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Increase Brand Awareness

Posted by qualtrics on July,  2022

Does your brand immediately come to mind when someone thinks about your product or service? Are you synonymous with what you do? Do new customers arrive at your door with existing knowledge of who you are and what you sell?

Your ultimate guide to brand awareness and how to increase it

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness can be simply explained as people knowing the name of, or recognising your brand. But taking this one step further, and is perhaps the most important aspect, brand awareness is also about what you’re known for. Generally, it’s better to be known, than not known.

Brand awareness is generally thought of as the first step in the buying process and the most important. Without awareness, the consumer will generally not consider your brand for purchase. There are rare cases (e.g. impulse buying, or some lower engagement categories) where purchase can take place without prior knowledge of the brand, but by increasing brand awareness, you’ll reduce your reliance on consumers finding you by chance – because you’ll find them.

The two types of brand awareness

Brand awareness is an important metric for gauging how well your target audience knows your brand. In fact, awareness measures are often used in research to assess brand performance and marketing effectiveness. For example, does increased awareness lead to improved brand performance?

We can assess this success through two levels – unaided awareness and aided. Your preferred measure will vary according to the size of your brand – for example, if you’re a smaller brand then unaided awareness will be particularly hard to achieve and therefore not much use measuring.

Unaided brand awareness

Unaided brand awareness is unprompted recall of the brand name or product, with a cue (which generally, the category of products). You can use this approach to assess how top of mind your brand is too – i.e. when your brand is the first brand to be named unprompted. “Top of mind” is a desired state because people tend to recall the products they use, so it is usually a strong indicator of performance and a predictor of choice.

You can then compare your brand’s top of mind to other brand’s top of mind scores. However, pay attention to brand size so you are making a like for like comparison.

For example, “What is the first brand that comes to mind when you think about refrigerators?”

“Can you think of any other brands of refrigerators,” is a typical follow-up question (and often referred to as ‘spontaneous awareness’.

The first question is referred to as Top of Mind Awareness, the net of the first and second questions is a brand’s Total Unaided Awareness.

This is a good metric but don’t lose sight that this is sensitive to how the cueing statement is written. For example “What is the first brand that comes to mind when you want to get something to eat out of your home?”

Compared with “What is the first brand that comes to mind when you want to get something to eat?” In the first case, you are likely to get brands of restaurants, in the second case, you may also get newsagents, pubs, supermarkets, and restaurants.

Aided brand awareness

Aided brand awareness is the recognition of your brand name when prompted with a list of brand names or logos.

Unaided awareness constitutes a much more difficult task for the respondent than aided, and brand size is usually a factor that needs to be taken into account. Typically the bigger your brand is, the more likely you are to achieve unaided awareness.