Important Measures of Brand Health: Awareness

Understanding a brand’s health is pivotal, and we know three of the most important factors to doing so include brand awareness, attitude, and usage. A brand should start by understanding brand awareness before broadening into the other two metrics of brand health, as awareness builds the groundwork for consumer attitudes and usage.

The significance of brand awareness can be an underrated metric of brand health, especially when companies are focusing on more complex business metrics. But awareness is a critical component of many teams from product managers to brand managers and advertising teams.

Expanding Upon Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is not simply just about whether a consumer has heard of a brand before—it’s more than that. To successfully approach measuring brand awareness, a brand should realize that it’s actually measured on a scale and has two very specific, varying levels:

  1. Brand Recognition: or aided awareness is the ability to identify a brand through the means of a logo or name when provided with it
  2. Brand Recall: or unaided awareness is the consumers’ ability to independently provide a brand name specific to a category when prompted to do so

Often brand recognition is the first stage of brand awareness. It doesn’t always mean consumers know all there is to know about that brand, rather it could be the name, a brief encounter, or sight of the brand name has registered with them before.

Brand logos are a common example of this occurrence. A consumer may see the logo and know it’s for a Mazda and thus recognize this brand, but otherwise, have no prior interactions or experience with it. In the research world, it’s common to measure brand awareness from both an unaided and aided perspective in order to understand the progression of brand awareness.

The Importance of Awareness

The obvious goal when it comes to brand awareness is, of course, to increase it, specifically through positive means. Why? The higher the brand awareness, the more likely the brand will be successful. Just recall a few of the most familiar brands to you—the likelihood that they’re also profitable or experiencing growth is pretty good.

As a result, top-of-mind awareness is especially enticing to brands and is the ultimate objective of a brand or advertising team. When a brand is top-of-mind it means they’re being recalled in the first few brands of a category. However, this type of awareness is a constantly evolving game.

For example, if a consumer was asked today to recall the top brands of cell phones, Apple and Samsung would probably be in the top three. But ask that same consumer 20 years ago who the top brands were, and perhaps Nokia and Blackberry would result.

Thus, brand awareness can be a very important metric to evaluate brand performance, and most importantly should be measured in relation to competitors. To disregard brand awareness could mean forfeiting the ability to understand the current situation in the marketplace. In other words, you could be missing out on getting a clear understanding of the shortcomings and opportunities of your brand.

Brand awareness, when measured through an entire product’s life can also help brands allocate resources effectively-if awareness begins to decline it can help influence the decision to increase efforts or sunset the product. However, consistently measuring brand awareness also acts as a signal when developing new products, entering new markets, or launching new strategies to understand how consumers are reacting to them compared to previous iterations.

Without a constant understanding of brand awareness, businesses risk making the wrong decisions. So regardless of the tactic being used, measuring it regularly can help understand strategy success and determine what’s impacting the businesses’ return on investment. If brand awareness is growing, then you know you’re on the right track.

How to Grow Your Brand Awareness

In today’s world, there are countless outlets for advertising and marketing efforts that help increase brand awareness. Below are a few activities that help build brand awareness and examples of the tactics involved in their strategies:

  • Traditional advertising: Targeted broadcast televisions ads, catalog coupons, in-store promotions
  • Social media marketing: Paid social advertising, influencer strategies
  • Event marketing: Conferences, trade shows, or hosting events like product reveals
  • Sponsorships: Paying to sponsor or maintain sporting venues or advertising at events
  • Celebrity testimonials: Using a celebrity or celebrity-like figure that has significant awareness in order to take advantage of their audiences to build brand or product awareness

Growing brand awareness can also be done through other efforts, such as disrupting a market with a new innovation or publicity that garners a word-of-mouth marketing impact. And depending on budgets and who the target audience is, determines what combination or specific resources that are used in a brand awareness strategy.

Leveraging consumer insights is also an easy and often more cost-effective way to understand how to grow brand awareness. Specifically, understanding consumer segments relative to their brand awareness helps discern what audiences will be more likely to convert their awareness than others.

Further, it can help understand which means for growing brand awareness for your brand is best by not only frequently assessing your level of brand awareness but by evaluating what sources mentioned above will provide the greatest means for growth.

Last but not least, many brands think they’re done and have succeeded when they achieve high levels of brand awareness, but efforts shouldn’t end there. Continue reading to learn more about how brand awareness converts into brand attitude and usage.

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