What is brand awareness and why it’s important?
Brand awareness is a vital element when it comes to growing your business. When awareness is strong, it gives you a clear advantage over your competitors. When it’s low, you can practically see the market shares escaping your clutches. So, how can you define your brand awareness and why is it so important for businesses?
The definition of brand awareness
The concept of brand awareness has always been pretty tricky to define.
Because it’s primarily based on consumer psychology. Here’s the simplest definition for it, to ease you in:
Your brand’s awareness represents the way in which it is perceived and recognized by your target audience.
The stronger a brand’s awareness is, the more popular it becomes. If this popularity comes out of nowhere or booms over a certain period, we’d class it as trending.
Marketers and sales teams alike both tend to neglect this aspect of branding. They often think it’s difficult to get data on their awareness, as opposed to information on website visits or sales volumes – how wrong they are!
It’s really a shame – they’re missing out!
Brand awareness is actually a determining factor when it comes to achieving your sales and marketing goals. Plus, it’s not actually as complicated to measure as you might think.
We’ll get onto that, don’t worry!
5 reasons why brand awareness is super important for businesses
✅ Because it supports your brand's reputation
Purchasing behaviors have really evolved with the rising power of the internet and social media. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, we’re not telling you anything new here.
In just a few clicks, consumers now have access to a huge amount of information on your business, products, after-sale services, etc.
Too many negative reviews and/or comments can lose you sales, while the potential customers lost have never been in contact with your brand.
Regularly monitoring the evolution of your awareness is essential if you want to implement corrective actions and avoid consuming losing trust and faith in your brand.
✅ Because it lets you build a community around your brand
Consumers who are happy with your products and services can develop strong connections with your brand. Some of them even go on to become ambassadors, contributing to the development of your awareness.
The common thread guiding brands with strong awareness is the fact that they capitalize on active user or fan communities.
For example, Apple really pulled on this lever to quickly become the unrivaled leader in the smartphone market when it launched the first iPhone.
More recently, and for similar reasons, countless businesses with social or environmental impacts are succeeding in establishing strong awareness, coming up against names that have historically been very well-seated in their markets.
Good awareness is also a good way of retaining consumers by creating a sense of loyalty towards your brand.
There’s a real preference for brands with strong awareness, regardless of differences in quality or price. With great awareness, you’ll be making decisions easier for your existing and future customers; Several studies have shown that 30% of consumers already have a brand in mind when considering the need and necessity of their potential purchase.
✅ Because it reinforces brand recognition
When thinking about businesses that have excelled in this, Coca-Cola comes straight to mind.
The brand has conducted a study which showed that 94% of the global population was able to recognize and identify their logo.
That means that the Coca-Cola logo is probably better-known and more recognizable than any country’s national flag.
The same goes for brands like Apple and McDonalds, which have logos and other branding elements that are pretty much omni-present in our daily lives.
The stronger your brand awareness, the easier it is for the consumer to recognize. This reinforces the chances of your brand being shown in an ad or an aisle inciting the consumer to make a purchase, choosing your brand over another one.
Good brand awareness therefore gives you the reassurance of seeing consumers come back or spontaneously turn towards your brand. You can know that you have an impact on their purchasing decisions, as a brand’s reputation and their awareness of the brand form a predominant criterion for consumers. Remember – Nutella always wins over own-brand chocolate spreads.
✅ Because it enables you to associate a brand with a product or action
“The wet dog’s been on the sofa, I need to Febreze it”
“This hay fever is killing me, can you pass me a Kleenex?”
“Don’t sweat it, I’ll Google it!”
All these phrases have something in common, can you spot it? They’re using a brand name to naturally replace an everyday item name.
Terms like “fabric freshening spray”, “tissue” and “use a search engine” are often replaced by a brand name.
Did you know that 77% of people use a brand name to refer to a product or service?
Why? Well, because some brands have succeeded so well in building strong and powerful brand awareness that their names have become the go-to term, meaning they’ve been genericized. Plus, when people are in conversation, there’s no confusion or misunderstandings regarding what they’re referring to.
✅ Because it translates the perceived value of your brand
The perceived value is determined by a consumer based on their experience with a brand. Depending on the quality of their experience, this value can evolve either positively or negatively over time.
When your consumers have a positive perceived value of your brand, you’re able to make decisions such as increasing prices to higher than the market average. It’s also a great way of encouraging up-selling or cross-selling.
When it comes to unlocking your business’ full potential, excellent brand awareness is an incontestable key. Because you’ll be perfectly identified and recognized as a trusted partner, because your vision will be clear and attractive, but especially because the quality of your products and services is consistent, consumers will always come back to your at their own initiative.
Why is measuring your brand awareness a must?
As we’ve just seen, brand awareness constitutes the foundations on which you’ll build all of your business strategies.
Of course, that includes the marketing strategy, but brand awareness also lays the foundations for business strategies, product strategies, etc. You can’t overlook or just avoid this critical aspect of branding and hope for the best.
Yet, brand awareness still seems to be, for many, a vague and confusing concept, difficult to pin down and measure, particularly for marketing experts who like to back their work with reliable data and precise figures.
Your brand awareness is constantly evolving in line with your actions
With the growing number of communication actions and distribution channels (websites, online ads, influence, partnerships, sponsorships, etc.), monitoring the evolution of your brand awareness can seem like mission impossible.
On top of this, there are all of your business’ other services which come into contact with your consumers. Today, the issue of customer success has become a prime feature on must-have lists when it comes to managing customer feedback and reactions.
Customer support has also become a major element in building both trust with customers and, in turn, brand awareness.
We’re prepared to forgive and forget when a company shows that it can quickly understand our issue and provide a human-centric solution, as opposed to the imposed one-size-fits-all procedures used with outsourced customer services.
Monitoring brand awareness involves the whole company.
Mastering and developing your brand awareness requires strategic management which is coordinated on a global level within your company.
How can you be sure that each initiative and each project is progressing well in the right (and all in the same) direction?
How can you stay agile and on-track when faced with errors or strategy changes?
All too often, brand awareness is reduced to just another issue that can just be given a quick once-over every now and again. You monitor your business KPIs on a daily business, so why don’t you give your brand awareness the same attention?
The importance of keeping your finger on your market's pulse
There are different strategies available for measuring your brand awareness. They’ll give you an invaluable insight into your business, but you still need to identify your priorities in regard to what you want to know and learn about.
Market research surveying remains one of the best ways to measure your brand identity.
Depending on your objectives, you can target some individuals in particular. Overall though, when evaluation your brand awareness, the best option is to survey all consumers and not just your own customers.
This type of measurement is even more effective when taken continuously.
You’ll get monitoring for the evolution of your popularity indicators in real time, rather than just a few times a year. This way, you can be much more agile and reactive in line with the results obtained.
Surveying the market also allows you to understand the various elements influencing your awareness and lets you compare your business with your competitors.
So, you probably get it now – measuring your brand awareness needs to top your to-do list if you want to develop your business. Luckily for you, there are super simple yet effective ways to do it – and we’re here to help!
To go further, read our article to understand how to measure your brand awareness!