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Why brand awareness is important, especially in the digital age

Throughout my career in marketing, brand and communications, I have come across many marketing professionals and hiring managers who overlook brand awareness to contribute to the bottom line. In my view and observation, conversions and sales are what they are focused on mainly. I guess you can’t blame them; for a business to stay afloat, it must make a profit, and for that to happen, it must drive sales, and sales come from an engaged audience that converts, become full-time customers, and eventually brand advocates.

But one thing these professionals forget is that brand awareness is the very first step in the marketing funnel or any marketing efforts. Prospects wouldn’t engage, convert, and become customers and advocates if they are first not aware of a brand.

I think the disinterest in brand awareness is because it’s pretty challenging to measure return on brand awareness. Trust me; it will be difficult if you are looking at brand awareness in solitude.

To me, it’s like, discrediting the warm-ups that you do before an exercise because they don’t burn the number of calories compared to lifting heavyweights. If it weren’t for the simple, sometimes seemingly meaningless warm-ups, your body wouldn’t even handle the simplest of weights. But I digress; this is a topic for another day.

According to Allie Decker, brand awareness represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand and how well they recognise it. Brand awareness might seem familiar amongst start-ups, mainly because they are still new and people don’t know about them. But well-established brands also focus their efforts on increasing brand awareness to remain relevant and attract new customers.

Some people refer to themselves as “Apple people,” “BMW people,” or “Adidas people,” – wait, I think I just described myself. Anyway, this is what brand awareness can do for a brand, and I don’t think I am the only person who advocates for Apple, BMW, and Adidas.

Okay, enough about me and the brands I spend most of my money on. Let’s get to why brand awareness is so important, especially in the digital age that we live in, specifically on social media.

Allie Decker shares my sentiments that for those marketers and business owners who like to gauge success with tidy numbers, brand awareness will likely ruffle their feathers because brand awareness might seem like a vague concept, and in truth, it is.

Just because awareness isn’t a metric that can easily be determined, it doesn’t mean that it has no value. The following are just a few crucial benefits of brand awareness you should note down and consider sharing next time to motivate an increase in your marketing budget.

Why is brand awareness so important?

Brand awareness is vital because it initiates brand recognition, foster brand recall, establishes brand trust, creates brand association and increases brand equity. As consumers, we tend to perceive a brand as good quality if it’s popular; more people are aware of it and use it. And most importantly, it’s not only that a brand is known, but rather what it’s known for, and such can only be archived through awareness.

Brand awareness initiates recognition.

We can recognise a specific brand we might not have been aware of, among other brands, through brand awareness. To build brand recognition, especially on social media, a brand must repeatedly provide consumers with a consistent visual or auditory brand experience through the content it shares, mainly because brand recognition is archived through reach, frequency, and consistency.

Recognition of brand can happen, for example, while scrolling through your social media feed and seeing a sponsored post by a specific brand. Once you notice the sponsored content, you recognise the brand and become aware of the brand immediately.

Brand awareness fosters recall. 

Brand recall plays a vital role in retaining your existing customers and getting them to buy more of your products or services.

Brand recall is different from brand recognition in that it does not come from the external incentive. Consider that your toothpaste is over and you need to buy a new one. Different brands are going to pop up in your mind. That would be a brand recall. However, without brand recognition, there can be no brand recall. And without brand awareness, there can be no brand recognition.

Another example of brand recall is that, when I talk of premium automobiles, you might think of Audi, Mercedes or BMW. Or if I ask you about your favourite soft drink, most of us will recall Pepsi or Coca Cola.

Brand awareness establishes trust. 

 Brand trust is critical in an age where consumers are more knowledgeable and do extensive research before purchasing. Once trust is established, consumers are more likely to buy a product repeatedly with little to no forethought.

And that brand trust is established by brand awareness. Brand awareness efforts give your brand a personality and outlet to be sincere, receive feedback, and tell a story to establish trust with consumers and customers.

Brand awareness creates an association.

Brand awareness helps associate the actions we take daily with particular brands, which leads to subconsciously replacing common words with branded terms. Some of the common ones used as verbs rather than nouns are Google something, Whatsapp a family member, or Facetime, a friend. 

Brand awareness increases brand equity.

A brand establishes its brand equity by building brand awareness because brand awareness is its foundation.

Allie Decker shares that once a consumer is aware of a brand, they start to recognise it without assistance, seek it out to make a purchase, begin to prefer it over other similar brands and establish loyalty. Brand loyalty not only spurs on other purchases but also inspires recommendations to family and friends.

What are other essential factors of brand awareness that I might have left out, which you deem essential?

Leave a comment, and share your thoughts with everyone reading this blog article.