Brand awareness refers to the extent to which people are able to recognize and remember your brand, and it is an indispensable aspect of your marketing campaign. “Out of sight, out of mind” seems to summarize most consumers’ experiences when it comes to brand awareness. After all, if the audience you are trying to attract never sees you, they will never know exactly what you can do for them, and no matter how good your product or service is, you will not earn their business. This sounds obvious, and most people are at least vaguely aware of how important brand awareness is, but many marketing professionals still struggle with how to ensure their company’s voice is heard in such a loud and crowded market.
Brand Recognition and Brand Recall
There are two ways of thinking about brand awareness: brand recognition and brand recall. Brand recognition refers to whether or not consumers can identify you when they see you. Brands that have mastered this have found a way to utilize a slogan, logo or mascot in order to immediately associate their product or message with these images or phrases. For instance, if you are watching television and find yourself presented with a commercial featuring a little talking lizard, chances are you recognize the insurance brand GEICO without even giving it a second thought.
Brand recall represents a slightly stronger form of brand awareness and occurs when your audience is able to remember you when given only a category. If you were to ask people to pick up potato chips, for example, they would most likely think about Pringles or Lays before even going to the store. Without any prompting other than the mention of the product, these two brands come to mind right away. Of course, when in the aisle, you may see other labels you recognize, but most consumers gravitate towards the lines they are most familiar with. Increasing brand awareness means more people are going to consider purchasing your product or, at the very least, take the time to learn more about you.
Using Branding to Increase Your Visibility
No consumer can remember every single brand in every single category. It requires careful attention to branding on your part to ensure you are noticed. The most successful brands have made their logos, slogans, mascots, and therefore their companies, a part of popular culture. This seems like a tall order, but there are several methods you can apply that can boost your brand awareness and increase your likelihood of inspiring brand recall and recognition in your audience.
Consider your product and exactly what you are trying to say. If you are selling a service, it might be in your best interest to create a strong association with the category of service. By doing so, when consumers find themselves in need of help in that category, you will come to mind without further prompting. If you are selling a product, making yourself memorable, vibrant and unique on a shelf will catch their eye. Be consistent and clear in your branding; make it obvious exactly who you are and keep colors, fonts and verbiage the same no matter what platform they appear on.
While being consistent and repetitive will ensure your message gets across, it is also important to remember audiences appreciate information, advice and entertainment, rather than being barraged with advertisements they do not consider valuable. Branded, shareable content that educates or entertains is one of the most effective ways to spark brand awareness and makes your audience want to come back to you.
Most importantly, remember that brand awareness only pushes consumers to discover more about you. It cannot accomplish everything from a marketing perspective, so be sure to follow through with quality, reliability and reputation.