To be able to recognize the existence and availability of a company’s product or service is known as Brand Awareness. Creating brand awareness is one of the key steps in promoting a product or service. It is particularly important when launching new products and services, as well as to differentiate similar products and services from one’s competitors.
Brand awareness includes both brand recognition and brand recall. Brand recognition is the ability of consumer to recognize prior knowledge of brand when they are asked questions about the said brand or when they are shown that specific brand. Brand recall, on the other hand, is the potential of customer to recover a brand from his memory when given the product class or category is mentioned. It is generally easier to recognize a brand rather than recall it from the memory.
Products and services that maintain a high level of brand awareness compared to competitors are likely to generate more sales. Using the examples above, consumers would be more aware of these brands as compared to other brands in the market – in terms of images and names. These would in turn, bring about higher sales and also serves as an ‘economic moat’ which stops other competitors from gaining more market share.
So, how is Brand Awareness being created? Brand Awareness can be created through traditional advertising, even though print media, like newspaper and magazines, is not as it once was. Advertisements placed strategically, such as in targeted publications, have the ability to attract viewer’s attention and create brand awareness. Brand awareness can also be created or improved by displaying a product or service in a prominent bricks-and-mortar location. The caveat is, your advertisements have to be relevant to your consumers. They have to serve a purpose, mean something to people.
Nowadays, Brand Awareness is brought about using social media. According to a study in 2015, 28% of time online is spent on social networking platforms such as Facebook, Inc. and Twitter, Inc. Ergo, social media is an effective tools for creating brand awareness. Consumers frequently discuss and like products and services that are of interest to them, or that they have purchased or intend to purchase. The brand awareness is created as other consumers view and interact with posts and updates. Consumers can also connect directly to the company’s website via social media, making this a seamless experience for the consumers.
Aside from these, sponsoring public events is an effective way to create brand awareness. Events such as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or social awareness fundraisers allow for prominent visibility of the company name and logo. Sponsoring local events can lead consumers to associate a brand or company with a community. For example, Great Eastern Life is the main sponsor for the Great Eastern Viper Challenge obstacle course races as well as the Great Eastern LIVE GREAT Runs, helps promotes the brands to those participating in the events.
At the end of the day, brand awareness is crucial for a company’s survival – for its products or services to be sold, as well as for it to be well recognized among consumers.
Jochen Zeitz, the ex-CEO and Chairman of Puma since 1990, managed to restructure the Puma when it was facing financial difficulties during that time. “The company was ready to close its doors; there was real financial distress. But on the other side, there was high brand awareness, but that was negative because Puma was perceived as low-priced. It had lost its cachet. It was a well-known brand without a presence,” he said.
By implementing long-term development plan, Zeitz, who served the company for 18 years, managed to turn Puma from a low priced, undesirable brand into one of the Top 3 brands in the sporting goods industry, making it one of the many brands consumers are aware of when they go into a shopping mall looking for a pair of sports shoes.