What is the importance of brand awareness?
Think back to the last time you went to the supermarket. What did you buy? Perhaps you immediately grabbed the Colgate toothpaste without even hovering over the Sensodyne brand. Without blinking an eyelid, you added the Fairy Liquid to your trolley.
Ninety-five per cent of your decisions are subconscious, discovered Professor Gerald Zaltman from Harvard University. These choices demonstrate the importance of brand awareness. Why would you pick a service or product that you don’t know? You need to be made aware before you can become loyal.
Maybe you don’t know the brand name, but you always go for the same packaged product or online service. As such, making your brand the go-to choice (gaining customer loyalty) is the ultimate aim of a successful business. Now that you know the significance of brand awareness, what comes next?
The different levels of brand awareness
There are different types of brand awareness which can be visualised using Aaker’s (1998) brand awareness pyramid. It begins with zero awareness, progresses to recognition, then, brand recall and finally is being at the top of the buyer's mind. Let’s take a look at each level of brand awareness as demonstrated below.
Level number one: Zero Awareness
When you start a business you must build awareness - often starting from scratch. At this point, you will be at the bottom of the pyramid with little to no business awareness. However, not one brand has reached out to every single person in the world. Thus, there is always room for growth at this level.
Level number two: Brand recognition
What is brand recognition? Brand recognition enables your target audience to immediately identify your business’ logo, slogan, colour scheme, packaging or marketing campaigns. There are numerous ways to identify the scope of your business’ brand recognition.
Conducting surveys is one way to evaluate whether your brand is recognised by the public. We recommend paying for survey responses. Often paid answers to provide you with access to your target demographic to gain accurate feedback from your brand recognition questionnaire.
Level number three: Brand recall
What is brand recall? Brand recall occurs when your business is one of the brands which jumps to mind when an individual needs the products or services that you provide. However, brand recall doesn’t only happen when a product is required by a consumer. It can come about as a result of a conversation or association.
For example, McDonald’s, Burger King and Five Guys may come to mind if someone fancies a burger from a fast food restaurant. If you own the Burger King franchise, then congratulations, your services would have entered into the ‘brand recall’ level.
Brand recall tests and brand recall questionnaires are often carried out to quantify a business’ awareness at this level. An example of the brand recall questions which may be used can be found in this brand awareness template by Survey Monkey.
Level number four: Top-of-mind
What is top-of-mind awareness? Top-of-mind awareness is the first brand that is associated with a product, service or similar brand. Remember that list of fast food restaurants we discussed? McDonald’s was first on the list. As such, it would have fallen into the ‘top-of-mind’ level. Every brand seeks to achieve this type of awareness.
Top-of-mind awareness often includes the services and products you most frequently use and purchase. It is no different for your target audience. Therefore, you aim to create business awareness at the top-of-mind level which is a crucial component to customer loyalty.
How to increase brand awareness?
Photo Credit: Wright Studio / Shutterstock
Solidify a strong brand identity
There are six elements to establishing a powerful brand identity:
First: firm up your brand colours and use these consistently throughout all marketing expenditures.
Second: define and maintain your brand’s personality. Do you want a sophisticated or casual tone when communicating with potential customers or clients?
Third: create a style-guide for your staff or digital marketing agency to use when writing product copy, social media posts, blogs, emails and marketing campaigns.
Fourth: ensure your brand is unique and stands out.
Fifth: create a simple, easy-to-use and fast interface for your website.
Sixth: add your distinctive logo on everything you do (social media images, infographics, blogs).
Education: tell your business’ story
Share your business’ journey with your target audience for amplified brand awareness.
Make your origin and timeline relatable
Demonstrate big numbers visually
Keep the story simple
Provide this aesthetically pleasing timeline on your website
Share your business’ highlights and office life on social media
Apply these marketing techniques
Use SEO to make your business appear first on google
Regularly post unique content social media to promote your business
Share your blogs
Become a thought leader by joining industry specific conversations on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook
Ensure your strategy includes digital PR and track the campaign’s ROI
Exceed expectations (don’t oversell - giving yourself no room to impress)
Don’t forget the importance of outreach
Top tip: create high-quality and unique content with a magical combination of words and images. Why is this important? Information is sixty-five per cent more memorable when coupled with a visual element.
If you are wondering how to take your business to the next level, start progressing up the brand awareness pyramid. Of course, you won’t see changes overnight (unless you write viral content) but the steady use of our marketing tips will enable you to reach the top-of-mind level of business awareness.