Brand awareness: what it is, why it is important and how to improve it

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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often launch advertising campaigns with the aim of increasing their brand awareness. In this article, co-written by a team of experts, you will discover why brand awareness is important to create ‘intangible value’ and what are the steps to build one that makes you stand out.

Table of contents

Brand awareness: meaning

According to the definition, brand awareness is nothing other than the consumers’ perception about a brand, or a product/service related to it. In it, it is possible to trace the so-called “value proposition”, i.e. the set of qualities that make a brand recognisable compared to its competitors.

Brand awareness means not only the notoriety, but also the consciousness, desirability and liking of consumers for a brand. It is a perception that can arise spontaneously (unaided brand awareness) or through solicitation (assisted brand awareness). The difference between the first and second case is that, when brand awareness is solicited, it is the result of marketing campaigns and, in general, targeted communication.

How to analyse brand awareness

Being an “intangible value”, it is not easy to illustrate. It is possible to say that brand awareness is the result of several factors that all have one purpose: to fix the brand in the consumer’s mind.

One of the methods of conducting a market survey to find out one’s own positioning with respect to competitors is to subject a sample of consumers to a questionnaire, in which they are asked: “In relation to sector X, what is the first brand that comes to mind?” Well, the one that is mentioned several times will obtain the best positioning, which can be expressed as an absolute value, graph or percentage.

An alternative method is to ask consumers to choose a brand from a list of brands in the same market segment. Here again, the most frequently chosen brand will obtain the best positioning.

It is evident from the two surveys that if the first case is “spontaneous brand awareness”, in the second case there is “induced brand awareness”; the sum of the two indices gives rise to “total brand awareness”.

The most important indicator relating to brand awareness, however, is Top of Mind (TOM) awareness, i.e. the first brand that comes to the consumer’s mind when he thinks to a certain class of products/services. It, at an abstract level, represents the highest awareness level attainable by a brand.

aker’s pyramid

Economist and marketing expert David Aaker has developed a theoretical tool, called the “Brand Awareness Pyramid”, which divides brand awareness into four levels. 

In summary, the Aaker Pyramid serves to assess the liking of a brand. In today’s world, this relies not only on sample surveys, but also on concrete data, which can be obtained using tools such as Google Analytics, which offers information on website traffic, or Insight, which can provide a broad overview of one’s Facebook and Instagram company pages.

How to improve brand awareness

As can be guessed, the purpose of brand awareness campaigns is to improve the notoriety of a brand or, to put it better, the perception of it among a target group. Since the human mind, if it is not emotionally involved, easily tends to forget a brand that is suggested to it or with which it has come into contact, it is necessary to work on certain aspects that, in marketing, are particularly important.

The main brand elements are:

It is then necessary to invest in:

Philip Kotler, Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, in Marketing and Management (1967), asserted that 6 traits characterise simple and effective communication:

Online strategy

To improve your online brand awareness, it is advisable to use two complementary web marketing strategies such as SEO and SEM, which aim to increase the visibility of certain content (articles, blog posts, landing pages, entire domains) on search engines. At this step, it will be crucial to identify the right keywords, keeping the target audience in mind.

Another online strategy consists of investing in advertising on the main social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, which, thanks to the profiling of members by age, gender, level of education, job position, hobbies and interests, geographic location, etc., provide the possibility of creating targeted digital marketing campaigns.

Offline strategy

Even though it may seem “anachronistic” to talk about offline strategies, sometimes investing in so-called traditional media can trigger a “virtuous circle” of cross-references between old and new technologies, encourage word of mouth and prove useful in reaching precisely everyone, even those who are not digital natives.

They are offline marketing tools:

Why brand awareness is important

A well-known brand expands the plethora of probable leads. This happens when a customer, before buying a product/service, remembers the brand. A strong brand awareness will produce a spontaneous reminder, a weaker one will need some help, such as a jingle or an image; what is important, however, is to penetrate the customer’s mind and be there.

Moka Adv, the international web agency with more than 10 years of experience, helps you do just that: develop your online presence, a.k.a. maintain and improve your brand awareness. We have a team of creatives, designers and specialists ready to share and, why not, guide you in your vision. Contact us by using the contact form below and share your project idea with us, we will help you get it off the ground!

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