Brand Awareness – Definition and Strategies Proven To Work

Brand awareness plays a huge part in successful brands, as it is vital to building a strong brand.However, it is often a forgotten piece of the marketing puzzle.

Brand awareness describes how well people are able to remember and recognise your business, brand, logo and products in the market.

In this article, we will discuss the importance brand awareness plays for the long-term success of your business.

1. What Is Brand Awareness?

Brand awareness is the amount of people that recognise your business name, logo or products in the market.

It is how well the consumer can identify your brand under the intended conditions. By intended conditions I mean how well can a person can think of your brand under a defined problem.

For example, if you are hungry and do not have time to cook, fast food is a solution to your hunger. So, which brands do you think of under this circumstance?

Is it Mc Donald’s, KFC, Subway…

What if you are wanting, fast food, but you want to eat healthily?

Healthy fast food is part of Subways brand identity.

Brand awareness is being able to link your brand identity into the person’s memory, so they remember you.

There are many different ways to market a brand in order for it to display this certain image in the minds of the customer. The most known forms are a logo, name and colour.

Do you think it is coincidence that subway is green?

On the other hand, is it part of their brand identity…

2. Why Is Brand Awareness Important?

Brand awareness is massively important to all businesses, especially those in high competing markets.

This is because if someone has not heard of your business it will be unlikely that they purchase your product.

The science of persuasion tells us a lot about how people act under these circumstances. The research shows us that just by knowing a brand well enough can significantly increase a person’s chance of purchasing it.

To that end, this research is relatively new in the studies of psychology. However, marketers have observed it for decades.

Keller (1993), the most well renounced branding expert once said that brand awareness facilitates choice.

Rossiter and Percy (1987, 1997) later explored Keller’s as they commented, Brand awareness is defined as the buyers ability to identify the brand in sufficient detail to make a purchase”.

Celedon et al ( 2013) took this further in their research by observing that people who know a brand name within a category, will search less and even select the known brand over the higher-quality brands.

Huang and Sarigöllü (2012) also observe that, if people are not motivated to seek lots of information about a product they intend to purchase that they will choose the brand they know.

3. Building Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is a particularly important metric for new brands entering the market. This is because people need to know the available products circulating in the market for them to purchase.

However, brand knowledge and brand opinion become relevant for well-established brands (Çifci et al., 2016). They are competing on a different level than smaller businesses. In order to sustain their growth they need innovate to seem more desirable than the competition.

This is because we are living in rapidly changing times businesses are forced to innovate; otherwise they may get left behind by other competing businesses that enter the new market space.

This results in well-established brands facing new category buyers, as a news innovation can be supplementary as a substitute in other markets.

In addition, when medium to large business identity new markets they may decide to extend their brand.

When experiencing this brand awareness needs to be re-established.

Therefore, awareness is relevant for all brands, whether large or small in market share.

5. Push Or Pull Strategies?

When a person enters a store with a strong idea of what they want to buy, is usually because of some advertisement they have seen. A person has been influenced to come into your store or website by some offer or great deal they have seen from an advertisement.

This is the idea of bringing the customer to your business because of their preferred brand, is pull brand awareness.

However, others enter without a strong preference toward any specific brand and can easily change their preferences inside stores. They are looking for something to satisfy their need.

A shop that create choice, offers, or a replacement brand, if the intended brand is out of stock, or bait-and-switch. Then push branding can be achieved. Trying to control these types of behaviors inside the retail stores are defined as ‘compromised demand’ for frequently purchased products (FPPs). These are indispensable part of push strategy (Farris, Olver, and DeKluyver 1989; Reibstein and Farris 1995).


Consumers are less likely to choose a brand they hardly know. As there are underlying factors why a brand is hardly known and it comes with a risk. Whereas, if you have heard of a brand you subconsciously think it is a good for you to have already heard of it. This concludes that if you know the brand well enough you will have enough confidence to make a purchase. Furthermore, people choose known brands over the higher quality brands.


Aaker, D.A. (1991), Managing Brand Equity: Capitalizing on the Value of a Brand Name, The Free Press, New York, NY.

Celedon, P., Milberg, S. and Sinn, F. (2013), “Attraction and superiority effects in the Chilean marketplace: do they exist with real brands?”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 66 No. 10, pp. 1780-1786.

Çifci, S., Ekinci, Y., Whyatt, G., Japutra, A., Molinillo, S. and Siala, H. (2016), “A cross validation of consumer-based

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Huang, R. and Sarigöllü, E. (2012), “How brand awareness relates to market outcome, brand equity, and the marketing mix”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 65 No. 1, pp. 92-99.

Keller, K.L. (1993), “Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 1-22.

Keller, K.L. and Davey, K.K. (2001), “Building customer-based brand equity”, Advertising Research Foundation Workshop, Advertising Research Foundation,New York, NY.

Percy, L., and J.R. Rossiter. 1992. A model of brand awareness and brand attitude advertising strategies. Psychology and Marketing 9, no. 4: 263–74.

Reibstein, J.D., and P.W. Farris. 1995. Market share and distribution: A generalization, a speculation, and some implications. Marketing Science 14, no. 3: G190–202.

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