Why is brand awareness important?
When we want our morning coffee to go, we’ll head to Starbucks. If we’re after comfy trainers, we’ll turn to Nike. These are examples of powerful brand awareness in action. But why is brand awareness important? Read on to discover some of the benefits of brand awareness and how building a strong brand can deliver great ROI.
What is brand awareness?
Before we look at why brand awareness is important, let’s take a look at what brand awareness means. In short, it’s when people are familiar with your brand’s products, services and values. They’re aware that your brand exists, and when this awareness is strong, it’s the first brand that jumps to mind when the need for your products or services arises.
This is different to brand recognition, which is about recognising your brand at various touchpoints through visual prompts, tone of voice and any other experiences. If you want to know more about the difference between these two types of attention, head over to our article on brand awareness vs brand recognition.
Why is brand awareness important?
Now we know what it is, let’s get down to the juicy stuff and find out why brand awareness is important. Essentially, people can’t buy your products if they don’t know you exist. So by making people aware of your business, you’re drawing their attention and putting yourself up for consideration when the time comes to make a purchasing decision.
The more you build up this awareness, the more familiar people will be with your brand. And given that 59% of people prefer to buy products from familiar brands, this familiarity helps drive sales. By building up awareness, customers get to know your brand on a deeper level which builds an emotional connection and helps gain their trust.
The benefits of brand awareness
So we know brand awareness is important for getting your name out there and driving sales. But how does this actually work? Brand awareness has a positive impact on everything from building trust to delivering quality leads, which is why it’s the very foundation of a growing business. Let’s take a closer look at the 5 key advantages of brand awareness:
- Boost your lead generation
While awareness campaigns cast a wide net that introduces you to as many people as possible, lead generation specifically targets those who are more likely to convert. Although these are two very different strategies and brand awareness doesn’t directly bring in leads, it will give your lead generation efforts a boost.
Trust is a major driver behind brand purchases for 53% of consumers, coming second only to price (64%). If your targeted customers have never heard of you, they’ll be less likely to click on your ad. On the other hand, if they’re already aware you exist and have a positive impression of your brand, they will be more willing to take a look. This all comes down to trust built through familiarity, making brand awareness a great way of capturing quality leads.
2. Nurture customer loyalty
As well as boosting your ROI on lead generation activities, brand awareness also lowers your customer acquisition costs by increasing customer loyalty. One of the benefits of brand awareness is that it inspires trust by introducing customers to the heart and soul of your company. Through your brand’s narrative, personality and values, you can shape people’s perception, forge an emotional connection and inspire trust in your brand.
This gives customers the confidence to go ahead and try your offer. One positive experience then leads to another, nurturing that trust and turning it into brand loyalty. Then when a customer next finds that they need your products or services, they’ll know they can rely on you to deliver.
3. Increase your market share & sales
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of brand awareness is that it can increase your market share. While it’s difficult to measure the ROI on awareness, brand awareness campaigns will both increase your visibility and guide customers to take specific actions. This means that by growing brand awareness, you can increase your sales and dominate your market.
Ralph Lauren’s 50th-anniversary campaign is a great example of this. Looking to raise brand awareness among millennials and Gen Z consumers, they teamed up with Instagram and Facebook to run a 3-month brand awareness campaign using video ads and Instagram stories. The result was an increase in brand awareness throughout six different global markets, along with an 18% increase in online sales from new millennial customers.
4. Cut through the noise
With e-commerce opening up endless retail space for new businesses to enter, customers are faced with more choices than ever before. This makes the decision-making process all the more challenging, which is where familiarity comes into play. When choosing between various brands, customers are more likely to choose those with high brand awareness.
If customers don’t know where to start, then they’ll search online or in stores. Then when they recognise your brand among competitors they’ve never heard of, they’ll lean towards the one they’re most familiar with — that’s you. Brand awareness fosters familiarity so that when the need for your product or service arises, you can cut through the noise and increase your chances of becoming the chosen one.
5. Shape your brand perception
Another of the many advantages of brand awareness is that it helps you shape your brand perception. This is essentially the way people feel about your brand, what they think it represents, and whether or not they like you. When we think of Apple, we think of a premium product that’s intuitive and user friendly. This is our perception of the brand.
While every touchpoint during the customer journey helps shape this perception, your brand awareness campaign is possibly the most important of all. This is your chance to make a positive first impression, shaping the way that customers feel towards you and guiding the emotions behind all future interactions. When it comes to branding, first impressions last, so make them count.
Building your brand awareness strategy
From building trust and increasing sales to nurturing customer loyalty, the benefits of brand awareness are far-reaching. Now that we know why it’s important and how it can help grow your business, let’s take a look at how to build brand awareness.
A brand awareness campaign is about more than pushing your logo out into the world and should focus on introducing your brand’s values, mission and vision. Thanks to the growth of the internet, there are several actionable ways businesses of all shapes and sizes can do this.
As well as SEO, content marketing and paid ads, social media is a great option for startups and those on a tight budget. If you want to know how to build brand awareness using social media, then here’s how:
- Create a strong brand
A strong brand is the foundation of all effective brand awareness strategies. This means having consistency across every element, from logo and colour palettes to tone of voice. Regularly changing these will weaken the impression you make, presenting your brand differently each time. Instead, keep them the same to make sure that every interaction reinforces your brand, making it stronger each time.
Keeping the message consistent across these elements will also reinforce and shape the perception of your brand. By choosing colours and designs that form one cohesive identity, you can make a real impact right from the start. This is where brand guidelines can help.
Brand guidelines feature your chosen fonts, illustrations and colours, showing how to use them while explaining how they reflect your brand values and the image they’ll shape for your audience. This document will guide your content and branding to keep it consistent across every platform, helping you build a strong brand identity for an effective brand awareness campaign.
2. Team up with other people
Working with other businesses and influencers is a great way of tapping into a ready-made audience. Whichever path you go down, remember to choose your partners wisely. These partnerships will link your brands and values together, so if you want to make a positive first impression, align yourself with the right people and work with someone who is on the same page as you.
- Business partnerships
Lots of businesses target similar audiences, and by working together, you can help increase each other’s exposure. This works especially well when you offer products and services that go hand in hand, like when Starbucks and Spotify worked together back in 2015. By partnering up, you can each add value to your products or services while creating a sense of credibility.
A great way of doing this on social media is by running competitions and giveaways, which create a buzz around both brands while introducing you to each other’s followers. To be in with a chance of winning, entrants need to follow both accounts and like the post. This helps get it ranking and builds up a buzz. An extra requirement could be tagging friends and family in the comments, increasing your exposure even further and bringing in that all-important trust element.
- Work with influencers
When it comes to trusting brands, people look to others for reviews and recommendations. As well as encouraging customers to write reviews on your website or Trustpilot, you can head to social media and work with influencers.
An influencer is someone who uses social media to guide other people’s buying decisions through honest reviews, demonstrating your products in use and talking about your brand. The reason that influencers are a powerful marketing option is that they engage with their audience to the point that they form relationships, treating their followers like friends rather than fans. According to Google, 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers relate more to influencers than celebrities, while 40% of millennials feel more understood by creators than their friends.
People trust influencers, and by working with someone who matches your ideal target audience, you can tap into their following and increase your brand awareness among similar people. The costs involved will depend on their reach, but this typically involves free or discounted products and affiliate programmes.
3. Engage with your audience
When thinking about how to build brand awareness, remember that it’s all about getting yourself seen. Along with paid social ads, competitions and using hashtags to make yourself discoverable, try actively socialising with your audience in every way possible. Post about things other than your products or services to reveal more brand personality, all the while engaging with your audience by asking questions and replying to comments.
When Aldi ran their #FreeCuthbert Twitter campaign, other major brands like Morrisons, LadBible and the RSPB got involved, as well as local primary schools and fish and chip shops. This campaign created one of the biggest buzzes in 2021, and with the responding tweets either ranking or being featured on news articles, joining in helped numerous brands grow their awareness.
Another great way of engaging your audience and increasing brand awareness is by venturing further afield. Your account is where your brand lives, but that doesn’t mean your activity is limited to this space. Start following other people and comment on posts created by your followers or other brands you want to be associated with.
This small act of dropping your name in the comments can have multiple benefits that build brand awareness. You’re showing a human side which establishes trust, you’re keeping your brand at the forefront of your followers’ minds, and you’re tapping into their own audience.
Patience is key to a successful brand awareness campaign
A brand awareness campaign is a long-term strategy that needs time to work. Even for a large brand like Ralph Lauren, their 50th-anniversary campaign lasted 3 months, but brand awareness campaigns can generally take anywhere between 6 to 12 months to deliver results. We know the advantages of brand awareness and why it’s so important, so be patient, stay consistent and persevere.
The bottom line
Brand awareness is a fundamental part of growing a strong brand and a successful business. Here’s a quick breakdown of everything we’ve talked about, but if you have any questions, reach out to our branding team who would love to have a chat.
- Why is brand awareness important?
If they don’t know your brand exists, people will choose someone else. By growing your brand awareness, you put yourself at the forefront of your customers’ minds and build familiarity. Then when they need your products or services, you’ll be the brand they choose.
- What are the benefits of brand awareness?
There are many advantages of brand awareness, some of which include boosting your lead generation, nurturing customer loyalty and increasing your sales. Brand awareness can also shape the perception of your brand and help you stand out from the competition.
- How to build brand awareness
Building brand awareness is a long-term strategy that starts with a strong brand. Once you have a consistent and powerful brand identity that reflects your values, the internet offers multiple channels that can help extend your reach. Along with SEO, paid ads and content marketing, social media is a great option for businesses of every budget that lets you quickly tap into a ready-made audience.
Team up with other businesses and run competitions, work with influencers to establish trust, and actively engage with your audience at every opportunity. Whichever channel you choose, remember that you want to align yourself with people who share similar values in order to make the right impression.
If you want to learn more about how to build brand awareness, then check out our other article, 5 tips for building brand awareness.