What is Brand Awareness and Why is it Important to Build?

What is Brand Awareness and Why is it Important to Build? 

Spend any time in a company’s marketing department, and you’ll hear constant references to brand awareness. “It’s important to build brand awareness.” “You can’t succeed over the long term without brand awareness.” “You need to continuously improve your brand awareness.” 

These are all valid points, but for a marketing novice, they’re confusing. After all, what is brand awareness, and how does it affect your business?

What is brand awareness?

Simply put, brand awareness is how your target audience recognizes and remembers your company. By necessity, that’s a vague definition, as it includes everything from your logo and brand name to your social media presence. The more brand awareness you build, the more customers are likely to remember your name and products, trust you, and do business with you. 

Brand awareness has been described as the first step in the sales funnel. Companies with high brand awareness keep their brand top-of-mind with established customers and potential customers. Brand awareness ensures consumers think of you when the time comes to research products, make decisions, and ultimately make purchases.

What is the difference between brand recognition and brand awareness?

It’s easy to get brand awareness confused with brand recognition, as the two terms are closely related. Brand recognition refers to how accurately a consumer can identify your brand based on your logo, mottos, and brand color scheme. McDonald’s Golden Arches are an example of brand recognition in action: everyone knows which company is connected to that big yellow M.

Brand awareness builds upon brand recognition, helping the customer remember not just your logo and business name, but also your brand values and information about its products and services. 

Advantages of branding

The advantages of branding are many, to the point where a company that doesn’t focus on brand awareness finds itself at a severe competitive disadvantage. The benefits of brand awareness include: 

  • keeping your brand top-of-mind with your target audience
  • increasing word of mouth marketing
  • building your brand equity
  • increasing customer loyalty
  • increasing sales
  • improving new product launches
  • building a competitive edge

Brand awareness tips

Building brand awareness requires a multi-pronged approach. To begin, you need to create the marketing tools that you’ll use to increase brand recognition. This includes designing a logo, slogans, ads, and your brand colors and fonts. Next, you have to get those tools out in front of your target audience in meaningful ways. Here’s a few brand awareness tips to consider:

  • Create infographics and other helpful content to disseminate online, with each piece featuring your name and logo. 
  • Guest blog for industry sites and blogs that cater to your target demographic.
  • Start a referral program to increase word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Develop a unique brand voice and personality.
  • Engage in brand partnerships. Consumers who trust the companies you partner with will be inclined to trust you by association. 
  • Form local partnerships with other businesses, non-profits, and other organizations.
  • Hold social media contests with a high-value prize such as branded outerwear
  • Partner with influencers to review your brand.
  • Offer promotional freebies through direct mailing campaigns, trade shows, and local events. 

Brand awareness takes time to develop and doesn’t happen overnight. It may take several years to build the brand equity you need for sustained business growth. Stick with it, however, as without brand awareness, you’re not in the public eye. And companies that aren’t thought of often rarely succeed.

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Friday, May 7, 2021