event to include some give away items. Thanks much

  2. Sanjay

    I’ve just started a small business and found difficult in branding it. Your article gave an idea in promoting the brand. I’m going to try sponsoring and event and start referral programs and hope it would work out. Overall an informative post.


  3. Niroshan Madusanka

    What about online brands?

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