What is brand awareness?  – Picsart Blog

Brand awareness is an intangible asset, which means it can be difficult to capture, let alone generate. The good news is that there are plenty of tools, marketing strategies, and metrics you can use to help guide you. Read on to learn more about how to increase brand awareness and how to measure it.

What is brand awareness?

First, what is the definition of brand awareness? It is the measure of the knowledge that we have of a brand.

But what exactly is a brand? It is the representation of a company that makes it recognizable. If that sounds pretty nebulous, that’s because it’s meant to be. The brand is an intangible commercial concept. But, although intangible, we often come to understand brands through their tangible elements like products and Branding tools. This includes things like logos, color schemes, slogans, and other visuals that are often used to promote company products or services.

how branding can be used to build brand awareness

Why is brand awareness important?

You want people to recognize your brand. Otherwise, you are just one in the crowd. Part of the key to small business success starts with people understanding who you are as a brand and why they should buy your product over others.

Building a brand isn’t just important when you’re starting a business, it’s an ongoing marketing effort. If you are launching a new product, for example, you want potential and existing customers to associate it with your specific brand when making purchasing decisions.

If you’re not convinced about the importance of brand awareness, consider these other reasons:

  • You remain a priority: When your brand message is a priority and your brand design is recognizable among your clientele, chances are people will remember you when making a decision.
  • Free marketing: When people are more likely to remember you, they may even talk about you in person or online. This free word of mouth marketing is very beneficial for your brand when talking about your products or services with new audiences.
  • Sales increase: Having a brand that people recognize makes it easier to find when customers go to make a purchase. Even if they can’t remember, say, your brand name, they may be able to describe your content and purpose well enough that they find you anyway.
  • Increased customer loyalty: Customers love a brand they can trust, and you can build that trust not only by having high-quality products and services, but also a consistent brand image and offering.

woman in office with paper saying what is branding

Brand awareness vs brand recognition

“Awareness” and “recognition” are quite similar terms, so what really differentiates them in terms of brands?

Brand recognition is a bit more tangible. People recognize your brand by its symbols and visual elements. Meanwhile, brand awareness is a feeling, not just an act of visual recognition. Awareness includes how people perceive your brand as a whole and the general emotions or impressions they may have of it.

visual showing brand awareness versus brand recognition

What is assisted brand awareness?

This term refers to your audience’s ability to recognize your brand. Aided brand awareness is measured by surveys of your target market. In these surveys, companies ask about your industry and the brands in it, listing yours as one of the options to choose from. For example, if you own a hotel, you can ask the public what hotels they’ve heard of in your area and include yours in a list of other hotels to choose from. Aided brand awareness is the percentage of people who selected your brand in the survey.

What is the difference between aided and unaided brand awareness? Consider the survey above. Unaided awareness would be measured by questions that didn’t explicitly mention your brand, but people still knew about it. In other words, if you asked which hotels people have heard of, they would list yours without being prompted or having to see it on a list of names. Unaided brand awareness is also expressed as a percentage (i.e. 20% of people recognized your hotel).

example of branding for a hotel

How to build brand awareness

Generating organic brand awareness takes time and a thoughtful strategy. Fortunately, when done right, there are proven ways to boost brand awareness.

  • Make sure to be consistent: For people to recognize your brand, your branding must be consistent across all platforms and iterations. Your audience should be able to immediately identify your brand, no matter where they see it, through its color scheme, logo, etc.
  • Try influencer marketing: Find someone who influences your target audience and team up with them for a partnership that catapults your brand on social networks. Whether it’s on LinkedIn or a popular podcast, influencers are a great way to get your brand out there. Bonus: If you’re partnering with an influencer who has a blog or YouTube channel, mentioning your brand can help boost your SEO.
  • Create a referral program: Many brands have referral programs. It could be something as simple as offering a benefit to existing customers who share a discount code for other new customers. The idea is to extend your reach with a motivator, like a coupon, that attracts new customers at a lower cost to you.
  • Sponsorships: It goes a bit beyond influencer marketing and usually involves paying to have your logo or brand name appear on a list of other sponsors for an event. Sponsorships are often a win-win for all parties because you get additional exposure to building your brand and the host gets the funds they need to put on an event for your target audience.
  • Content marketing: Consider all the marketing materials you create. Those that are very shareable in nature or have strong SEO value behind them, such as infographics or blog posts, are likely to be sought out and/or shared among your target audience. Consider, for example, a branded infographic that is shared on Pinterest and then pinned multiple times. Digital marketing techniques like this can help drive traffic to your website continuously.

influencers demonstrating a beauty product

How to measure brand awareness

If you’re a business owner, it’s time to get acquainted with the numbers. Awareness metrics can help you gauge everything from how well an awareness campaign is performing to your brand awareness.

  • Ask people if they know who you are: Ask your target audience (or potential customers) if they’ve heard of you. As mentioned above, a facilitated or unassisted outreach survey is a great place to start.
  • See how people find you: Check your website analytics to see how many people are coming to you organically (through a browser search because they heard about you) or through referral (through an advertisement or referral campaign). You can apply this same logic when analyzing the effectiveness of social media for your small business.
  • Make sure more people find you: Building a brand takes time, so keep monitoring your search engine and social media to see if your numbers are growing. This will help more people find you and can be an indicator of how familiar people are with your brand.

business owner in the office

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