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In Defence of Brand Awareness

How vain are you?

Seriously…. How much vanity do you have?

Because brand awareness is the vanity metric du jour.

The ultimate scapegoat in marketing campaigns.

“We got great brand awareness” “We’re doing a brand awareness campaign” and many more cliches.

Everybody’s favourite whipping boy of a metric has a very bad rap.

But it’s not wholeheartedly deserved.

You see brand awareness, when done properly mind you, is REALLY GOOD!

The problem is a lot of rubbish marketers use it as the great get-out clause for when a campaign idea hasn’t gone well.

Why Is Brand Awareness Important

Why? Because it makes you memorable!

How easy is it for you to recall the Coca-Cola logo? What about the golden arches of Mcdonald’s? What about that one advert jingle you heard when you were younger that you can still remember? I still occasionally hum “Ho ho ho, Green Giant!” when I open a tin of sweetcorn.

The point is brand awareness is important because it leads to brand recognition.

Your brand visibility will lead to more people remembering you. It will lead to people recognising who you are and what you do. It will also make them remember how you made them feel.

With that, if you’ve done it right, they (your audience) will have nice warm fuzzy feelings about you rather than running for the hills!

Think about it like this as well, how can people ever buy from you if they don’t know you exist? How can they trust you if they have never seen you or your work before?

I rest my case.

How To Measure Brand Awareness

Important Detour

Before you start diving into the nitty gritty of building brand awareness, you need to know how to measure it.

I always say that every metric on its own, even revenue, is a vanity metric.


Before you run away screaming, hear me out (please).

Brand awareness is great ONLY if it helps build leads and customers.

Revenue is only good if you turn a good profit and it’s not eaten up by the cost of sales.

Metrics are only good when they are compared in context to other metrics.

With that in mind, measure your brand awareness effectively to see how important it is.

That data will provide you with the information to help make your business grow.

Measuring Brand Awareness

This will greatly depend on the platforms you are using, but the most common social media metrics are Reach, Impressions, Share of Voice, Market Share, and Engagement Rate.

Specifically for websites you can look at your Google Analytics for Users, Acquisition Channels, Traffic, and Click Through Rate.

All of the above will help provide you with an idea of if you are growing.

If you are growing your Reach, you are at least getting to more people. Congratulations!

But this only works well if you also increase Engagement Rate with it. That way you are reaching an audience that wants to engage and work with your brand.

Likewise, increasing your Impressions on  Google search is fantastic. Wahoo! But before you pop the champagne (pour me a glass please) look at the Click Through Rate. 

Has it grown? If so, then you know your brand is being recognised, more people are aware, and most importantly they want to check you out and what you do.

Use the tools you have already – Google Analytics, Meta Business Suite, Google Search Console, LinkedIn Insight, Twitter Analytics, etc.

These are all free and provide these basic metrics for free. That way you don’t even need fancy tools to make your campaign work.

Brand Awareness Strategy

Do not dive into just posting any old random rubbish on social media though.

Yeah, it might generate a little bit of attention but it won’t last.

There’s thousands upon thousands of profiles and pages that just post awful content in a vague attempt to reach more people.

So, for the love of coffee, PLEASE put some thought and strategy behind your brand awareness campaign.

By planning out your roadmap and strategy you are so much more likely to succeed in everything you do.

Think carefully about where you’re at right now, ask yourself;

  • How many people are you reaching?
  • Am I reaching the people I want to reach?
  • How recognisable am I to them?
  • How recognisable am I compared to my competitors?
  • What would I consider success in this area? What would the target numbers be?

Asking these kinds of simple but not easy questions will give you a good outline as to what you want to achieve.

From there you can work backwards from your dream end result to what you need to do every day to achieve it.

I will say it again as it is worth repeating;

Growing your business doesn’t happen by accident! Plan it, do it, measure it, improve it.

How To Create & Improve Brand Awareness

In a word? Experiment!

The first step is to actually create content. After that, then experiment.

Try different content types, different formats, different layouts, different tips and tricks.

Look at what is generating better engagement and greater reach and then reinforce that.

Maybe even look at your hashtag strategy. Are they contributing to your growth? If so, are some better than others?

Asking if your content is achieving what it needs to achieve, then brand awareness is part of the puzzle that helps achieve growth, customers, revenue, and so much more.

Part of the toolbox – not the whole thing

Brand awareness is fantastic but only when done properly.

It shouldn’t be viewed as a whole campaign or the ultimate goal. Instead, it should be a stepping stone, a mile marker, a progress notch on the way to sales, or leads, or conversions.

Brand awareness IS important, but maybe not in the way you think it is.