What Is Brand Awareness And Why It Matters For Your Business

Brand awareness is a measure of how familiar a customer is with a brand. The greater the brand awareness a business enjoys, the more its products and services are recognizable to its target audience, thus, in theory, augmenting its long-term strength in the marketplace. Brand awareness is a key element of an effective marketing strategy.

DefinitionBrand Awareness is a marketing concept that refers to the degree to which a brand or company is recognized and remembered by potential customers. It represents the extent to which consumers can recall or recognize a brand name, logo, tagline, or other brand elements when presented with them. Strong brand awareness is crucial for building and maintaining a brand’s presence in the market.
Importance– Brand awareness is a fundamental component of brand equity and plays a pivotal role in a brand’s success. It impacts consumer choices, influences purchase decisions, and contributes to brand loyalty. High brand awareness can lead to competitive advantages, increased market share, and higher perceived value for products or services. It also fosters trust and credibility among consumers.
Measurement– Brand awareness can be assessed through various methods: – Unaided Recall: Measures a consumer’s ability to spontaneously recall a brand when given a product category (e.g., “Name any car brand you know”). – Aided Recall: Assesses a consumer’s recognition of a brand when provided with a list of options (e.g., “Which of these car brands have you heard of?”). – Brand Recognition: Determines if consumers can recognize a brand’s logo, tagline, or other visual elements. – Surveys and Questionnaires: Gather consumer opinions and perceptions of a brand’s familiarity and recognition. – Social Media Metrics: Analyze online mentions, shares, and discussions related to the brand.
Factors Influencing– Several factors can influence brand awareness: – Marketing and Advertising: The level and frequency of advertising and marketing campaigns significantly impact brand exposure. – Product Quality: Consistently delivering high-quality products or services can enhance positive word-of-mouth and brand reputation. – Consistency in Branding: Maintaining a consistent visual identity and messaging across all touchpoints reinforces brand recognition. – Customer Experience: Exceptional customer service and positive interactions with the brand can lead to increased awareness through recommendations and reviews. – Market Presence: Expanding into new markets or demographics can broaden brand awareness.
Brand Awareness Levels– Brand awareness can be categorized into several levels: – Top-of-Mind Awareness: The brand that comes to a consumer’s mind first when thinking about a specific product category (e.g., “Coca-Cola” for soft drinks). – Aided Awareness: Consumers recognize the brand when provided with prompts (e.g., “Have you heard of Pepsi?”). – Brand Familiarity: Consumers are familiar with the brand but may not immediately recognize it (e.g., a lesser-known brand of smartphones). – Low or No Awareness: The brand is unknown to most consumers in a particular market or category.
Building Brand Awareness– Strategies to build brand awareness include: – Advertising and Promotion: Utilizing various advertising channels such as TV, radio, digital marketing, and social media to reach a wide audience. – Content Marketing: Creating valuable and engaging content that reinforces the brand’s message and values. – Public Relations: Building relationships with media outlets and influencers to generate positive press and media coverage. – Social Media Engagement: Actively participating in social media platforms to interact with consumers, share content, and build a community of brand advocates. – Sponsorships and Partnerships: Collaborating with other brands or sponsoring events to increase visibility. – Consistency: Maintaining a consistent brand image, message, and quality over time.
Assessing Brand Equity– Brand awareness is one of the dimensions of brand equity, along with brand loyalty, perceived quality, and brand associations. Strong brand awareness contributes positively to overall brand equity, which can result in higher market valuation and customer loyalty.

Breaking down brand awareness

Brand awareness is a broad and sometimes vague concept, but this does not decrease the relevance or importance of brand awareness to the success of a business.

  • Brand awareness describes the familiarity of a consumer to a specific brand.
  • Brand awareness allows organizations to dominate competitive consumer markets through differentiation and the usage of brand names in daily conversation.
  • Creating and maintaining brand awareness can be costly and a function of success.

How does brand awareness work?

For better or worse, consumers are spoilt for choice when making a buying decision. Overwhelmed at the thought of having to choose from multiple products, consumers often stick to brands they know. This is brand awareness at work. Awareness breeds familiarity and familiarity breeds a purchasing decision that the consumer is comfortable with.

Brand names that have turned into nouns are also great examples of brand awareness in action. Band-aids were originally made by Johnson & Johnson, but the term is now widely used to describe any small bandage regardless of manufacturer. 

Kleenex is a brand of facial tissue made by Kimberly Clark, but kleenex as a noun now denotes a generic term for any kind of facial tissue. Regardless of the product, brand names that have infiltrated the English language are so familiar to consumers that they do not have to think twice about purchasing them.

Why is brand awareness important?

Brand awareness is important because it is almost impossible to defeat. It is difficult to imagine that band-aid or kleenex will ever disappear from daily usage and be replaced with something else. Indeed, these brands enjoy what Warren Buffett called an economic moat. Businesses who enjoy an economic moat are so recognizable that their market share and profitability are protected from competitors.

Brand awareness is also important in industries where there is little scope for product differentiation. 

For example, soft drink is largely indistinguishable from one brand to the next. Companies such as Pepsi and Coca-Cola rely on brand awareness to beat their competition – even if their soft drink looks no different from their competitors.

Brand awareness also builds a brand’s value through brand equity. When consumers have positive experiences from brands they trust, brand equity increases. For the business, this means that:

  • They can sell their products or services at a higher price because of a higher perceived value.
  • They can expand their product or service offerings based on products that sell well.
  • They have a greater social impact because of the attached value of their brand.

Costly in the short term, a valuable asset in the long term

Brand awareness has the potential to be costly and time-consuming. Start-ups or smaller businesses hoping to emulate the reach of Johnson & Johnson or Coca-Cola will need to develop a robust brand that has the potential to appeal to a large group of people. 

Popular brands also attract further costs associated with maintenance as competitors seek to take advantage of their popularity.

For example, a restaurant bearing the name “Little Mac” was threatened with legal action by McDonald’s if they did not change their name.

Aside from the obvious trademark infringement, maintenance is important to ensure that a brand is not tarnished or sullied by copycat competitors.

Brands can also suffer from negative awareness when they are attached to people who act in contrast to the brand’s values or attract negative attention in other ways.

The impending death of Steve Jobs, for example, caused Apple share prices to fall.

This is because consumers believed the next CEO would be unable to maintain the product quality they had come to expect from Jobs.

Brand equity and premiums

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.  

Brand awareness and switching costs

Another key element of brand awareness is about switching costs. Once a brand is recognized, it becomes harder for the customer to switch to another brand.

As the familiarity with the existing brand helps the customer reduce the cognitive workload of getting to know another brand for that same product.

Therefore, brand awareness might work as a sort of friction mechanism, preventing existing customers familiar with your brand to switch to another brand.

Of course, in order to make this mechanism stick, the customer experience needs to be aligned with the other aspects of the marketing strategy.

Brand building and demand generation

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand awareness and marketing strategy

A marketing strategy is the “what” and “how” to build a sustainable value chain framed for a target customer. A powerful marketing strategy needs to be able to manufacture desire, amplify the underlying value proposition, and build a brand that feels unique in the mind of its customers.

Brand awareness, share of mind and moats

Economic or market moats represent the long-term business defensibility. Or how long a business can retain its competitive advantage in the marketplace over the years. Warren Buffet who popularized the term “moat” referred to it as a share of mind, opposite to market share, as such it is the characteristic that all valuable brands have.

Visual Marketing Glossary

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy where the marketing and sales departments come together to create personalized buying experiences for high-value accounts. Account-based marketing is a business-to-business (B2B) approach in which marketing and sales teams work together to target high-value accounts and turn them into customers.


Ad Ops – also known as Digital Ad Operations – refers to systems and processes that support digital advertisements’ delivery and management. The concept describes any process that helps a marketing team manage, run, or optimize ad campaigns, making them an integrating part of the business operations.

AARRR Funnel

Venture capitalist, Dave McClure, coined the acronym AARRR which is a simplified model that enables to understand what metrics and channels to look at, at each stage for the users’ path toward becoming customers and referrers of a brand.

Affinity Marketing

Affinity marketing involves a partnership between two or more businesses to sell more products. Note that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement where one brand can extend its reach and enhance its credibility in association with the other.

Ambush Marketing

As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Bullseye Framework

The bullseye framework is a simple method that enables you to prioritize the marketing channels that will make your company gain traction. The main logic of the bullseye framework is to find the marketing channels that work and prioritize them.

Brand Building

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Dilution

According to inbound marketing platform HubSpot, brand dilution occurs “when a company’s brand equity diminishes due to an unsuccessful brand extension, which is a new product the company develops in an industry that they don’t have any market share in.” Brand dilution, therefore, occurs when a brand decreases in value after the company releases a product that does not align with its vision, mission, or skillset. 

Brand Essence Wheel

The brand essence wheel is a templated approach businesses can use to better understand their brand. The brand essence wheel has obvious implications for external brand strategy. However, it is equally important in simplifying brand strategy for employees without a strong marketing background. Although many variations of the brand essence wheel exist, a comprehensive wheel incorporates information from five categories: attributes, benefits, values, personality, brand essence.

Brand Equity

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Customer Lifetime Value

One of the first mentions of customer lifetime value was in the 1988 book Database Marketing: Strategy and Implementation written by Robert Shaw and Merlin Stone. Customer lifetime value (CLV) represents the value of a customer to a company over a period of time. It represents a critical business metric, especially for SaaS or recurring revenue-based businesses.

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is a marketing method that divides the customers in sub-groups, that share similar characteristics. Thus, product, marketing and engineering teams can center the strategy from go-to-market to product development and communication around each sub-group. Customer segments can be broken down is several ways, such as demographics, geography, psychographics and more.

Developer Marketing

Developer marketing encompasses tactics designed to grow awareness and adopt software tools, solutions, and SaaS platforms. Developer marketing has become the standard among software companies with a platform component, where developers can build applications on top of the core software or open software. Therefore, engaging developer communities has become a key element of marketing for many digital businesses.

Digital Marketing Channels

A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Field Marketing

Field marketing is a general term that encompasses face-to-face marketing activities carried out in the field. These activities may include street promotions, conferences, sales, and various forms of experiential marketing. Field marketing, therefore, refers to any marketing activity that is performed in the field.

Funnel Marketing

interaction with a brand until they become a paid customer and beyond. Funnel marketing is modeled after the marketing funnel, a concept that tells the company how it should market to consumers based on their position in the funnel itself. The notion of a customer embarking on a journey when interacting with a brand was first proposed by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. Funnel marketing typically considers three stages of a non-linear marketing funnel. These are top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU). Particular marketing strategies at each stage are adapted to the level of familiarity the consumer has with a brand.

Go-To-Market Strategy

A go-to-market strategy represents how companies market their new products to reach target customers in a scalable and repeatable way. It starts with how new products/services get developed to how these organizations target potential customers (via sales and marketing models) to enable their value proposition to be delivered to create a competitive advantage.


The term “greenwashing” was first coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986 at a time when most consumers received their news from television, radio, and print media. Some companies took advantage of limited public access to information by portraying themselves as environmental stewards – even when their actions proved otherwise. Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing practice where a company makes unsubstantiated claims about an environmentally-friendly product or service.

Grassroots Marketing

Grassroots marketing involves a brand creating highly targeted content for a particular niche or audience. When an organization engages in grassroots marketing, it focuses on a small group of people with the hope that its marketing message is shared with a progressively larger audience.

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Hunger Marketing

Hunger marketing is a marketing strategy focused on manipulating consumer emotions. By bringing products to market with an attractive price point and restricted supply, consumers have a stronger desire to make a purchase.

Integrated Communication

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is an approach used by businesses to coordinate and brand their communication strategies. Integrated marketing communication takes separate marketing functions and combines them into one, interconnected approach with a core brand message that is consistent across various channels. These encompass owned, earned, and paid media. Integrated marketing communication has been used to great effect by companies such as Snapchat, Snickers, and Domino’s.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Myopia

Marketing myopia is the nearsighted focus on selling goods and services at the expense of consumer needs. Marketing myopia was coined by Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt in 1960. Originally, Levitt described the concept in the context of organizations in high-growth industries that become complacent in their belief that such industries never fail.

Marketing Personas

Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Meme Marketing

Meme marketing is any marketing strategy that uses memes to promote a brand. The term “meme” itself was popularized by author Richard Dawkins over 50 years later in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. In the book, Dawkins described how ideas evolved and were shared across different cultures. The internet has enabled this exchange to occur at an exponential rate, with the first modern memes emerging in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Microtargeting is a marketing strategy that utilizes consumer demographic data to identify the interests of a very specific group of individuals. Like most marketing strategies, the goal of microtargeting is to positively influence consumer behavior.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of the ability of a product or service to attract word-of-mouth advertising. NPS is a crucial part of any marketing strategy since attracting and then retaining customers means they are more likely to recommend a business to others.


Neuromarketing information is collected by measuring brain activity related to specific brain functions using sophisticated and expensive technology such as MRI machines. Some businesses also choose to make inferences of neurological responses by analyzing biometric and heart-rate data. Neuromarketing is the domain of large companies with similarly large budgets or subsidies. These include Frito-Lay, Google, and The Weather Channel.


Newsjacking as a marketing strategy was popularised by David Meerman Scott in his book Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. Newsjacking describes the practice of aligning a brand with a current event to generate media attention and increase brand exposure.

Niche Marketing

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Push vs. Pull Marketing

We can define pull and push marketing from the perspective of the target audience or customers. In push marketing, as the name suggests, you’re promoting a product so that consumers can see it. In a pull strategy, consumers might look for your product or service drawn by its brand.

Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing is as exactly as it sounds. It involves in-the-moment marketing to customers across any channel based on how that customer is interacting with the brand.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Reverse Marketing

Reverse marketing describes any marketing strategy that encourages consumers to seek out a product or company on their own. This approach differs from a traditional marketing strategy where marketers seek out the consumer.


Remarketing involves the creation of personalized and targeted ads for consumers who have already visited a company’s website. The process works in this way: as users visit a brand’s website, they are tagged with cookies that follow the users, and as they land on advertising platforms where retargeting is an option (like social media platforms) they get served ads based on their navigation.

Sensory Marketing

Sensory marketing describes any marketing campaign designed to appeal to the five human senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are enabling marketers to design fun, interactive, and immersive sensory marketing brand experiences. Long term, businesses must develop sensory marketing campaigns that are relevant and effective in eCommerce.

Services Marketing

Services marketing originated as a separate field of study during the 1980s. Researchers realized that the unique characteristics of services required different marketing strategies to those used in the promotion of physical goods. Services marketing is a specialized branch of marketing that promotes the intangible benefits delivered by a company to create customer value.

Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is a marketing strategy skewed toward offering a great experience to existing customers and incentivizing them to share it with other potential customers. That is one of the most effective forms of marketing as it enables a company to gain traction based on existing customers’ referrals. When repeat customers become a key enabler for the brand this is one of the best organic and sustainable growth marketing strategies.

360 Marketing

360 marketing is a marketing campaign that utilizes all available mediums, channels, and consumer touchpoints. 360 marketing requires the business to maintain a consistent presence across multiple online and offline channels. This ensures it does not miss potentially lucrative customer segments. By its very nature, 360 marketing describes any number of different marketing strategies. However, a broad and holistic marketing strategy should incorporate a website, SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media, public relations, in-store relations, and traditional forms of advertising such as television.

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