How to Increase Brand Awareness: The Ultimate Guide for 2023
Do you ever wonder why companies like Apple still invest millions in campaigns despite having some of the most famous products on the market? The answer is brand awareness.
In today’s constantly changing, hyper-competitive market, it can be extremely difficult for brand builders to build and boost brand awareness and differentiate themselves from the crowd.
Despite the success of traditional marketing and advertising campaigns in the past, customer priorities have changed, and to meet audience’s ever-changing needs, brands have had to innovate and think outside of the box.
As a result, more and more businesses of all sizes – from small businesses to global corporations – are looking for ways to strategically approach their target audience, engage them with the right tools, and create enough brand loyalty to build a recognisable, consistent brand image.
The truth is, developing brand loyalty begins with brand awareness. After all, potential customers can’t fall in love with your brand until they know and recognise it. An established, successful brand is recognised, loved, and cherished by customers, and that’s what brand awareness strategies can help you achieve.
This guide will give you practical insight into building awareness, differentiating yourself from your competitors and providing your target market with real value. Using our insights, you can improve customer perception, increase revenue, and ensure that you are top of mind for your customers.
What is Brand Awareness?
In a nutshell, brand awareness measures consumer recognition of a brand, product, or service. Essentially, it measures how well people recognise your brand, including how aware they are that it exists at all.
Generally, brand awareness refers to a buyer’s familiarity with a brand and its products. Customers automatically think of brands, or elements of a brand identity, when they have a particular need (and are making a purchase). Brand awareness includes both brand recognition and brand recall.
By measuring your target audience’s familiarity and recognition of your brand, you can measure brand awareness. In contrast to simple metrics, brand awareness encompasses a wide range of KPIs, including traffic and social shares.
We’ll cover how to measure brand awareness in greater detail later in the article, but for now, think of it as a vital measure of brand health.
Why is brand awareness important?
When you see the Nike swoosh or Apple’s apple logo, what is the first thing that comes to mind? How do you feel when you hear McDonald’s ‘I’m lovin’ it’ jingle or Tesco’s ‘Every little helps’ tagline?
Regardless of what comes to mind, the fact that you are familiar with these branding examples is a testament to the power of one thing – brand awareness.
As the very first step in the marketing funnel, brand awareness is crucial to ultimately acquiring customers. Through brand awareness campaigns, you promote your products to a large audience and nurture those who are most interested in them.
A variety of business objectives can also be achieved through awareness campaigns. Increased sales, increased customer loyalty, and increased competitiveness are just a few of the benefits. Among them, you can also:
A consumer’s trust in a brand is everything. By bonding with your brand, consumers will be more likely to make repeat purchases – it’s that simple.
Brand awareness is the first step in establishing trust in a brand. Creating brand awareness gives your brand a personality and allows you to tell a story, receive feedback, and engage sincerely with your customers. The process is no different from how we build trust with each other as humans.
Keep your brand top of mind
Keeping your brand top-of-mind with your audience begins with brand awareness. After becoming familiar with a brand, a consumer begins to recognise it, seeks it out to make a purchase, prefer it over competitors, and develops a loyalty that motivates further purchases and referrals to friends and family.
Creating positive associations, establishing trust with your customers, and building invaluable brand equity are important to your brand becoming a household name and consumer staple. This is why brand awareness is so crucial.
Bring in first-time customers
New audiences are often more likely to try a brand they recognise than an unknown one – according to Invsep, 59% of shoppers prefer to buy new products from trusted brands.
As the first stage in the marketing funnel, brand awareness campaigns identify a wide pool of potential buyers. These campaigns can then lead them through the funnel, resulting in a purchase decision and, ultimately, brand loyalty.
Attract high-quality employees and partners
The more people know about your brand, the more likely they are to want to work with you. As a result, you’ll be able to attract higher-quality employees and collaborate with larger, more reputable companies.
Brand awareness: How to increase it
If you want your brand to be well known, you’ll need to put yourself out there. But don’t be tempted to simply slap your logo over everything and call it a day. It’s much more than that – it’s about building a positive image backed by strong brand insights. Brand awareness is built on three pillars:
- Marketing. Exposing your brand to your target audience through paid and non-paid marketing actions.
- Messaging. Creating a compelling value proposition for your target audience. Defining your brand message – and knowing what market you want to target – will help you plan your brand awareness campaign.
- Nurturing. Promoting your brand through word-of-mouth marketing and delivering on your brand promise.
How to Build Brand Awareness?
Creating brand awareness is vital when marketing and promoting your company services and products, especially when you are at the beginning of your company’s lifecycle. Simply put, brand awareness begins with brand building, and requires these foundational practices:
Develop your brand identity and tell your story
A brand’s personality, ethical values, sense of humour, visual identity and specific tone of voice are all critical factors for today’s customers to connect with on an emotional or intellectual level. Discover, creature, establish and nurture your unique brand identity, and make sure this is evident – and congruent – across your brand’s voice, personality, and story.
Due to the many options available, shoppers prefer to buy products from companies that share their values. Don’t be afraid to share your social, economic, or environmental ideals – today, a lot of people understand the wider impact of their buying power.
Be authentic and personable
Authenticity establishes a foundation for honest communication and builds emotional connections between your brand and your current and prospective customers. Be upfront about your brand purpose and values to show both internal and external stakeholders how you operate and what makes you tick.
Give your brand a personality. Make sure you’re more than just a company that sells stuff if you want to leave an impact on your audience. What words describe you? If you were a colour, what colour would you be, and why? Consumers are often happy to pay more for branded products, so be sure to offer them a lifestyle or identity that they want to buy into.
Be active on social media channels
In today’s market, it’s essential for brands to use social media. Many customers will look up your business on social media and contact you on these channels instead of through your website, email or phone number, and will come to your social media platforms to interact with your brand. It has been shown that over 50% of a brand’s reputation is determined by its online sociability (Forbes).
Promote your brand’s personality on social channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Your choice of channel depends on your market – but be sure to focus your efforts on the right platforms and in the right way when it comes to social media marketing. Here, an in-depth understanding of your target demographics’ social media preferences should inform your decisions.
Engage your audience – and ensure your brand relevance – by posting new content, creating social media graphics, and interacting with other brands.
Make it easy for your audience to share your content, regardless of your industry, product or service offering, or marketing strategies. The content in question could be infographics, blog posts, social media posts, videos, sponsored content, thought leader pieces or even as simple as a hashtag. As long as it can be shared, it doesn’t matter what it is.
Types of Brand Awareness
A brand recall measure refers to how quickly a customer can recall a product category’s brand name.
Many factors influence the recall of a brand name in a product category, including usage, brand loyalty, and other factors. If you think of washing up liquid, for instance, you’re more likely to recall the brand you frequently use.
A brand’s logo, strapline, visual identity, packaging, and other visual features can contribute to brand recognition. Having high brand recognition means your brand is reaching your target audience.
Two brands can be distinguished in this way. When customers think of a product category you offer, they should remember your brand specifically.
Top-of-mind awareness occurs when customers recall your brand when asked about a particular product category. Basically, it refers to the most recognisable and remembered brand name.
Awareness of top-of-mind influences buying decisions heavily. With so many competing brands to choose from, customers are influenced by this factor.
Brand dominance occurs when customers only remember one brand for a product category. For example, it’s impossible to forget McDonald’s when you’re thinking of fast food – the brand name is synonymous with the product.
Brand names become household names when they can be remembered by a large customer base in this way. In other words, this demonstrates the success of the business and the dominance it has over its competition.
Brand Awareness Strategy
There’s no way to build awareness with a one-off project. Multiple marketing campaigns, targeted marketing strategies, social media activities, partnerships, collaborations, and more are all a part of the process.
Whatever method you choose, always meet your audience where they frequent and speak their language. By doing so, you will be able to communicate more authentically in every situation.
Here are a few methods we suggest to get you started:
- Get blogging
Whether you write your own blog or publish a guest blog, blogging helps boost your brand awareness, foster trust, and provide shareable content.
In digital marketing, blog posts are crucial for sharing expertise, curating thought leadership, and making a meaningful impact.
It is common for successful brands to consistently add new content to their blog on their website. Your customers will likely view your blog as a reliable source of information – perhaps even one that impacts their purchase decisions – if you properly invest in it.
- Use influencer marketing
An influencer marketing strategy is a hybrid of collaboration and paid advertising. By partnering with someone with a well-established social media presence and reputation, your brand will benefit from more exposure.
There is no doubt that brands can boost engagement by working with influencers and optimising their presence on social networks.
- Interact with your followers and use referral programs
The key to expanding your brand awareness is to engage your followers directly and encourage or incentivise referrals, word-of-mouth recommendations and client testimonials. Develop trust and integrity through social media engagement to build your follower base.
Incentives will encourage your loyal customers to tell their friends and family about your business. Depending on your budget, you may be able to offer your customers discounts, premium services, or free products in exchange for recommending new clients.
- Increase web traffic using SEO (search engine optimisation)
You should also consider your website as an asset for brand awareness. Increase traffic to your website by investing time in SEO. By optimising your site for SEO, your website can rank high in Google’s search results, and, therefore, will be more widely read and shared. As part of your marketing efforts, you can also run ad campaigns that get more traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.
Be sure that your site reflects your brand’s style guide and is professional and aesthetically pleasing.
- Get creative with straplines
An easy and simple way to increase brand awareness is to create a short strapline or motto.
Condensing everything you’re about in one sentence is definitely a challenge. It must explain what makes you unique, what you can offer your customers, and why you would be a good choice for them.
- Design an infographic
An infographic can tell a story as well as provide on-brand visuals that can be easily shared. A visually appealing infographic will likely be shared on social media, thereby increasing your brand’s visibility and keeping your brand a part of the conversation!
Ensure you incorporate your brand’s aesthetics and visual identity into the design, and add your logo to show you own it.
- Advertise, advertise, advertise
Although advertising doesn’t work as well at building brand awareness as it does at building product awareness, it’s still a great way to get people to know about your brand.
Online advertising, such as social media and PPC, might be a good place to begin. A programmatic advertising campaign will allow you to appear everywhere and run more sophisticated campaigns at a mass scale.
- Realise the power of content marketing
Content marketing isn’t just about keyword rankings and backlinks – it’s also an amazing storytelling tool. By telling your story well, you will not only resonate with your target audience but also increase brand awareness.
You can tell consumers who your brand is and what you’re selling using paid ads, but content marketing can highlight the qualities that make your brand unique.
Telling your story online is one way to do this. Give people an understanding of how your brand was founded, what your brand values are, and how you’ve succeeded.
- Get podcasting
In addition to connecting with your target audience, podcasts are a great way to promote your brand and reach new customers. Podcasts can inform, entertain, or educate your target audience about your brand and are a great opportunity to showcase your values and really introduce customers to what makes you tick!
Instead of just promoting your brand through podcasts, you’re able to build trust and establish a bond with your target audience.
- Be aware of your target audience and sell your value to them
An in-depth understanding of your target audience is critical to your success. To sell your value to them and succinctly convey how your products and services will make their lives better – you need to know your target group very will.
Be sure your target group understands how you differ from others to stand out. Create a great SEO strategy and use brand ambassadors, influencers, and social media to forge connections, kickstart conversations and maintain relationships.
How to Measure Brand Awareness
How do you know if your brand awareness efforts are successful? What indicates that you should change tact or resolve an issue? Just like any other marketing metric, you need to measure your brand awareness.
After completing the above process, you should feel confident that your marketing communications activities will be successful in increasing brand awareness. As you grow in awareness, you can use your current awareness as a benchmark, from which you can measure and assess growth.
To gauge how popular your brand is and how aware consumers are of it, you can review your activities and metrics. Here are some ways to measure awareness of your brand and identify opportunities to tweak your efforts:
Quantitative Brand Awareness Measures
Using quantitate numbers, you can get an idea of how well your brand is known. Here are some metrics you can use to measure quantitatively:
- Direct traffic. Direct traffic occurs when people intentionally type in your URL and visit your website. You can determine how much direct traffic your marketing is driving to your website by looking at your direct traffic number. The importance of this metric is clear, as many consumers today discover brands via social media or advertisements. Direct visits to your website indicate that consumers were aware of your brand before visiting it.
- Site traffic. Site traffic simply reflects how many people are reading your content and spending time with your brand. Even if it doesn’t tell you where they came from, people are aware of your brand enough to visit it.
- Social engagement. Followers, likes, retweets, comments, and more are all examples of engagement. This reflects how many people are aware of your brand and socialise with it, as well as how effective your content is.
Qualitative Brand Awareness Measures
The s’core’ of your brand awareness gets a little murky here. Despite this, you can still use these tactics to gauge who and how many people are aware of your brand. Try these methods to measure qualitatively:
- Setting up Google Alerts and searching Google. You can gain a better understanding of how your brand is being discussed online by doing this. You will receive notifications whenever third-party press mentions your company.
- Listening to social media. Social media management tools let you track organic mentions and engagement for your brand – who’s tagging it, mentioning it, or using your hashtag. You will become more visible to your audience the more social media users discuss your brand.
- Conducting brand awareness surveys. By getting direct feedback from your audience and customers, you can gain a better understanding of who knows your brand and what they think about it.
- Collect and share testimonials. It is important to gather as many testimonials as possible to gauge brand perceptions. The testimonials will serve as social proof that you are trustworthy and can deliver results. It is important to communicate and share these testimonials to build brand awareness.
Understanding your brand awareness among your audience and the general public will be easier with these quantitative and qualitative metrics.
Four companies with strong Brand Awareness:
- Nike’s ‘Just do it’ campaign
Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan is one of the most iconic company slogans in history. A simple logo and a brief slogan have become synonymous with the company’s identity, culture, and ethics. Developing a psychological connection with their customers, Nike stimulated an emotional response and was memorable in its simplicity.
‘Just Do It’ is more than a slogan – it’s a lifestyle. Fans of theirs are motivated by these three words to strive for their dreams and never give up. With Nike products, customers feel even more confident that their full potential will be realised.
- Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign
There is no need for Coca-Cola to raise its brand awareness. Over time, it has built a status for itself so effectively that it it globally recognises as one of the best brands in the world. As well as the products, the brand itself represents a history of positive experiences.
Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign – where customers can find a Coke bottle with their name on it or personalise one with a phrase – is a brilliant example of a brand awareness campaign that capitalises on customers’ love of personalisation, and with it, Coca-Cola makes sure it remains relevant and in demand.
- Apple Events
Harnessing the power of events, Apple dedicates an entire event to announce its new releases.
Apple has garnered excitement around its event to such an extent that you know immediately to watch for new developments, even though the actual updates are minimal. Consequently, when customers consider new tech gadgets, the brand is at the forefront of their minds. Customers know to keep an eye out for Apple events – making sure the brand stays top of mind.
- Google’s comic for the launch of Google Chrome
In 2008, Google launched its new web browser, Chrome, under the unconventional guise of a comic book. Scott McCloud’s comic, which appeared in the mailboxes of some European writers and developers, offers a creative introduction to the new browser.
A unique and brilliant piece of content, it explains highly complex concepts in a simple and accessible manner. It is detailed, well-written, and answers all the questions developers might have about how the browser works.
Most importantly, it illustrates that Tech B2B isn’t all about words on a page. Google’s campaign explored creative mediums to ensure they were a topic of conversation, exciting, and top of mind.
Over to you
A brand’s awareness is key to the growth of your business and to communicating its value to consumers. Brand awareness can drive sales, build credibility, and transform your marketing operation for the better, whether you’re promoting new products or services or reaching new audiences.
Establish and build awareness for your brand using these techniques, and you’ll end up with a loyal audience that recognises you among your competitors, chooses your products regularly, and recommends them to their friends.
Now you know how to raise brand awareness and precisely why it’s it’s time to kickstart your own brand awareness campaign.
But of course, if you need a helping hand – we’re always here to help. With a wealth of experience in cultivating strong brand identities, improving customer perception and boosting revenue through compelling brand awareness, we’d love to help you achieve this success. Drop us a line to discuss how we can help.