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Brand Awareness? How… Soft.

12.17.2018 / Posted in Articles, Strategy

You’re proud of your company’s brand, right? (We figured you were!)

Yet you’d agree that it doesn’t matter how proud you are of your company’s brand if your target audience doesn’t even know about it, right?

THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND AWARENESS

Brand awareness represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognize it. When they name products in your category, do they name yours? When they’re looking at possible options for purchase, do they recognize your company’s or product’s name on the list of possibilities?

If the answer to one or both of those questions is yes, then you have brand awareness.

If the answer is no, you have work to do.

Though if you’re one of the many people who thinks brand awareness is just fluff, you may disagree. And if you are and do, you’re wrong.

Brand awareness matters because people will not buy a product or service if they haven’t ever heard of the company or product or service in the first place. For someone to buy something, they need to know it exists.

ESTABLISHING BRAND AWARENESS

Brand awareness doesn’t happen overnight or with a single advertisement. Strong brand awareness comes from interacting with your target audience in a lot of different ways and over a sustained time period.

Coca-Cola is one of the most iconic brands. Why? Since 1887, the company has worked hard to make its iconic brandmark and its brand promise top of mind for consumers. If we asked you to draw a picture of the Coke logo, we bet you could. If we asked you to describe your favorite Coke commercial, we bet you could do that, too.

Sure, we hear you: Few companies are like Coca-Cola. Yet just because you’re not one of the oldest and most established brands in your category doesn’t mean you don’t need to spend resources on brand awareness. In fact, we’d argue that the companies with the least brand awareness have the most to lose from not spending resources raising it—and the most to gain from focusing their energies in the brand awareness direction.

Ensure your company spends the time and resources it needs to build brand awareness in your category through a well-crafted marketing strategy, plan, and tactical implementation.

MEASURING BRAND AWARENESS

Some people would argue that one of the biggest downsides to brand awareness as a marketing strategy is the difficulty companies have in measuring it and determining whether their marketing activities are affecting it.

We disagree. On the surface, measuring awareness could seem baffling, but skilled marketers can do it.

Typically, companies measure brand awareness through surveys that ask their brands’ target audiences about

  • what products they can name in a certain category, to determine whether their brands appear on the audience’s lists and where they appear on their lists and
  • whether they recognize a brand name or brandmark and what they know about it.

Through performing these surveys of the target audience regularly over time, companies can monitor how their brand awareness marketing efforts influence the strength of their brand’s mindshare among their target audiences. After all, every brand wants to be the top-of-mind brand in its category.

For more in-the-moment measurements, companies can roughly measure brand awareness through assessing changes over the course of a marketing plan’s implementation across the following metrics:

  • Website traffic: Watch for changes over time in your brand’s website traffic. How many people come to your site directly? How many come through search engines? For people who come through search engines, what search terms did they use to find your brand? What do these search terms tell you about the visitors’ brand awareness?
  • Social media engagement: Have you seen an uptick in people liking and following your brand on social media? Have you seen an increase in engagement from your followers and fans?
  • Social listening: Manually or through numerous tools now available, monitor digital conversations across social media platforms and elsewhere on the web to understand what, if anything, people say about your brand on-line. (And if they don’t say anything, that’s something to note as well!)
  • Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts for your brand name and associated words and terms. Do you see an increase in mentions of your brand? If so, what conversations are underway? What do they say about people’s awareness and understanding of your brand?

As with all measurements, take baseline measures before you begin a brand awareness campaign. Knowing your brand awareness level before you begin a marketing effort—even if you find that your awareness levels are nil among your target audience—will help you best see the effects of your hard work.

GET STARTED WITH BRAND AWARENESS

Stop ignoring brand awareness in favor of what may seem like flashier tactics—they’re often less effective (and won’t work without a baseline of brand awareness in the first place). Brand awareness is key to your brand’s success.

Ready? Speak with FrogDog today to start mapping your brand awareness marketing strategy.

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