Product Awareness is Brand Awareness. Do you agree?

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Brand awareness plays an important role in most aspects of marketing. However, consumers’ cognitive process of brand awareness, which plays an important role in purchase decision or product usage experiences, is still unclear in the brain.

The absolute champion of brand awareness has to be Coca-Cola. 94% of the world’s population recognises their logo. Take your time to let that sink in. Even if you’re not a fan of fizzy drinks, you’ll have to admit that’s impressive.

Coca-Cola never passes on an opportunity to expose you to their branding – even if you’re not really aware it’s them. Yes, Santa Claus, we’re talking about you.

Their aim for fame isn’t just to show off – it’s an effective, well-thought-out brand awareness strategy, powered by brand tracking. Any person that’s born will know them, and whenever they’re thirsty, they’ll grab that drink they’ve seen everyone drinking. It’s what brand awareness does to people.

But it’s not just Coca-Cola, it’s Kleenex, Velcro, iPad. Or should I say: tissues, hook and loop fasteners and tablets? You might have forgotten or never even thought of the real names of these products.

And you’re not alone. 77% of people refer to certain items by brand names, even if the product is from a different brand. When brands win at brand awareness and brand tracking, their names become glued to the product they’re selling.


Back to basics: this is brand awareness.

Before we dive into the benefits of having high brand awareness, let’s look at what it really is. Brand awareness is how familiar your target audience is with your brand, or even your specific products or services.

It’s layered, but we’ll come to that later. If people can recall information about your brand or even link emotion to it, they’re aware of your existence, and its relevance to them. It’s not to be confused with brand recognition, which sums up the ways in which people can recognise your brand.


Why is brand awareness important?

A third of consumers already have a brand in mind when they go shopping. If that’s yours, you’ll be able to grow your brand and improve your marketing messages drastically.

Brand awareness is the foundation all your marketing efforts have to rely on, from social media to SEO. It’s what helps you make people aware of your brand and what you have to offer, so you can gain their trust and influence their decision-making process, in order to get more sales, faster.


Brand awareness pays off in terms of market share

Brand awareness becomes visible in the Google search bar. If people already know and consider your brand, they won’t go looking for ”the most comfortable running shoes”. They’ll type in ‘Nike running shoes’. Good luck to your competitors trying to rank on that.

Brand awareness and share of search are closely intertwined. In 2020, Les Binet, a thought-leader in marketing effectiveness, tested this theory in three markets: automotive, energy and mobile phone handsets.

He found that share of search correlates with market share in all three categories. Share of search goes up? Market share follows a few months later. And yes, the same goes for share of search going down.

It’s a long-term prediction, but that also is a benefit: having a relatively low share of search is an early warning sign that there’s trouble ahead, and you need to change your marketing strategy.

Back to brand awareness: a brand awareness campaign that is focussed on getting your name out there and into the search bars of curious customers is a great way to prepare your brand for the future.


It helps you improve brand perception

Another important brand health metric is brand perception, and it’s not the same as brand awareness. It goes beyond how many people know you, but focusses on how they feel about you. It’s basically the next step: you can have a lot of people know you, but if none of them like you, that big crowd is useless.

You might think that before people form an opinion on you, they’d have to interact with your business multiple times. That would give you some time between building brand awareness and improving brand perception, right? Not exactly.

When building brand awareness, if you understand how to measure brand awareness, then you also understand you’re already working on brand perception. Simply because first impressions matter. So if you want to think ahead, create brand awareness campaigns with that in mind, and measure their success with brand awareness surveys and brand positioning surveys.

3. It’s crucial in building trust

The more people are aware of your brand, the easier it is to build trust. Not only because people don’t need to start from scratch getting to know your brand if you’re always front-of-mind, but also because they will ask their peers.

If friends, family, and colleagues are aware of your brand, it’ll be easier for people to have confidence in you.

4. It’s useful for lead building at the top of the funnel

Don’t get me wrong: building brand awareness is not the same as generating leads. But if you are actively generating leads and want to step things up a notch, look at brand awareness.

Reeling in high-quality leads becomes a lot easier if they have heard from you before and you don’t pop up out of nowhere, having to introduce your company, products or services, values and great offers all at once.

5. It drives traffic to your website

Strong brand awareness campaigns will help you generate organic website traffic. Branded search is one of the key players in metrics for measuring brand awareness.

Ultimately, you’ll need to move on from awareness and have people actually consider buying from you. If you’re the first name that comes to mind when they have to buy something in your product category, they’ll head over to your website to check you out. That’s the moment you show your charm and can start converting.