All of these sentences might look normal to some, but they all contain a brand that has become so popular and widespread that it’s being used in daily conversation.
Some might argue this is the ultimate goal of brand awareness. It’s definitely an indicator of success, but it’s not without risk. For example, if someone orders “a rum and Coke”, the bartender might not actually use a Coca-Cola, but a (cheaper) cola-flavored beverage. In such a scenario, Coca-Cola, who invests millions in brand building each year, is the ultimate loser because it does not get the sale.
Why brand matters: How Your Audience Really Feels
One of the companies that comes to mind when we’re talking marketing and more particularly brand awareness is Apple.
Let’s use them as an example: Apple users don’t have a laptop or smartphone, they have a MacBook and an iPhone. Everyone perceives Apple as luxurious, stylish, high class, easy to use… That’s exactly what Apple and Steve Jobs wanted to achieve. Credits to them for doing so, because making sure that your customers get the right brand perception is quite difficult. While you want to be positioning luxurious and high quality, you don’t want to be seen as arrogant or snobbish. What (potential) customers think about your brand is one of the most important things for a company.
But how do you measure brand awareness? And what exactly do you want to measure? These are important questions to ask because there are numerous types of brand awareness.
Types of brand awareness
Brand recall Brand recall is the extent to which a brand name is recalled as a member of a brand, product or service class. You can only speak about brand recall when it’s an unaided recall. Unaided recall takes places when the consumer doesn’t get any help, suggestions from the interviewer. For example, a consumer may be asked to recall the names of sports brands without any help from the interviewer. Unaided answers could be: Adidas, Nike, Puma, Reebok… A term that aligns with brand recall is brand recognition. This is the extent to which a consumer can correctly identify a particular product or service by its attributes such as logo, tagline, packaging or advertising campaign. By playing these attributes out well, you should try to reach top-of-mind awareness. Getting there takes a lot of effort, but it should be one of your key marketing goals since it’s very valuable for your company. For example, someone sees babies on a commercial and they can directly identify it with Evian.
Brand loyalty Brand loyalty is the tendency of customers to continuously purchase one brand’s products over another. The consumer becomes committed to the brand and will most likely praise the company and its products. This is the level of commitment you should try to achieve. Along the same lines is a concept called brand trust. It’s the level in which a customer is confident in its brand. Let’s say a company has done something illegal or immoral – Volkswagen’s recent scandal over cheating on pollutions emissions test is a good example. At what time will their potential customers feel confident that the company has addressed the issue and can be trusted again? Buying a car- which is a significant purchase for almost anyone – requires a great deal of brand trust, something that Volkswagen lost as their misconduct was revealed to a global audience.
Brand identity Brand identitiy is the identity that a company wants to project in the customer’s mind. It’s totally controlled by the company and can, therefore, be used to affect the brand image. A strong brand identity results in strong customer loyalty, good prices, and high credibility. When the company has positive brand identity, the employees are usually proud to work there which results in better employee morale and loyalty. Brand identity is a noticeable element, usually in the form of a trademark, name, symbol, tagline etc.
Brand image Brand image is the impression the customers form about a particular brand over a certain amount of time. It’s constantly affected by consumer’s experience or association from all sources. Brand image is important. A good brand image results in more word of mouth, praise and sales for your company. It’s completely formed on its own in customers’ minds.
Aim to create a positive brand image of your own. One way of doing so is by having a good brand identity. Because it’s something a company can completely control as mentioned before. For example, Audi as a car is associated with luxury, power and status. The brand image of Audi is positive in minds of their target audience and would, therefore, be seen as an absolute parameter of one’s success.
Every brand will try to position itself in a certain way – either through storytelling and letting their products sell themselves or by pushing their products to the forefront of the consumers’ attention. Your marketing strategy and the story behind your brand will determine how the consumers perceive your brand – and if they’ll but what you’re selling. Make sure you measure your brand awareness efforts.
Using Brand Awareness Surveys to gain actionable insights
It’s not always easy to know what the consumer thinks about your brand. By doing a brand awareness survey, you can get a good look at what you’re already doing well and where there is still room for improvement. As the customer should be your main concern, it’s in your interest to give them a voice. Both negative and positive answers can come in use for your brand.
Customer feedback will give your customer the feeling that you care about them and that their opinions will matter in future decisions of the company. Almost all the well-known brands use customer feedback to measure and improve their products and services.
It’s just like starting a conversation. You ask one question at a time and they give an answer to it. Using a survey tool to measure brand awareness is more effective – giving potential customers the ability to provide honest feedback. When doing face-to-face surveys, people may feel the obligation to answer your questions in a particular way. Therefore the results could come out being more biased and not 100% truthful.
A survey tool also allows easy data collection to analyze afterwards. The analyzed data can deliver you some new insights on your brand that even you didn’t know.
Imagine that you’ve got a company that sells fresh smoothies and the way you see your brand is: healthy and convenient. You start doing a survey and you see some customers come up with the answer: great for sporting. You could take a benefit out of these answers by becoming active in the sports market. This way, you align with a valuable brand perception – one that your customers already had, but you weren’t aware of – and in so doing, see your reach, brand awareness and sales grow as a result.
And most important of all, what is the real customer’s perception of your brand? You may think that you’re providing great service, but is that really the truth? Let the voice of your customers speak, listen to them and improve your brand.
It’s not easy to determine when to send a brand awareness survey to your customers. This depends from company to company. Are you in the B2B market, in the B2C market, or both? What time zone are you and your customers living in, do your customers live in other countries? What is your company’s population segment? Are they teenagers who go to school, young adults who just got their first jobs, married adults with kids…
There’s only one good way to truly know what the right time is for you to reach out to your customers. Test it out. The ideal time to send a brand awareness survey out for another company may not be the best time for you. Optimize your company’s ideal survey window by testing to see what works for your consumers.
You ask your customer for something, but what do they get in return? It’s always nice for customers to receive something after a particular ‘performance’. You can do this in various ways.
They can get either an intrinsic or an extrinsic reward. Lays came up with a great intrinsic reward. Give your customers the feeling that they’re being involved and that their vote is being used; In 2017, Lays had a campaign called ‘Do us a flavor’ where the participants could come up with a new chips flavour that Lays was going to bring out on the market. The consumers did decide who the winner was. This was obviously a huge success. There was also an extrinsic, cash reward linked to it but you get the point.
An extrinsic reward is usually something more direct. The chance to win one of their products, services, coupon codes… This comes with a great cost of course. Not only in terms of money, but also in the credibility of your data. Especially if you’re giving them a coupon code right away. Some individuals might complete the survey just to receive their reward which could give you a bunch of invalid or unusable responses.
Or the most straightforward approach, giving a coupon code right away after they’ve filled out the survey.
You should be eager to learn from your customers. Whether it’s positive or negative feedback, you need to know how your brand is being perceived. Therefore a brand awareness survey is the perfect way to measure marketing efforts and get valuable insights on how you can improve.