Brand awareness: what it is and why we should improve it
The expression brand awareness defines the notoriety and – indeed – awareness of a brand among an audience. A simple explanation that, applied to the Web marketing world, can be useful to understand why for companies to work on the brand, strengthen their online presence and, above all, the perception by their target is a fundamental activity to increase the number of potential customers and therefore their returns.
What is brand awareness
Brand awareness or branding awareness is therefore a decisive topic for all companies that aspire to impose themselves in a specific segment, transversal to any activity, even the non-profit: being able to become famous, recognizable, memorable and reliable is a strategic goal for every brand.
Brand awareness: definition
The term awareness, contains all these nuances and also refers to the idea that the public – also understood as an audience of potential customers – is built on this brand, through offline and online presence.
Why branding awareness is important
Even a web marketing strategy cannot therefore disregard an effective work on the brand’s notoriety, which contributes to build a positive brand image and aims to achieve the maximum result, that is to increase the probability that consumers insert that name in their consideration set, the one of the brands valued at the time of a purchase.
Increasing the opportunities to be chosen by a consumer
For a trademark, for example, the goal can be to impose itself as a first choice in case of purchase by a customer (even in traditional shops) and directly exceed competitors, becoming a symbol and synonymous of a product. Just think of the Sony Walkman for the walkman, in fact, the iPhone for smartphones or the Cocacola to get some ideas on the subject. Having a strong brand awareness means more ability to retain users, as the company shared values and positive messages with them, and to start a conversion funnel to turn them into customers.
How to improve brand awareness
Underestimating brand awareness is a serious mistake for professionals, just as it is wrong not to think about specific actions and interventions to improve your level of notoriety among the public. An effective strategy, on the other hand, should start by identifying and analysing the referring context, the competitors, the goals to be achieved and, not least, the target audience; on the basis of these elements you can then study the best communication campaigns and define the most effective tools to use, which can also be simple as press releases or social networks, without exaggerating with advertisements that bombard users.
SEO and brand awareness
Inevitably, even the website is a channel to be exploited to improve brand awareness, indeed it can be the main tool to optimize brand awareness and align your identity to a certain recognizability; in this sense, the SEO plays a decisive role to be able to work on the positioning of the site itself on Google, so as to make it known to users and strengthen its prestige. As we said about ranking factors, then, Google devotes special attention to signals that come from specific entities and brands such as anchor text of links or presence on social networks; obviously, this activity cannot be separated from the creation of quality, informative, useful and vertical content on the sector to which it belongs, optimized according to SEO copywriting criteria and based on appropriate keyword researches, to be more competitive in the eyes of the search engine for those specific queries.
Optimizing the brand: differences between brand awareness and brand reputation
Brand awareness is therefore a value to measure the way customers are able to recognize that name, considering both the quantitative diffusion and the qualitative dimension, or the ability to transfer value. With Brand Awareness, however, we evaluate only the level of knowledge among users, and therefore it is a different concept from Brand Reputation, which instead also analyzes the public’s consideration towards that brand, deriving from the services offered, by interactions with users, by the content offered and so on, and that therefore depends on also subjective parameters related to the opinion and feeling of people.
Theories on brand awareness
To evaluate and measure brand awareness, a theoretical model is used by the American economist and marketing expert David Aaker (also known as the Father of Modern Branding), which suggested adopting a pyramid scheme to analyze the degree of brand knowledge among the public, based on 4 progressive stages in relation to a scale of values.
Aaker’s pyramid for brand awareness
As you can see in the image on the page (source: www.signorelli-partners.it), the base of the pyramid, the largest portion, is represented by the total lack of brand knowledge: the work of the brand is non-existent because potential customers have no trace of it. On the second step there is superficial knowledge, which in practice means starting to exit from the previous anonymity; going up again we meet a strong knowledge, and therefore a presence and a memorability that already become important, especially for some niche markets and products.
The ability to establish inside the mind of clients
According to Aaker’s theoretical studies, these two levels are linked to specific reactions of consumers: the first is brand recall, which the user manages – if urged – to connect to a specific product category or to satisfy a need. Brand recognition, the highest level, is instead the spontaneous ability of people to reconnect its name and its logo to core businesses, products and product category references.
At the top of the pyramid of Aaker there is lastly the Top of mind stadium of brand awareness: the brand is the first that comes to mind to people who think of a specific good, object, product or service. At this point, knowledge and awareness merge and influence consumer purchasing behaviour.
The value of brand awareness
In conclusion, it is clear that brand awareness can also be considered the ability of a brand to become familiar to a person, feeling that extends towards its products and makes them preferable to those of the competition. Some studies, in particular, have shown that the sense of perceived familiarity can push a consumer to buy a new product based only on the knowledge of the brand, preferring it to that of competitors who do not convey the same value.