What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is a key part of developing, shaping, and sustaining your brand over the long term.

As we’ve explored before, without brand awareness, there is ultimately no business. Despite this, many people trying to build a business still see branding as either an optional extra or an afterthought. For others, it may be a box-ticking exercise, quickly taken care of, and then moved on from in order to concentrate on the key aspects of the business.

This is a mistake. Brands happen, whether businesses actively build them or not. Even if you only pay cursory attention to your branding, customers and the wider public will be forming an opinion of your business that will shape their response to it. If you choose not to work on your brand identity, you’ll be having less impact on how those responses are formed.

How do you define brand awareness?

Brand awareness is the measure of how recognisable and memorable any brand, its products and services are to its target audience. It’s the driving force between establishing such important commercial commodities as trust and loyalty, both of which help to create sustainable and profitable businesses. Establishing brand awareness is what helps consumers to develop a clear preference for your brand over that of your competitors.

How do you measure brand awareness?

Measuring your brand awareness gives you tangible data with which to assess how well your branding strategy is working. There are a variety of different means through which you can measure brand awareness:

1. Surveys 

A straightforward way to measure brand awareness amongst your target audience is to ask them. You can ask existing customers how they came to hear about your business, or you can approach a random selection of people from among your target audience if they’re aware of your brand. The first approach will help you understand how people are coming to hear about your brand, and the second will give an indication of how easily your brand is recalled.

2. Website traffic

An all-important metric is the amount of traffic that your website generates, not only in raw numbers but also in the range of data it can give you. Google Analytics, in particular. can inform your understanding of how people reach and use your website. The direct channel in Google Analytics measures the number of people who arrive directly at your website after typing your URL in their address bar, or perhaps used a bookmark, or clicked a link in an offline document or untracked email.

How this develops over time will give you an insight into your brand awareness. If the numbers are going up, then brand awareness is developing and deepening. If it’s static or going down and this is sustained, then it might be time to revisit your marketing strategy.

3. Search volume data

Depending on how distinctive your brand name is can be useful to check the volume of searches for your business using Keyword Planner and Google Trends. This is a simple tool that allows you to track how many people are searching for your business name. You can then track these search volumes over time to see whether they are increasing or decreasing. This is, of course, only really suitable if your business name is distinctive enough not to be mixed up with other searches.

4. Social listening

Perhaps the most accessible means by which to measure brand awareness is by tracking the number and type of mentions your brand receives on social media. This allows you to gain unmediated, organic access to the conversations people are having about your brand. The frequency, as well as the content of these conversations, can all give you important information about how well known your brand is and what people think about it. It helps to overcome the inherent biases that are often found in the surveys.

How long does it take to build brand awareness?

Building brand awareness is an ongoing process rather than a one-off event. Whether it takes four weeks, four months, or four years to reach a level of brand awareness which you’re aiming for will depend on a variety of variables.

As well as having a strategy in place, you will need a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to provide consistent measurements of your progress over time. Another factor will be the quality of the products and services that you provide and how well you understand your target audience. Getting it right may seem difficult, but the rewards for doing so are considerable.

How do to increase brand awareness

Increasing brand awareness requires a relevant and well-thought-out strategy that can be quantified and measured. A brand awareness strategy will tend not to have hard conversion goals. It will therefore be crafted differently and will instead look at the brand as a whole rather than particular goods and services.

Perhaps you want to use brand awareness to help establish your authority in your field, or your distinct approach to your industry. Brand awareness begins with deciding upon your goals, developing a strategy that combines a variety of channels, experiences, and content, and then measuring how that strategy is performing.

It’s important to remember that brand awareness is not a one-off event but an ongoing process. It may have, particular points where greater emphasis is being placed on developing brand awareness, such as when you’re opening a new store or launching a new product, but these will be a part of a continuing process.

Why is increasing brand awareness so important?

Brand awareness is the building block of your entire marketing strategy. It’s the first stage in the marketing funnel, introducing people to your brand, your products, and services and hopefully helping them to form positive associations. If people are aware, remember, and recall your brand, even if they’re not currently looking to buy your product or use your services, your brand will come to mind when they are:

Increasing brand awareness will bring with it some tangible benefits for your business:

1. Improved brand perception

Not only will investing in brand awareness help you develop a greater awareness of the existence of your brand, but it will also help you direct and to some degree manage how your brand is being perceived.

Brands with a very negative image often have very high levels of brand awareness among the public, but for all the wrong reasons. Brand awareness helps you shape and inform how people think about what you do.

2. Develop new channels and reach new audiences

A brand awareness strategy will usually involve developing new channels to get your content seen via social media or other digital channels. It might be that you’ve reached a natural limit using Facebook, and a brand awareness campaign will look at how you can best make use of some of the alternatives.

The audience demographics for social media channels are different, so by thinking creatively about brand awareness and using those channels effectively, your potential audience grows. In turn, these audiences may help you tweak and develop your brand identity.

3. Get new audience data

Any brand awareness strategy will usually have a data-gathering aspect. These insights can be valuable, often highlighting a difference in how a business is perceived compared to how its owners think it’s perceived.

It can also give business owners a deeper understanding of how their audience breaks down into different segments, perhaps with subtly different priorities and perspectives when it comes to what they’re looking for. The information you can gain from a brand awareness strategy can help inform your marketing and business development for many years to come.

4. A larger market share and a more sustainable business

Finally, but most importantly, working on brand awareness should result in your business gaining a larger market share. In practical terms, this will mean that your business becomes more sustainable and can make plans to grow and develop. Brand awareness gives you a platform for the future.

Partner with a leading creative agency to give your brand awareness a boost

If marketing is like a pyramid with a purchase at the top peak, then brand awareness is the broad base on which that pyramid is built.

Dawn Creative can help you create and develop your brand identity and then help to spread awareness of your brand through a variety of channels. If you’re wondering how your brand can have a much greater impact, don’t sleep on it, contact us today.