An Introduction to Brand Awareness

Brand awareness - branding

Brand awareness is a way of identifying how aware consumers are with a brand or its products.  As part of your larger marketing strategy, it is really important to focus on brand awareness to help your target consumers (or audience) develop a preference towards your brand.

We are all consumers. And whether we are aware of it or not, nearly all the decisions we make about the products we buy, the stores we visit, the recommendations we make, have been influenced through brand awareness marketing.

There are two important components to brand awareness:  brand recognition and brand recall.  

Brand Recognition

A feeling of familiarity gained from past exposure. It does not necessarily involve remembering where we encountered the brand before, but is the memory of a previous exposure to the brand. According to psychological research, when we recognise something, it automatically results in more positive feelings towards it. 

Brand Recall

The problem with measuring recall and recognition is that it is very hard to do. It takes research, questionnaires, surveys, analysis, and interpretation, and is therefore difficult to quantify the return on investment (ROI).  Business leaders want marketing activity to be quantifiable, yet, what any seasoned marketer will tell you is, it’s hard to measure a brand’s awareness without spending considerable time and money. Despite not being a quantifiable metric, it still carries great value.

Brand recall occurs when the memory of a brand name is easily recalled when we are given a cue, for example: “when you think of fast-food, what brands come to mind?”. A high recall means that consumers will think about a specific brand or product in the correct context. 

It’s fair to say that the majority of humans in the world have heard of Coca-Cola and are able to buy Coca-Cola, right?  It has impeccable brand recognition and recall wherever you ask in the world primarily based on colour theory. Yet Coca-Cola spends a huge amount of money on advertising every year.  Almost all of Coca-Cola’s advertising is focused on brand awareness; they’re not informing us of new products.  They want consumers to remember them (recognition) and to be the first name they think of (recall) when they’re thirsty. 

How to Build Brand Awareness

It is important to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day! To build brand awareness you must be prepared to play the long game. It’s a long-term marketing activity that requires planning, implementation, and tracking. Brand awareness campaigns don’t have specific conversion goals, such as increasing sales, or sign-ups to an event. They usually involve telling a story to start a conversation, elicit emotion, and get people thinking about the brand.  

John Lewis’ Christmas Advert 2015 – Man on the Moon

When you develop your brand awareness campaigns, you’re aiming to:

  • Ensure your brand is front-of-mind with your current & potential consumers,

  • Increase word of mouth marketing,

  • Build your brand equity (the value of your brand),

  • Increase customer loyalty (likelihood of repeat custom),

  • Increase sales.


Brand Awareness & Social Media

Fortunately, story-telling forms the basis for most of the social media we engage with these days. Building brand awareness through story-telling is a format we are familiar with and it has proven to be an effective tool for creating brand awareness. Social media platforms offer a perfect space for brands to form and maintain customer relationships.

Back to the Coca-Cola example, you don’t need billions of people globally to recognise and recall your brand, you just need to build brand awareness where it counts. Here are 10 important things to do when building your brand awareness:

  1. Drill down your target audience, know where they are and make sure you’re there,

  2. Research your competitors,

  3. Make sure your tone of voice is developed and is consistent across all channels,

  4. Don’t neglect your SEO and content marketing,

  5. Use your branding at every possible touch point along the customer journey (on and offline),

  6. Make sure everyone in the business is aware of how to represent your business,

  7. Get exposure to a new audience: make a guest appearance at subject relevant webinar, podcast, or Instagram Q&A,

  8. Get featured in relevant publications,

  9. Run competitions, prize draws and giveaways in partnership with other brands,

  10. Don’t neglect offline marketing.

If you’re in need of a bit of help when it comes to building brand awareness, contact the Victress team




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