Wondering what brings a certain brand to mind when someone asks you about a particular product category?
The answer is:
You see, building a brand is one thing – but embedding your brand in the customers’ minds is an entirely different venture.
Developing that level of brand awareness will serve as the foundation for success in your other marketing efforts, as customers become aware of your brand over time.
That’s why today, we’d like to discuss the importance of brand awareness and see how it can help you build loyalty, popularity, and sales.
What Is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness can simply be defined as the extent to which a target audience is familiar with a brand, able to recognize its distinctive qualities, and subconsciously associates them with certain products or services.
In short, it describes how aware customers are of your brand.
It should be added that there are actually three distinct layers to brand awareness:
- Brand recall refers to the connection between a particular product category and a brand. Most people can recall three to five brands within a product category.
- Brand recognition refers to the customers being able to immediately distinguish a brand from the competition based on the packaging, color scheme, logo, or tagline.
- Brand dominance, or top-of-mind awareness, refers to the customer associating an entire product category with a particular brand, as the brand becomes synonymous with the product.
Want a real-life example of brand awareness at its absolute best?
Just look at Coca-Cola:
Considering that 94% of the world’s population instantly recognizes the red-and-white logo – and that “Coca-Cola” is reported to be the second-most understood term in the world, second only to “Okay” – it’s safe to say that this iconic brand is everywhere.
So, if you ever wondered why, whenever you’re offered a soft drink, Coca-Cola is one of the first things to come to mind; there’s your answer.
How’s that for an effective brand awareness strategy?
Why Is Brand Awareness Important?
We can’t emphasize enough the value of building brand awareness.
While this is an oversimplified way to put it, consumers need to be aware that your brand exists before they can even consider making a purchase. And that makes brand awareness critical in a customer’s journey.
One-third of consumers admit that when they go shopping, they already have a particular brand in mind. And if it’s your brand they think about, you already have an advantage.
Recent reports show that 77% of consumers tend to refer to certain products by the brand name – even if the products actually come from a different brand. Kleenex, for example, has become a widely used synonym for “tissues.”
That indicates that, with adequate brand awareness, your brand name becomes synonymous with the type of product you’re selling.
But that’s not all.
Here are a few other reasons to build brand awareness:
- Awareness impacts brand perception – which, in turn, encourages brand loyalty and can be the key element in motivating customers to make repeat purchases. Considering that 90% of purchase decisions are made on a subconscious level, you want your brand to be top-of-mind.
- Brand awareness is directly linked to increasing your share of search on Google – which, in turn, correlates with an increase in market share. When you’re the first brand people think about or search for on Google, you raise the barrier to entry for other companies.
- On a related note, there is a reason why branded search is among the key metrics when measuring brand awareness – because building awareness can also help drive organic traffic to your website.
- Consumers aren’t risk-takers. We therefore have to bring consumers to the point where they are willing to shift their purchasing and user habits. A successful marketing strategy ensures that your audience is engaging with your brand on various key channels, becoming familiar with your brand in the process.
How To Increase Brand Awareness: Practical Tips
Strong brand awareness can help your business stand out in the never-ending bombardment of advertising that consumers are experiencing every day. Traditional marketing efforts worked fine in the past. But these days, businesses need to think of new solutions to engage their audiences in the right way – and at the right time.
Of course, this isn’t something that can be achieved overnight – or with a one-off project, for that matter. If you are serious about asserting your brand’s presence and relevance, you will have to put time and effort into it.
Here are some practical tips and best practices you can start implementing today:
- Team up with influencers. Associating your brand with someone well-known and liked who has a significant social media following can boost engagement and help you reach your target audience. People trust recommendations from their favorite influencers more than traditional ads.
- Take part in brand partnerships. Collaborations between like-minded brands who likely have similar target audiences could double your exposure, increase your customer base, and help build consumer trust for both businesses.
- Maximize your social media presence. Most interactions between brands and consumers are happening online and, more specifically, on social media – such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Here your consumers are able to interact with your authentic brand voice in a more casual environment.
- Don’t forget about SEO. It may seem like a basic “everyone knows this” kind of advice, and yet, emerging brands still make mistakes in the SEO department. Treat your website as an essential asset when it comes to brand awareness; it’s paramount for your brand’s exposure online.
- Diversified approach. Most importantly, your approach should be diversified. Research shows that consumers need multiple engagements with your brand before they engage with you. Understanding which channels those consumers are using is key in creating a diverse awareness strategy that filters through to the right audiences.