Building Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is simply referred to as the extent to which consumers can remember a brand. In this case, your brand. This is a key consideration in advertising management, brand management, consumer brand behavior and strategy development.
The ability for consumers to recognize your brand is crucial to their decision making. Purchasing cannot be carried out if a consumer is unaware of a product and the brand selling it. Brand awareness does not necessarily mean a consumer must remember the exact brand name.
However, the consumer should be able to remember just enough to distinguish features for purchase to be sealed. For instance, if a consumer asks a friend to get a drink in a red can, the friend should be able to know which drink to buy, even though the precise name of the brand cannot be recalled at the moment. This is what you should aim to achieve with your brand.
There are different types of brand awareness identified: brand recall and brand recognition. Experts on brand awareness argue that these different types of awareness operate differently and this has important significance for purchasing decision and for marketing communications.
Brand awareness is closely related to conceptions such as the evoked set and consideration set which are used to describe particular aspects of the purchasing decision a consumer has to make. Consumers are known to hold between three to seven brand under their consideration set across a range of product classes. Consumers always purchase from their top three brands in their consideration set.
Brand awareness is an indicator of your brand’s competitor marketing performance. Knowing the importance of brand awareness in purchasing decisions, sales marketers have developed various metrics to ensure a brand is healthy.
To do so, they measure brand awareness closely. These parameters are known collectively as awareness, attitudes, and usage (AAU). To ensure that your brand or product is a success, your brand awareness levels have to be constantly managed across all product life cycle points from product inception to market decline.
Most markets are trained to monitor the levels of brand awareness consistently, and if they fall below the set threshold, the promotional and advertising effort is intensified until the brand awareness returns to the desired levels.
Importance of brand awareness
Brand awareness can be directly linked to the functions of brand identities in customer’s memory. This can be measured by how fast easy it is for the consumers to identify your brand under different conditions. It is also important to note that brand awareness is very crucial to gaining knowledge on the process of consumer purchasing decision. A strong brand awareness strategy is an excellent indicator of your brand success. This can be used to measure brand equity or your brand strength. It is also important in providing brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, and the consumer’s relationship with your brand.
Brand awareness is also an important pointer to a brand’s market performance. Advertisers are known to invest large amounts of money in an attempt to improve their brand awareness stand or level. Marketers are also trained to monitor brand awareness levels constantly, knowing when a brand falls below the set threshold.
If this event occurs, all resources are used to ensure the awareness is brought back to optimal levels. The setting up processes of brand awareness goals are an important decision when marketing planning and strategy are involved. Brand awareness is a major asset that will help you add values to product, service, brand or company. Therefore, the time and resources spent on building brand awareness can only lead to a long-term sustainable competitive edge.
Creating and maintaining brand awareness
Brand advertisement has been known to increase the probability that a consumer will include the brand in their brand consideration set. A positive effect of brand awareness comes from brand related advertising expenditure. Anything that brings a brand to the knowledge of a consumer will increase brand awareness. Repeated exposure of a brand improves the consumer’s ability to recognize and recall a brand almost instantly. Increased exposure brings about an increase in your brand awareness, facilitating consumer processing of the information. This process can heighten a consumers brand recall and the overall attitude towards the brand. To increase your product awareness probability by consumers, it is important to build high levels of brand awareness early in your product or brands life cycle. Top-of-mind awareness can be achieved and relied on by marketers via intensive advert campaigns, most especially during product launch phase.
To achieve a high success rate, an intensified campaign is utilized including broad reach (to expose most people to your brand) and high frequency (multiple times in which the message is received by consumers).
Main stream media advertisement, has been seen as the most cost efficient and a broad means of reaching a larger audience with a higher frequency needed to build a higher awareness level. However, intensive advert campaigns can be expensive and unsustainable for an extended period.
As soon as your new product enters the market growth stage, the number of competing brands increase exponentially. This can have implications on your market share. There needs to be a means to maintain awareness. This is what marketers need to do, and it has to be done at a predetermined level to help in ensuring steady sales and a very stable market share.
Marketers have been known to rely on a ready and rough guideline to help estimate the amount needed to achieve a high level of brand awareness. For example, it is often said that to increase brand awareness by just a percent, it is necessary to double each dollar spent on advertising processes.
Immediately a brand is established and it gets the awareness levels desired, especially when outlined by a plan, the advertiser for the brand will then have to shift from intensive brand campaign to a reminder campaign.
The objective of the reminder campaign is to keep a brands target audience aware that your brand exists and introduce life into the brands offer. The essence of a reminder campaign maintains a broad reach. However, it has reduced frequency, and this will lead to a smaller advertising reach option.
Reminder campaigns are only used by established brand, especially when they are reaching the maturity stage of their product life-cycle. Then at the decline stage, marketers tend to shift to the maintenance or the caretaker stage, where most of the advertisement costs are cut to a limited level.
Although advertisement is the most effective means of creating awareness. There are some changes in the media landscape and consumer media habits, which have brought about a change or better said a reduce reliance on main stream advertisement. Instead, marketers are finding new means to place their brand on a wide variety of platforms.
An increasing amount of time dedicated to consumers and the attention given to digital communications; computers, smartphones, and tablets, it is now very possible for marketers to reach the consumers in the most cost effective means using social media platforms that command a massive audience.
For instance, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter have become a very important tool for communication. And to add to this advantage, social media platforms allow for a two-way communication that is interactive which traditional media do not avail marketers. This provides more brand awareness opportunities. Brands will be able to communicate with their consumers, moving from simple awareness to speeding up brand preferences, brand conviction and then brand loyalty.
The invention of social media platforms has given marketers an increased opportunity to use social media influencers such as public figures, journalists, and celebrities, to play a huge role in brand awareness. The rise of a new media environment has changed marketing understanding of a useful and potential opinion leader.
The digital environment has built more opportunities for bloggers to become important influencers because they have loyal followers, accessible and are authentic. Bloggers have also become influencers in key consumer goods and services; electronics, fashion, food and beverages, restaurants and bar, and also cooking.
For instance in a recent survey carried out by Collective Bias, it revealed that when dealing with product endorsements, digital influencers are a better fit than celebrities. This survey found that 3 percent of participants made it known that they would prefer a celebrity-endorsed item, while 60 percent of them said they have been influenced by a blog review, social media post to buy an item. For marketers, social media has made it much easier to create brand awareness more effectively than before.
Types of brand awareness
There are two distinct types of brand awareness marketers identify with. They are brand recall, also known as unaided recall or sometimes spontaneous recall and brand recognition, also known as aided brand. These types of brand awareness operate in totally different ways and have important implications for brand awareness, marketing strategy, and advertisement.
Brand recall also known as unaided recall or spontaneous recall refers to the ability of consumers to remember your brand name when prompted by product category correctly. Brand recall shows a strong link between your brand and product category while the reverse is the case with brand recognition, indicating a weaker link.
When inspired by a product category, consumers can only recall a small number of brands, around three to five brand names. In a test carried out on consumers, a few consumers can recall seven brand names in a category. For low interest product names, most consumers can only recall one and at most two.
Research has it that the number of brands successfully recalled by a consumer is affected by product and individual factors which include awareness set size, usage factors, educational levels, and brand loyalty. For instance, a consumer who is involved in a product category such as having high interest in the category or are heavy users, might be able to recall a slightly larger set of brand names than those who are less interested.
Brand recognition which is also known as aided recall refers to the ability of a consumer to remember and differentiate brands they come in contact with correctly. This doesn’t mean it requires that the consumer remembers the brand name, but consumers should able to recognize the brand when presented with it at the point of sale or after having a visual contact with the product. Brand recognition is different from brand recall because instead of having a few consumers recalling a brand instantly within a product category when prompted with a brand name, a bigger set of consumers typically recognize it.
Typically, consumers tend to purchase the top three brands in their consideration set. This is called top-of-mind awareness. The goal of marketers is to increase the probability that their products will be chosen as the top three brands in a consumers’ consideration set.
Top-of-mind awareness is, therefore, the first brand that comes to the mind of a consumer when asked a random question about a product category. Discussing top-of-mind awareness, among large groups of consumers, it is most times defined as the most remembered or the most recalled brand name in a product category.
If your brand enjoys top-of-mind awareness, it will be the most considered or favored when a consumer tries to purchase for product category. Top-of-mind awareness is very useful when consumers make a fast choice when choosing between competing brands in low-involvement categories or impulse-kind of purchases.
How to increase brand awareness
A product may be the best in the world, but if consumers are not aware of it or do not recall or recognize brands, a company might not make a single sale. If you’re a product or service owner, your marketer’s job is to help create brand awareness for your product from inception stage. This is done to ensure have maximum visibility for your product. To get this done, your marketer will have to consider a wide range of marketing strategies and options for your product. As soon as sales start rolling in, there is also need to ensure the quality of your product is top-notch. Here are some ways to increase your brand awareness effectively.
Leveraging on the web
Most businesses and homes in the U.S. are online, and there has been a surge of internet access via smartphones. To build brand awareness, your product needs to be online. Creating a website is a great course of action. If — and when– you have the available resources, hire an SEO company. This is the best route to get high ranking on search engines.
Create a social media presence
With the introduction of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, marketers have found useful tools for brand awareness. When a consumer is attracted to a product, they will tell others about it. Awareness of brands can be further forced on consumers by using the best social media influencers to achieve massive feedback.
Advertising using traditional methods
Although social media has changed the process of brand awareness, the world is experiencing a decline in traditional methods of advertisement. However, marketers are still able to use traditional methods of advertisement to create brand awareness effectively. How does this work? Creating an attention grabbing traditional advert with products displayed prominently. This explains the value of the product. Marketers also have to select the best publications that will resonate with target consumers. For instance, if a product helps consumers make smart financial investments, it is best to use financial publications.
Sponsorship of public events
Research has it that by hosting or contributing to an event such as a golf tournament, your brand can be displayed and products put in contact with consumers. In addition to this, there are added advantages of having a brand in front of potential consumers. Your brand awareness is increased and seen in a favored light.
Display of products in prominent stores
There is no better way to increase brand awareness than to place the brand prominently in the line of sight of potential consumers. Placing a brand in places where people come together such as a check-out line or at a product eye level will make the product more noticeable. The longer your product is seen by a consumer, the easier it is to be in the consideration set of a product category. Some notable qualities of a product branding are easier to remember when they are bold and attractive. It draws in the awareness of the consumer to the brand.
Digital brand awareness
It is best to remember a brand is nothing without its consumers. It is simple. No one will buy a brand they don’t know anything about or have no idea it exists, no matter how great your product is. Digital brand awareness is the use of different digital platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to create brand awareness and bring it to the knowledge of the right consumers. It is an easy way to spur brand loyalty. With social media influencers and digital means of reaching consumers directly and in an interactive way, digital awareness may well be the only way to achieve long-term brand loyalty in modern time.
Getting engaged is the best way to work with digital brand awareness. This is very effective. By having engaging contents, you will drive brand your awareness beyond predetermined levels in the most cost effective way. You need a solid digital marketing plan to do this effectively. You must make sure that the right content is delivered via the right platform. This is to give your consumers what they need to know about your brand and what it means to be loyal to it.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and high visibility
After securing engaging content for your brand, it is your duty to know which of your target customers use social media platforms. Your next task is to boost traffic to the consumer so as to create brand awareness. Search engine optimization is how well a product (in this case) ranks on search engines among its competitors. The key to search engine optimization is visibility. No matter the kind of content developed, your job is to improve online visibility, by ensuring that your SEO is done the right way. Higher visibility on a search engine is the main stepping stone to creating brand awareness online.
Measuring brand awareness
Just as there are different types of brand awareness, there are also various ways to measure awareness effectively. In typical methods, researchers carry out surveys on a sample of consumers asking different questions on their knowledge of a product category and the brand.
Here are the three types of tests used to measure brand awareness effectively:
The use of unaided recall tests
The unaided recall tests are used where a consumer is present with a product category and is asked to pick out or nominate brands. This test provides the consumer with no clue or cues. The unaided recall tests are used exclusively for brand recall.
The use of aided recall test
Using this test requires a consumer to be prompted for a brand name. They are asked if they have ever seen or heard of your brand. In some of these recall tests, the consumer might also be asked to explain what information they have about your brand. For instance, you can ask them to describe your brand color, brand logo, and other brand features. This test is used for brand recognition.
Other brand awareness tests
In addition to other tests, brand awareness researchers use other tests to measure brand awareness, such as brand association tests, brand images, brand dominance, brand value, brand attitude, brand salient and other brand health tests available. Though these tests do not give a proper measurement of brand awareness, they also give a good measure of brand health and are often used in combination with other brand recall tests. To measure brand salience, for instance, brand awareness researchers place products on the shelves — giving each brand half of the shelf space. Consumers are then shown a photo of the display shelves and asked to name brands noticed on the shelves.
The speed of nomination of brands gives a brand its salience level. This research can help give insight into the effectiveness of brand logos and packaging; and what to do differently to improve salience.