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What is Brand Awareness and How to Build It

11 min read

Establishing a reputable brand is essential for running a business. A business must also continue to expand its brand awareness to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

In this article, we’ll discuss what brand awareness is and how a business can build and improve it.

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What is Brand Awareness?

First, let’s answer the question: what is brand awareness?

Simply put, it is a marketing term that relates to how familiar a target audience or consumers are with a brand and their recognition of it.

The idea is that consumers recognize a brand well enough to separate them from the sea of competition. Think about people who always buy Apple products or Nike shoes. These two massive brands have built significant brand awareness to the point of highly loyal customers.

The Brand Awareness Pyramid

Brand awareness can be divided into several levels, often represented using the brand awareness pyramid.

a scheme illustrating a brand awareness pyramid

Image source: ResearchGate

The pyramid has four levels, which we will discuss individually below.

Level 1: Unawareness of Brand

At the bottom of the pyramid, we have level 0, where there is no brand recognition. This is the point any business will be when first starting. Thus, the company must build a customer base and awareness from the bottom up.

Level 2: Brand Recognition

This is when a brand begins to be recognized by an audience through visual representations such as logos, designs, color schemes, and marketing.

The extent of brand recognition can vary at this point depending on how many people actually identify the brand through these efforts. However, this can be evaluated through surveying, traffic monitoring, and social engagement.

Level 3: Brand Recall

A brand recall occurs when a business has established recognition to the point where consumers recall the brand when they need that particular service or product. Brand recall can also come about as part of a conversation or association.

For example, someone who needs a tool for home improvement immediately thinks of Dewalt. This is brand recall.

Brand recall tests and questionnaires can measure the level of recall. This will help a business determine how much people recall a brand and how the brand can improve.

Level 4: Top of Mind

At the very tip of the period, we have top of mind. This means the brand has become the primary brand connected to that particular product or service. There are several great examples of this level of brand, such as Duracell for batteries or Google for a search engine.

In some cases, a brand can reach such a point of recognition that the brand name becomes synonymous with the product, such as most people calling tissues Kleenex or cotton swabs Q-Tips.

Of course, this level of brand recognition can take some time to reach. However, any business should aim to build brand awareness that reaches the top-of-mind level. Though not every brand will reach the massive heights of some large names, it’s possible to still always aim for the top.

The Importance of Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is what helps a business truly stand out from all the others. Moreover, it’s what keeps consumers returning to the product or service.

So, brand awareness helps to create a point of connection between consumers and the business and an alignment of values, mission, and more. In many cases, the better a consumer connects with a brand, the more likely they will buy and return.

In other words, brand awareness helps a business to build loyalty and trust from customers, which is key to long-term success. Customers want to know what to expect when they order something. Thus, when a brand demonstrates that trust, they are more likely to return. This allows the brand to stick out in a customer’s mind across the sea of competition.

How to Build Brand Awareness

It’s important to remember that building significant brand awareness is not necessarily a fast process. It certainly doesn’t happen overnight, and it can take some time to get the name out there and for people to begin recognizing it.

Though some brands may expect to build instant brand awareness simply by running a couple of marketing campaigns, this is highly unlikely.

Instead, focus your brand awareness efforts on building a connection with the audience rather than just pushing to make a sale.

Let’s take a look at some ways a business can build brand awareness.

Connect on an Interpersonal Level

A critical part of any brand awareness strategy is that a business needs to connect with its target audience on an interpersonal level. The more they continue to portray themselves as just a company looking to make a sale, the less trust consumers will give back.

Instead, the relationship needs to be treated like making a new friend or getting to know someone. Find out their interests, passions, and what they like and don’t like. This allows the brand to understand its audience and truly deliver on these factors.

Tell a Story

There are a thousand and one marketing strategies, but almost all of them fall short of the power of storytelling. There have been several books written about storytelling’s role in the marketing sphere—and for good reason. People love stories, and they offer a realistic point of connection and understanding to an audience.

Telling the narrative of a brand brings it more into the reality of the customer rather than just a faceless entity. Of course, it should be a true story rather than making anything up.

Consider explaining how the founder started the business, the first product it launched, the associated difficulties, and more. These types of stories help to humanize a brand.

Consistency is Key

Consistency is a primary part of building brand awareness. There are multiple parts to this effort.

Firstly, there is the matter of maintaining consistency of visual identity and message across all platforms. This means creating a message and identity that a target audience will remember and begin to associate with the brand. Several brand awareness campaign examples display this clearly, with one being Nike’s “Just Do It” message paired with their swoosh logo.

Consistent product quality is another vital element of this point, as this helps customers learn they can trust the brand. Additionally, when quality does happen to fall short, then there needs to be rapid and consistent customer service to address the issue.

How to Measure Brand Awareness

So, as a business tries to build brand awareness, how do they tell whether their efforts are working? Well, fortunately, several brand awareness metrics can be measured to determine how things are progressing.

First, there are the direct numeric metrics, such as…

  • Brand traffic: Businesses can monitor how many people search for their brand and visit their site. When awareness campaigns are working, session duration should increase, while bounce rates should start to decrease. This indicates people are interested in the brand, leading to more people coming in and staying longer. These numbers can also be broken down into organic and ad traffic to help determine how many new visitors campaigns bring in.
  • Social media: Social media is one of the most powerful brand awareness tools in the modern age. It offers brands an easy way to measure how many people are interacting with them or talking about them. Engagement such as likes, comments, shares, retweets, and followers are all valuable metrics for brand awareness campaigns.

Additionally, brands can take additional steps to learn more about their brand awareness performance, including…

  • Surveying: Surveying can help a brand learn a lot about its level of awareness with new customers, returning customers, and casual browsers. They can discover where people learned about the brand, what made them engage, and why they continue returning. Surveys allow brands to get key data directly from the horse’s mouth to understand what they are doing right and where they could improve.
  • News alert monitoring: Brands can monitor news alerts to see where they show up within local and national channels. This shows where the brand is making an impact and the audiences they are reaching. News alerts are also excellent for learning about current or upcoming industry trends to stay ahead of the curve.

Ready to Build Your Own Ecommerce Brand?

If you are considering building your own online business, then Ecwid can help. Our online selling platform is designed to make starting an online business easier than ever.

No matter what platform you are looking to sell across, our software can be integrated with it, including Instagram, Facebook, Etsy, and more. This makes it simple to see all of your current metrics from one sleek dashboard.

Even better, you can get started on your new store for free today!

 

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About the author

Max has been working in the ecommerce industry for the last six years helping brands to establish and level-up content marketing and SEO. Despite that, he has experience with entrepreneurship. He is a fiction writer in his free time.

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