While the term brand awareness might sound like one of those airy, unspecific terms that get thrown around in marketing meetings, it’s actually a pretty simple concept to understand. In short, if someone has heard of your business, and can readily identify who you are and what you do (even if they don’t personally use your services or buy your products), then you have solid brand awareness.

But how do you reach that point where people are aware of your business? Especially with so much competition out there? Well, you can start by following these simple tips.

Tip #1: Have A Referral Program

If your business provides your customers with good service or sells great products, then people are going to tell their friends about you. But if you give them a kickback for their efforts, then they’re going to spread the word a whole lot faster!

As WordStream points out, people respond well to rewards, so make sure you let existing customers know that you’ll give them something if they bring a friend. Whether it’s a discount on a future purchase, points to be put toward other benefits, or just a gift card, giving people a thank you will always lead to them spreading the word about both your business and the neat referral program you have in place.

Tip #2: Focus On What Makes You Different

People notice a business that stands out from the competition, which is why you need to find the thing that makes you different, and put it front and center. Oberlo gives a phenomenal example of this by citing Negative Underwear. The company points out that the lingerie industry is dominated by men, who are designing products they don’t use and won’t have an intrinsic understanding of. The idea of getting underwear that’s made by women, meant to be worn by women, makes them quite noticeable in a fairly crowded field.

Tip #3: Make Your Brand Instantly Identifiable

Coca-Cola. Wal-Mart. McDonald’s. As soon as you see their names, you instantly know who these businesses are, and you know what they provide. You can probably picture their logos, as well… whether or not you want to.

All the lessons are right there in front of you, according to Ink Bot Design. You need a logo that’s simple, uncluttered, and memorable. You need to have a personality associated with your business, as well as a straightforward idea behind what you provide, and how you provide it. Whether people know you as the epitome of taste, the cheapest place to get your essentials, or the fastest checkout in town, make sure you tie those qualities to the symbols that identify you.

Tip #4: Get Noticed on Social Media

While it seems like a no-brainer solution, as Pixel points out, social media is key to many brand’s marketing play in today’s day and age. You need to tailor your online persona to mesh with your brand and values, though, and you have to make sure you keep at it. Social media is a lot like a marathon; it can take time and endurance to come out ahead in the end.

Tip #5: Take A Stand

It isn’t enough to just provide a good or service in today’s market; for brands to get noticed, they need to declare what side of important social issues they stand on. As Financial IQ points out, these issues should be associated with your brand so that people who care about these causes will instantly feel a connection with your business, making them more likely to both patronize and spread the word about who you are, and what you do.