Brand awareness is a crucial factor for the success of any business
It’s the spark that puts your company name at the forefront of online searches, referral emails, and conversations between business partners.
Because (and let’s be honest), almost every buying decision you make comes with an element of, “Do I trust this brand? Would I be willing to refer them to a friend?” (Net promoter score, anyone?)
Brand awareness refers to the extent to which consumers are familiar with and can recognize a particular brand.
In a saturated market—civil engineering, for example—having a strong brand presence can be the difference between scrounging BuildWorks for Request for Proposals (RFP) or having large national builders coming to you as a first choice.
This article will uncover the most powerful strategies and tips that successful companies use for measuring brand awareness. Plus, get bonus insight into how your marketing team can start leveraging them today in marketing campaigns and communications.
Understanding brand awareness
To effectively measure brand awareness, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what it is.
The problem is that the term is overused by marketers and teams who probably have 12 different definitions of the term.
See where that might lead to issues?
In a nutshell: brand awareness is the recognition and recall that a specific brand has among consumers.
More specifically, it is the strength of the relationship between your ideal clients and your brand, as demonstrated through:
- Individual search intent: when a client needs your service, do they look to your brand for solutions?
- Individual willingness to refer: will clients share your company with their peers?
- Macro topicality: how often is your brand name thrown around when you’re not in the room—your share of voice?
Why brand awareness matters
Greater brand awareness translates into higher customer loyalty and increased sales.
In other words, your brand starts to do the heavy lifting of sales and marketing on your behalf.
And your company benefits from:
➡ Increased lead gen
➡ Shorter sales cycles, and
➡ The natural growth momentum that comes with owning more market share
Sounds pretty desirable, right?
What brand awareness is not
Brand awareness is not just about consumers recognizing a brand's name or logo.
It goes beyond that.
Think of it this way: ever assume certain characteristics of a person based on the specific vehicle they drive?
That’s a lot more than just knowing that three diamonds is a Mitsubishi, or that a specific shade of blue is indicative of a Subaru.
Hungry customers driving down the highway don’t just see the golden arches and think, “Ah, yes—McDonalds.”
When they see the logo positioned up on the horizon, they actually see themselves seated in an air conditioned room, with quick access to enough food to feed the family, at a price point that won’t eat into their vacation funds.
No more screaming kids in the back seat.
So the next time you pay to sponsor a trade show or throw your logo behind a podium at a talk, know that you’re not really driving brand awareness—until you’re able to connect logo recognition with a human–to–brand relationship.
Brand awareness is a relationship
It encompasses the market’s overall awareness of a brand's existence and the specific attributes and associations linked to that brand.
Read—functional and emotional benefits.
It is the ability of consumers to recognize and recall a brand in various situations, such as when making purchasing decisions or when asked about brands in a specific category.
Why is brand awareness so important?
Well, it plays a vital role in the success of a business.
Brand awareness establishes a brand's identity in the marketplace, and differentiates it from competitors.
It creates either a positive or negative bias toward your company and the things you sell.
Think about it: when you’re in a store, faced with countless options, you’re more likely to choose a brand that you are familiar with, right?
That's the power of brand awareness.
It helps consumers make decisions and influences their purchasing behavior. We’ll talk heuristics (patterns humans use to quickly make decisions) another day, but the takeaway is this:
When consumers trust a brand, or they see that other people similar to themselves trust that brand, they are more likely to have that sales conversation.
Or book that call.
Or even overlook a shortcoming or two in your proposal.
Measuring brand awareness is crucial for businesses
So by this point, you can see that having high brand awareness and a positive brand perception is probably really beneficial to the growth of your business.
And, being able to measure those indicators?
Allows your marketing or executive team to assess the effectiveness of your company’s marketing efforts, and identify areas for improvement.
By understanding how aware consumers are of your brand, you can tailor your marketing strategies to increase brand recognition and recall—and even increase online search volume.
You should be able to identify which channels are most effective in reaching your target audience and allocate resources accordingly. (Hint: Google Analytics is one piece of the puzzle, but that can’t be your only source of truth).
Key metrics for measuring brand awareness
Measuring brand awareness involves tracking various metrics, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPI), that indicate the level of recognition, and recall a brand has among consumers.
Side note: ever heard of vanity metrics?
That’s when you look at your Google Analytics and see a bunch of traffic coming to the site, so you give your marketing leader a high-five, and call it a day.
But, then three months later, you realize that not a single lead has actually come in through the site, you take a deeper look, and see most of the traffic is coming in via a case study page.
And, then you look at how people are finding that page, and you see that they’re actually looking for your client (not you), and the case study page seems to be outranking the client’s site for that keyword (bummer).
Now you have a ton of traffic, but no business results, and wishing you could take back the high-five because it was only a vanity metric that made you feel good for a minute.
Vanity metrics aside, here are some key metrics to provide valuable insights into brand awareness.
Brand recall measures the ability of consumers to remember a particular brand when prompted with a specific category or product.
Results. Clickex. (Hah).
It shows how well a brand is positioned in the minds of consumers, and how easily it comes to their minds when making purchase decisions.
Brand recall is influenced by various factors, such as advertising campaigns, brand messaging, and product quality. By consistently delivering a positive brand experience, companies can increase their brand recall and ensure that their brand is the first choice for consumers.
Brand recognition refers to a consumer's ability to identify a brand based on visual cues, such as logos, slogans, or packaging.
It assesses how familiar consumers are with a brand's visual identity, and how easily they can associate it with a particular product or service.
Let's take the example of a well-known apparel brand.
The brand's iconic logo, which features a swoosh (see, you know immediately which brand it is), is instantly recognizable to consumers worldwide.
This high-level of brand recognition has been achieved through consistent branding across various marketing channels, including television, print, and digital media.
Brand reputation measures the overall perception and sentiment surrounding a brand.
It includes factors such as customer satisfaction, trust, and brand loyalty.
It’s the extent to which people associate your brand with positive (or negative) functional and emotional benefits.
Think about why Gillette, Gatorade, and other companies were so quick to drop Tiger Woods amidst the shakeup in 2017.
A positive brand reputation enhances brand awareness, and leads to increased customer engagement and advocacy.
For example, when a developer is thinking of buying a new commercial property, they’ve got the broker calling them daily with updates and deal details.
But, they know they can count on their top civil engineering firm to be in their corner and give it to them straight so they can make an informed buying decision.
A positive brand reputation is built over time through consistent delivery of exceptional products and services, as well as effective customer relationship management.
Brand reputation is supported by associations with known factors, such as celebrity endorsements. There are certain uncontrollable elements as well because that same celebrity endorsement runs the risk of also damaging brand reputation with the wrong actions.
In general, though, by prioritizing customer satisfaction, and maintaining a strong brand image, your brand can cultivate a positive brand reputation that contributes to high brand awareness and long-term revenue growth.
How to measure your brand awareness
Now you know what you need to pay attention to, it’s time to measure it and create a baseline of quantitative and qualitative data so you can gauge growth year–over–year.
Social media mentions
Social media platforms have become powerful tools for measuring brand awareness.
In fact, the conversations your market has in social comments and direct messages are directly correlated with growth for your company.
Monitoring social media mentions allows businesses to gauge the level of online conversation around their brand, and identify influencers or brand ambassadors to amplify their reach.
There are certain software solutions out there (social listening) that can do this for you, but unless you’re honing an otherwise perfected brand awareness strategy, it might be wasted effort.
For example, a popular beauty brand can track the number of times its brand name is mentioned on platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter (X?), and YouTube. They then dive into the profiles of those people and discover what types of fashion and music they like.
That fashion and music may now be included in an upcoming TV commercial to solidify affinity with the brand.
What’s important for most brands, though, is to be aware of the hashtag and mentions where the brand is associated with on your major social media platform of choice, and to engage with people positively.
Search volume and keywords
Take a look at your Google Search Console analytics.
Is your brand consistently drawing traffic to your website via branded keywords?
These are search terms that include your brand name.
For example, it’s great to run an SEO strategy for “civil engineers Edmonton,” but you’ll also want to see year-over-year growth in “[insert brand name] Edmonton” as a search term as well, because that’s indicative of growing brand awareness and a positive reputation.
Now look at your Google analytics, and see how much direct traffic your website gets.
These are people who are typing in your URL or maybe even have you bookmarked.
Don’t expect this metric to grow exponentially over time, but seeing some direct traffic tied to conversion events on your site (form submissions, etc.) is a great sign.
Brand awareness surveys
If you have a large enough audience, you can actually choose a portion of them and run a survey.
Surveys can be quantitative (“on a scale of 1-5, you are...”) or qualitative (“how did you hear about us?”)
Large organizations love numbers because they feel irrefutable and mathematical, but don’t neglect to ask open-ended questions for a feel for the words your clients use when talking about your brand.
Strategies to boost brand awareness
Now that we have covered the importance of brand awareness and the key metrics for measuring it, let's explore some effective strategies to boost brand awareness.
Brand awareness is a crucial aspect of any successful marketing strategy.
Leverage social media platforms
Social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, offer businesses a vast audience reach and engagement opportunities.
Social media platforms have billions of active users, making them an ideal channel for brand promotion.
By creating compelling content and leveraging social media advertising features, you can effectively increase brand awareness among your target audience, or Ideal Client Profiles (ICP).
One effective strategy is to develop a consistent brand voice and aesthetic across all social media platforms.
This helps create a cohesive brand identity, and makes it easier for consumers to recognize and remember the brand.
Additionally, your business can use social media analytics tools to gain insights into your top audience demographics, preferences, and behaviours.
Use this information to tailor content and messaging to better resonate with the target audience.
Utilize content marketing
Content marketing involves creating and sharing valuable and relevant content to attract and engage a target audience.
By consistently producing high-quality content, you can actively position your business as an industry thought leader, increase brand visibility, and enhance brand awareness.
One effective content marketing strategy is to run a podcast or video series.
This allows you to share informative articles, industry insights, and expert opinions with your target audience.
Additionally, you can mix it up with other types of content such as written blogs, infographics, and industry playbooks.
These formats can help diversify the content and cater to different audience preferences.
Because if you’re going to ask that the market get to know you, you ought to meet them where they are.
Leverage your network
A lesser-known way of growing brand awareness is to proactively ask your network to link to your website in their blog or elsewhere on their website.
In SEO, these are called backlinks, and they are highly valuable in terms of growing your reputation online.
A high number of positive backlinks will encourage Google and other search engines to promote your website in search results, which also positively correlates with increased brand awareness.
If you’d like to measure the success of your backlinks, they will show up as referral traffic in your Google Analytics.
Tips for successful brand awareness campaigns
Consistency is key
Consistency is crucial when it comes to brand awareness campaigns.
You need to ensure that your brand messaging, visuals, and overall brand identity are consistent across all communication channels.
This consistency reinforces brand recognition and facilitates brand recall among consumers.
Engage with your audience
Engaging with your audience is an effective way to build brand awareness.
Encourage conversations, respond to comments and inquiries, and actively participate in relevant online communities.
By engaging with your audience, you create a positive brand experience and foster brand loyalty.
Create and deliver on a brand promise
If you can do one thing to drive more brand awareness—greater recognition, recall, and relationship—it would be to always deliver on your brand promise.
And that means you need to have a brand promise.
This is so much more than your list of products or services.
A brand promise is your offer and guarantee.
It’s the simple statement that anyone can use when they talk about your brand with other people.
So it pays to make sure it’s meaningful, and even more-so that you never miss the mark.
Want to learn more about how Clickex is the next best click for powering your growth? Chat with our team today and let us show you how to build a legacy brand through the power of the internet.