Aaker Pyramid

Aaker Pyramid: what it is and why it can help you climb the heights of brand awareness in modern marketing

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In the dynamic world of digital marketing, brand awareness influences every single person by conveying, many times unconsciously, any daily decision. Numerous anthropological and sociological researches focus precisely on this phenomenon, which, conditioned by the massive presence of mass media and social networks, has become preponderant in the 21st century.

An interesting study in this regard was undertaken in 1996 by the American economist and marketing expert David A. Aaker, who developed a theoretical model, the so-called Aaker Pyramid, which serves to describe the 4 levels of brand awareness and their relationship to customer loyalty. But what is brand awareness and what links it to the Aaker Pyramid? Read on to find out!

Table of contents

Brand awareness and perception: the impact of brand awareness and brand reputation on consumer decisions

Brand awareness is a measure of the degree to which consumers are aware of and familiar with a brand and contributes to a sense of familiarity with products/services, which, especially in the case of low-involvement products, can affect the purchase decision.

Difference between brand reputation and brand awareness

Brand awareness should not be confused with brand reputation, which, unlike the former, studies the perception of the brand in terms of quality, reliability and integrity. Brand reputation is thus the overall opinion that consumers and the public have of a company, based on their direct and indirect experiences with the brand. In other words, while brand awareness measures how well known a brand is, brand reputation assesses how that brand is viewed by its audience. Both are essential to a company’s long-term success, as they directly influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.

Aaker Pyramid

Aaker Pyramid sections: how to apply it to branding

Let’s now ‘dissect’ the Aaker Pyramid in order to understand its structure. Starting from the base and going up to the top, the levels are organised as follows:

1. Unware of brand

In this level we find unknown brands; here, the consumer is unware of their presence on the market (think for instance of fashion brands created by emerging designers).

2. Brand recognition

One step above the previous one, the consumer ‘vaguely’ remembers the brand positioned here. Let’s mention, for the sake of the record, the Nuii ice-cream brand, which has remained in the shadow of the Magnum brand, which over the years has been able to build up excellent brand awareness in Italy. In fact, the type of product is the same: ice creams on stick, with very similar packaging and fonts, which, however, due to weak brand awareness we tend to consider as “those similar to Magnum”.

3. Brand recall

Without any external input, at the brand recall level we spontaneously associate the brand with a category of goods or services. Acer, HP and the like are, for example, immediately associated with PCs. The brand awareness here is solid, but unlike in the top of mind (the highest level) we do not substitute the brand for just any PC.

4. Top of mind

The top of mind is the apex of the pyramid: at the top, the company is the first choice of consumers; here, thinking of a certain product category, one brand among all immediately comes to mind.

This difficult result can only be achieved with an excellent marketing strategy, which will succeed in making consumers identify, in their minds, several products with the same brand name; this is the case with Borotalco. The marketing strategy adopted by the Milan-based company also allowed it to be ‘recognised’ by consumers, who associated the Borotalco brand with a wide range of similar products.

Originally, Borotalco was the name of a specific skin care product. Over time, the name Borotalco came to signify a series of related products, initially developed by the same company. Only later did the idea and custom spread among consumers to use the term Borotalco to refer to any product containing talcum powder and boric acid, even if from other companies.

Moving from one step of the pyramid to the next involves targeted marketing tactics and customer loyalty emerges from a progressive evolution of the brand relationship. The Aaker Pyramid is therefore a compass for marketers, who use it to formulate incisive branding tactics and establish an intense emotional connection between consumers and the brand.

Strategies to improve brand awareness and aspire to the top of mind

To position a brand at the top-of-mind level of the Aaker Pyramid, a series of targeted strategies must be followed. Here are some key steps:

Brand awareness

Make sure your audience is aware of your brand. You can reach them through advertising campaigns, social media presence and other forms of communication.

Brand recognition

Your brand should be easily recognisable: this means having a distinctive logo, a consistent colour scheme and a clear brand message.

Brand memory

Customers should be able to remember your brand without the need for visual aids; this can be achieved by consistently repeating your marketing message.

Top of mind

To reach the top of the pyramid, your brand must be the first thing that comes to consumers’ minds when they think of a product and/or service category. This requires that the customer has a strong emotional connection and experiences a positive and memorable brand experience.

Remember that every customer touch point is an opportunity to reinforce your brand presence in their mind!

Beware of negative brand awareness

When we talk about negative brand awareness, we are referring to a situation where the brand is known but associated with negative perceptions; it can happen as a result of scandals, bad publicity or negative consumer experiences.

In other words, the brand is indeed present in the minds of consumers, but in an unfavourable way, which can negatively influence purchasing decisions and loyalty. To be avoided, absolutely.

Aaker Pyramid

Effective strategies to increase brand awareness

To effectively deal with negative brand awareness, it is crucial to adopt a proactive and strategic approach, involving a thorough analysis of the underlying causes of unfavourable brand perception. Once identified, an action plan can be developed that includes:

1. Targeted marketing campaigns

Create advertising campaigns that communicate directly with your target audience, highlighting your brand’s values and strengths. These campaigns should be designed to generate empathy and emotional connection with the audience.

2. Product/service quality improvement

Listen to customer feedback to make real improvements to your products/services. Don’t just focus on customer satisfaction, however, but demonstrate a real commitment to excellence.

3. Effective crisis management

Prepare a crisis management plan that allows you to respond quickly and transparently to any problems. Open communication with customers and stakeholders is key.

4. Engagement on social media

Use social media to create a constructive dialogue with consumers and build a community around your brand that reinforces their trust.

5. Partnerships and collaborations

Ally with other companies or influencers to corroborate the positive brand image.

The ultimate goal is always one: to convert negative perceptions into positive ones, building an authentic narrative that resonates with the audience. Through the above efforts you can gradually climb the Aaker Pyramid, not only to reach the top of mind level but also to associate the brand with positive feelings and long-term loyalty.

It is a slow process, requiring time, patience and constant commitment, but the results will lead to a solid reputation and unparalleled success.

Rely on Moka Adv to increase your brand awareness!

It’s time to make your brand shine! Turn to Moka Adv and let’s guide you along a path that will make your brand not only visible, but unforgettable.

We will transform your corporate identity into a vibrant message that spreads with strength and clarity. Don’t wait, contact us by filling out the contact form below, or by calling +390957463250 and benefit now from a high-level consultation that will position your brand at the top of the market and the Aaker Pyramid!

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