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The Importance of Measuring Brand Awareness in 2021 (and How to Measure it)

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”–Jeff Bezos.

What do brands like Kleenex, Coke, and Band-Aid have in common? These are proprietary eponyms. 

Confused?

When you cut your hand by mistake, do you search for a plastic bandage or Band-Aid? When sitting at a restaurant, do you order cola or Coke? When you want to wipe your face clean, do you look for tissue paper or Kleenex?

All three brands are so popular that they’ve successfully replaced generic or dictionary terms for similar products. That’s the kind of brand awareness every business must strive for. 

Brand awareness is the extent to which customers can remember, recognize and recall your brand. It represents the customer's familiarity with your brand. Brand awareness helps you understand the impact and success of your marketing campaigns.

Brand Awareness

Today, companies are leaving no stone unturned to increase their brand awareness because it can change the purchase decision. A customer is likely to purchase products from a brand they can recall over a newly launched brand. 

In this article, we will discuss how to measure brand awareness and the importance of measuring it. 

5 Ways to Measure Brand Awareness

There is no point running behind your marketing team to increase brand awareness unless you know about the existing awareness of your company. For understanding how much customers recognize and recall your brand, you need to measure your brand awareness. Measure it by tracking metrics like website traffic, brand impression, social media engagement, surveys, and brand tracking studies. Let’s understand each one in detail:

1. Focus on social media engagement

Your social media engagement and fan following give you an idea of your brand’s reach. It helps in understanding how much people are familiar with your brand. Keep track of your social mentions. 

social media engagement

A social mention occurs when a social media user uses a specific hashtag or keyword that has your brand’s name. Use different social media listening tools to track these brand mentions.

2. Use Google analytics and trends

You can even use Google analytics and trends data to look for several ‘mentions’ your brand receives on the internet. You can also keep an eye on the search volume data to understand how often people search for your brand. Benchmark this data with the past trends to understand whether the ‘brand mentions’ are increasing or decreasing. 

3. Use surveys

Suppose you want to get information directly from the horse’s mouth, ask your customers about brand recognition and recall through surveys. Well-constructed surveys can help you measure brand recall, identity, image, trust, and loyalty. 

Use surveys

To ensure your survey results are a true reflection of your brand recognition, start with unaided questions that don’t mention your brand name. For example, a cosmetic brand would start with an unaided question like, ‘When you think of eyeliner, which brand comes to your mind first?’ Instead of creating open-ended questions, ask customers to choose from 4-6 brands for better survey results. You can ask simple questions like whether customers can differentiate your brand from the competitors or how they hear about you.

Today, with customers being vocal about their experience, they don’t mind sharing information and experience using surveys. Brand awareness surveys are an excellent way to get instant qualitative insights from customers. 

4. Track website traffic

Focus on tracking and measuring your direct and referral website traffic. Direct traffic is when customers intentionally type your URL and visit your website. When customers go directly to your website, it indicates that they’re aware of your brand. Also, it tells that your company enjoys a good brand recall. 

For measuring brand awareness, you need to measure the referral traffic as well. Referral traffic refers to visitors who visit your website by clicking on a direct link on other websites. Regularly track and monitor website traffic to understand the changes in brand awareness. 

5. Focus on brand tracking studies

Apart from these methods, you can focus on conducting brand tracking studies throughout the year to understand what customers perceive about your products. These studies help you monitor your brand health. For a complete brand tracking study, you may invest in robust brand tracking software. 

Conducting these studies helps you track key metrics over time, and you can understand what’s driving improvement. For ensuring accurate results from your brand tracking studies, make sure you have a good mix of existing customers and prospects.

The Importance of Measuring Brand Awareness 

Here are four reasons why it’s important to measure brand awareness:

1. Improves your marketing campaign’s prediction

By measuring and analyzing your brand awareness, you can predict the marketing campaign’s performance even before hitting the send button. Based on the previous measurement results, you can tweak changes in your marketing campaign. For example, if the social mention of your brand is high for a particular keyword or phrase, you can use it as a part of your next marketing campaign. You can even incorporate it into your SEO strategies.

Instead of crossing fingers and praying with closed hands for the marketing campaign to yield results, strategically designing a campaign will prove beneficial. 

2. Maximizes your ROI

Regardless of how you measure brand awareness, you’re making an investment. For example, you and your team may spend time creating marketing campaigns or investing in social media tools to increase your audience. As you’re investing your resources, it’s imperative to understand how your marketing campaigns are performing. One of the goals of any marketing campaign is to increase brand recall and recognition. 

So, it becomes important to understand which strategy increases brand awareness and which social media platform is best suited for your campaigns. For example, suppose the brand mentions are high on Twitter over Facebook. In that case, you can consider focusing a bulk of your resources there (Twitter) to maximize the ROI and cut spendings on Facebook. 

3. Showcases your success

Strong marketing metrics and excellent brand awareness are two pillars that can help you justify your marketing decisions to stakeholders and potential investors. 

For example, through brand awareness measurement, you conclude that referral website traffic is higher when compared to direct website traffic. Based on the results, you decide to invest and increase the guest blogging to place relevant links on external websites. Investing in guest blogging is a strategic decision. It may require substantial investment because you’re likely to hire writers, outreach specialists, and SEO experts to place the right keyword on the right website. 

When you have the marketing numbers in your hand, it becomes easier to persuade the top management about your decisions. 

4. Help identify the brand recognition stage

When you measure your brand awareness using the above tactics, you can identify your brand recognition stage. There are five stages:

Brand rejection: If your brand is getting associated with something negative, your brand awareness results will be low, and your brand mentions will have negative hashtags or keywords. 

Brand non-recognition: When customers cannot recognize your brand, it’s because you have not differentiated it from competitors. This results in brand non-recognition. If most answers to the survey results are about your competitors, your brand may be in this stage.

Brand recognition: If customers prefer your products over others, your brand is in the brand recognition stage. 

Brand preference: In this stage, customers prefer your brands over the competitors because you successfully created a sense of differentiation. If your social media engagement is higher when compared to your competitors, you may be in this stage. 

Brand loyalty: This is where customers choose your brand again and again. Even if they experience occasional poor service, they will continue to buy from you. If your direct traffic is high and if the customer answers all the brand awareness survey questions in your favor, you may have a loyal customer base. 

Brand Loyalty

Conclusion

Brand awareness is a hard nut to crack because it’s the foundation for building your marketing strategies. As it may seem like an intangible asset, many marketers fail to measure it. 

Don’t be among those brands. 

Keeping track of your brand awareness helps you understand which marketing strategies work in your favor. An increase in indicators lets you know that your brand is gaining more recognition and reaching a larger audience. 

Though simply tracking awareness will not help you grow, it gives you the right direction to take. 

For example, if your brand awareness is 10% and the competitor is 15%, you have a benchmark to measure your brand awareness against and a marketing goal to reach. 

Increasing the number of customers who can recall and recognize your brand is the key to critical business survival. Brands that measure their awareness are the one who can grow their business in no time. 

How are you tracking your brand awareness, and what benefits are you enjoying from measuring it?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!


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