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Metrics That Matter: A Guide on How To Measure Brand Awareness

Published on
July 27, 2023
Branding is only as effective as the metrics used to measure its success. Learn how to assess your branding campaigns accurately here.

In the most recent Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands Report, Apple remains the world's number one brand in 2023, followed by Google and Microsoft. Laymen may wonder how these brands are ranked exactly or even suspect the accuracy of the process. In marketing, brand values are calculated using concrete and scientific metrics, including brand awareness. 

Brand awareness is the key to unlocking insights into the actual value and effectiveness of a brand. It provides valuable data that enables businesses to make informed decisions, refine strategies, and optimize marketing efforts based on the strength of their market presence. 

By harnessing the power of brand awareness, organizations develop a more thorough understanding of their target audience, evaluate the impact of their brand initiatives, and uncover opportunities for growth and differentiation. 

This article explores the significance of brand awareness and its role in shaping successful branding strategies. We will also analyze various metrics that help assess market presence, including accompanying challenges and pitfalls.

Key Takeaways 

  • Brand awareness is the level of familiarity a market has with a brand.  
  • It is essential to use brand awareness metrics to ensure branding goals are met. 
  • Several metrics help marketers evaluate the effectiveness of their brand awareness campaigns. 
  • Using brand awareness metrics can pose challenges, such as the subjectivity of consumer perceptions and the multiple touch points to be assessed for accurate findings.

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Understanding Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is an important metric in marketing, as it measures the level of brand recognition and familiarity a target audience has with a particular brand name. It quantifies the brand's visibility and recall in consumers' minds. High brand awareness is crucial for attracting customers, building trust, and gaining a competitive edge in the market.

However, analytics tools like Google Analytics and social listening tools, while valuable, are not enough to accurately quantify brand awareness. The process requires the use of metrics actually designed to assess this value, whether quantitative or qualitative.

Qualitative vs. quantitative brand awareness metrics

Quantitative brand awareness metrics focus on numerical data and objective measurements. These measurements are typically derived from quantitative research methods, such as brand awareness surveys, data analytics, and statistical analysis. As numbers represent them, these metrics provide a more objective and standardized assessment of a brand's performance, allowing easy comparison and tracking over time.

Mailchimp says a two to five percent website conversion rate is a good target across all industries. This value is obtained by dividing the total number of achieved goals (for example, clicking the Book Now button) by the total number of people who viewed the page. Conversion rate is one of the most essential quantitative metrics brands can use to assess performance. 

On the other hand, qualitative brand awareness metrics emphasize subjective insights and perceptions. They involve gathering qualitative data through interviews, focus groups, and open-ended survey questions. 

Qualitative brand awareness metrics capture the sentiments, opinions, attitudes, and experiences of individuals related to a brand. They provide an in-depth understanding of consumer perceptions, brand reputation, customer satisfaction, and emotional connections. They are also valuable in uncovering nuanced insights and generating rich narratives around a brand's impact and resonance.

An example of a qualitative brand awareness metric is the net promoter score (NPS), which represents the chances of a customer recommending a brand or product to others. The score is usually any number from 1 to 10, with 10 being most likely and 1 being least likely. Since NPS is a qualitative metric, defining an ideal value for all industries is impossible. However, B2Bs average between 39 and 65 while B2Cs range from 9 to 74, based on aggregated data from Retently

Why brand awareness metrics are important

Implementing brand awareness metrics is essential for several reasons, as it allows businesses to gain valuable insights into their brand's perception and impact on the target audience. Here are some key reasons to measure brand awareness:

  • Performance evaluation. Brand awareness metrics help assess the effectiveness of marketing efforts and campaigns. By tracking changes over time, businesses can identify successful strategies and areas that require improvement.
  • Competitive analysis. Understanding the level of brand awareness relative to competitors provides a valuable benchmark for gauging market position. It allows businesses to identify opportunities to differentiate themselves and gain a competitive edge.
  • Customer insights. Measuring brand awareness offers insights into consumer perceptions, preferences, and sentiments toward the brand. These insights help refine marketing strategies and tailor offerings to meet customer needs better.
  • Decision making. Data-driven brand awareness metrics aid decision-making processes, enabling companies to allocate resources wisely and optimize marketing budgets based on which channels and efforts generate the most significant impact.
  • Long-term growth. A strong brand awareness strategy fosters customer loyalty and trust, driving repeat business and attracting new customers over time. Consistent monitoring of awareness metrics ensures efforts align with long-term performance and growth objectives.
  • New product launches. Brand awareness metrics can inform new product launch strategies. A brand with high awareness is more likely to receive attention and consideration for new offerings, increasing the chances of a successful launch.
  • Partnerships and collaborations. Businesses with well-established brand awareness are more attractive partners for collaborations, expanding market reach, and growth opportunities.
  • Crisis management. During challenging times or brand-related crises, measuring brand awareness can help gauge the impact on consumer perception and guide appropriate responses to mitigate damage.
  • Market expansion. As businesses consider entering new markets or demographics, measuring brand awareness in these segments helps assess receptivity and adapt marketing approaches accordingly.
  • Investor confidence. For publicly-traded companies, vital brand awareness metrics can positively influence investor confidence and shareholder sentiment, impacting stock performance and attracting potential investors.

The impact of branding without measuring awareness 

From 2014 to 2022, Nike spent $3.03 to $3.85 billion on advertising and promotion. While we're not surprised, we're also sure Nike knew better than to spend such a fortune without a solid brand awareness plan that included reliable success metrics.  

Branding campaigns that do not implement brand awareness metrics can lead to adverse outcomes and missed business opportunities. Without measuring brand awareness, businesses may not know which marketing efforts are effective and which are not. This scenario can lead to wasted resources on campaigns that do not resonate with the target audience, leading to lower returns on investment.

Lack of customer insights is another negative consequence of branding without measuring brand awareness. These metrics provide valuable insights into consumer perceptions and preferences. Without this data, businesses may struggle to understand their customers' needs, making it challenging to tailor products or services to meet those needs effectively. 

Furthermore, it can lead to missed competitive opportunities. Brand awareness metrics allow companies to benchmark themselves against competitors. Without this information, businesses may miss opportunities to differentiate themselves or capitalize on gaps in the market, potentially losing market share.

Since brand awareness fosters customer loyalty and trust, neglecting to measure it could also decrease customer retention. That's because consumers may be less likely to stick with a brand they are not consistently aware of or connected to.

Additionally, brand awareness is crucial for attracting new customers and expanding market reach. If a business does not measure its brand awareness, it may miss out on opportunities to build and develop a stronger foothold in the market. Worse, it may be unable to address brand-related crises. 

Measuring brand awareness can provide valuable insights into the impact on consumer sentiment. Without such data, businesses may struggle to assess the severity of the problem and develop appropriate response strategies.

Lastly, failure to quantify brand awareness can lead to brand valuation issues in the case of mergers, acquisitions, or partnerships. Businesses must measure brand awareness to assess the value of their brand assets accurately.

Most Common and Effective Brand Awareness Metrics 

Image by Lukas on Pexels

In 2022, a top SaaS company surveyed at least 4000 consumers in the US, Great Britain, France, and Germany. They found that 46 percent, 47 percent, 44 percent, and 30 percent of consumers, respectively, were likely to purchase from brands familiar to them. These findings encapsulate the importance of brand awareness.  

Brand awareness metrics, which may be aided or unaided, measure the extent to which consumers are familiar with and recognize a brand. Aided metrics measure the percentage of consumers who can recall a brand when prompted, while unaided metrics quantify the portion of consumers who can remember a brand without being reminded. 

Overall, here are the most common brand awareness metrics used by successful brands today:

Brand recall and recognition

Brand recall and recognition metrics measure how well consumers remember and recognize a brand. These metrics can include surveys or tests that assess consumers' ability to recall or recognize the brand's logo, tagline, or key messaging. Strong brand recall and recognition indicate that the branding campaign has effectively established the brand's identity and made a lasting impression on consumers.

Reach and impressions

Almost 58 percent of the global population is on social media today. This statistic should explain the massive role social listening plays in reach and impressions. Both metrics reflect the size and scope of the audience exposed to a branding campaign. 

Reach measures the total number of unique individuals exposed to the campaign, while impressions measure the total number of times the campaign has been seen or heard. These metrics are particularly relevant for assessing the campaign's potential to generate brand exposure, reach a broad audience, and increase brand awareness.

Share of voice (SOV)

The American Marketing Association, on its website, says a 10-point excess in SOV increases market share by an extra 0.5 percent and by 1.5 percent for brand leaders. 

SOV measures a brand's presence and visibility relative to its competitors in the market. It calculates the percentage of mentions of your brand or the number of mentions, discussions, or advertising within the overall conversations or advertising space. A higher SOV signifies stronger brand awareness and visibility, indicating that the brand is gaining a significant share of consumer attention in its market.

Return on investment (ROI)

While not directly a brand awareness metric, ROI is a crucial indicator of the effectiveness of marketing efforts in driving brand awareness. It measures the return generated from marketing investments relative to the cost of those investments.

There are several methods of calculating marketing ROI, and determining a good ROI requires various considerations. Marketers generally aim for at least 0 percent, with 500 percent considered exceptional. An ROI of 0 means the branding or marketing spend is equivalent to the revenue gained from the campaign, while an ROI of 5 indicates that the campaign generated five times as much profit as the spend.  

Website traffic and conversions

Website traffic is a valuable metric to track as it indicates the number of people who have visited a website. However, each user is counted as one regardless of how many times they visited per reporting period. This applies to direct traffic coming from a user typing the website's URL directly on their browsers and referral traffic received after a user clicks on a link published on another website.

In any case, increased traffic can be attributed to several factors. These may include better-quality types of content, the use of more SEO boosters like backlinks and hashtags, or simply higher brand awareness. All this usually comes with the aid of techniques that optimize websites for search engines.

Beyond website visits, conversions measure the rate at which visitors take desired actions, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter. Higher conversions suggest that brand awareness efforts lead to increased generic or branded search volume, engagement, and interest.

Customer satisfaction

Based on a 2023 Zippia study, a brand's top 10 percent of most satisfied, loyal customers pay three times more for each purchase than the rest of its customers. While not a direct brand awareness metric, customer satisfaction is essential for building brand loyalty and advocacy. Happy customers are likelier to become loyal brand advocates, promoting the brand to others, contributing to positive word-of-mouth marketing, and boosting brand awareness. 

Brand differentiation

Brand differentiation, as a branding awareness metric, refers to the distinctiveness of a brand from its competitors in the minds of consumers. It measures the extent to which a brand stands out and is perceived as unique in its industry or market. 

Differentiation is vital in creating a competitive advantage, as it enables a brand to highlight its value, benefits, and attributes that set it apart from others. A higher level of brand differentiation indicates that the brand has effectively communicated and established its unique identity, making it more memorable and recognizable among its target audience.

Brand influencer impact

When Influencer Marketing Hub surveyed 3,500 brands, marketing agencies, and other professionals recently, 83 percent attested to the effectiveness of influencer marketing or branding. Influencer marketing is a potent technique for boosting brand awareness through collaborations with famous personalities with significant followings. 

Tracking the impact of influencer marketing campaigns can provide insights into the reach and engagement generated through those partnerships, contributing to overall brand awareness efforts.

Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a valuable brand awareness metric that measures the total worth of a customer to a brand over the entire duration of their relationship. It reflects the long-term impact of brand awareness efforts on customer retention, loyalty, and advocacy. When customers are aware of and identify with a brand, they are more likely to buy again, leading to higher CLV. 

A strong brand identity fosters a positive customer journey and emotional connection. It encourages them to stay loyal and recommend the brand to others, boosting CLV further. Monitoring CLV helps brands assess the effectiveness of their brand awareness strategies and understand the return on their marketing investments.

Common Challenges and Pitfalls of Applying Branding Metrics

Image by Alena Darmel on Pexels

Brand awareness metrics are crucial for businesses to gauge their offline and online market presence, but they come with challenges and pitfalls. Below are the typical hurdles businesses face in accurately measuring and interpreting brand awareness metrics and how to navigate them for a more comprehensive understanding of brand success:

The intangible nature of brand value

The intangible nature of brand value poses a considerable challenge in measuring brand awareness. Brands encompass a variety of intangible elements, such as brand perception, reputation, and emotional associations. These factors can significantly influence consumer behavior and brand loyalty, but quantifying them concretely can be elusive. 

Unlike tangible assets, like physical inventory or financial metrics, brand value is subjective and difficult to capture accurately. This intangibility makes it challenging to establish clear metrics that universally capture the diverse aspects of brand performance.

Metric-to-effort matching

Secondly, attributing specific metrics to marketing efforts can be highly problematic. Consumers interact with brands through multiple touchpoints — an average of eight before conversion, according to Rain Group's Top Performance in Sales Prospecting research. 

This diversity of brand touchpoints and the evolution of digital marketing further complicate the measurement process. With the proliferation of social media platforms and other digital channels, brands now engage with consumers everywhere online. 

Additionally, people encounter various marketing messages through television, social media, websites, and word-of-mouth. Determining the precise impact of each marketing effort on brand awareness becomes a complex task. Consumers' purchasing decisions are often influenced by a combination of factors, making it difficult to isolate the effect of a single marketing initiative. 

Time lag

Furthermore, the time lag between marketing efforts and their impact on brand awareness adds to the difficulty of attribution. Brand building is a long-term process, and the effects of marketing campaigns may take time and effort to discern. 

Consumers may require time to process and internalize the marketing messages before their behavior is influenced. Consequently, attributing specific metrics to individual brand awareness efforts becomes complex and time-consuming.

Poor data quality and data decay

Poor data quality can have significant ramifications for brand awareness and marketing metrics in general. It can lead to distorted insights, misleading conclusions, and flawed decision-making. Additionally, it can skew key performance indicators (KPIs), especially in this age of automation, making it difficult to evaluate the impact of branding initiatives accurately. 

The same is true for data decay, or the deterioration of data quality over time. For example, 40 percent of email users change their email addresses every two years. An email marketing campaign that uses invalid or outdated addresses can result in a higher bounce rate, lower deliverability, and damage to the sender's reputation. Additionally, it hampers effective communication and reduces customer engagement.

External factors

The influence of external factors on brand awareness presents additional pitfalls in measurement. Factors like Google trends, economic conditions, competitor actions, and cultural shifts can significantly impact a market's familiarity with a brand.  

These external factors may overshadow the impact of marketing efforts, making it challenging to attribute changes in brand awareness solely to marketing initiatives. Failing to account for these external influences can lead to inaccurate assessments of brand performance and misinformed decision-making.

Engagement limitations

While reach and impressions offer quantitative data on exposure, they don't necessarily reflect how effectively the audience connects with the brand. Measuring engagement requires a deeper understanding of qualitative factors, such as user interactions, sentiment analysis, and emotional responses to the brand's content marketing efforts.

Low customer engagement can indicate a disconnect between the brand's messaging and the target audience, leading to ineffective brand awareness campaigns. Moreover, relying solely on quantitative metrics might overlook valuable insights into the audience's perception and preferences. 

Addressing this problem requires businesses to invest in tools and strategies that delve into qualitative data, allowing them to gauge the true impact of their brand awareness efforts.

Did you know? According to Guinness World Records, Tate & Lyle is Britain's and the world's oldest brand. Its famous green-and-gold packaging has been the same since 1885, except for slight technical changes that resulted from war-related material shortages. 

Master Your Metrics for Branding Success 

It's worth noting that the specific brand awareness measurements used may vary depending on the industry, target audience, and campaign objectives. Businesses should select those that align with their goals and regularly track and analyze their numbers to evaluate the success of their brand awareness campaigns. 

By measuring these key metrics, businesses can gain vital insights, decide more confidently, and continuously optimize their branding efforts for maximum impact.

Contact Archive to know more about brand awareness metrics and how you can use them to maximize your brand power. Give us a call today and get started on a metric-based campaign designed for success. 

FAQs on How To Measure Brand Awareness

How long does it take to build brand awareness?  

The time it takes to build brand awareness can vary based on several factors, including the size of the company, the complexity of the product or service, the budget, and the marketing team. Generally, the process takes about four to six weeks as a start, followed by continuing, long-term efforts. 

Do I still need branding if I already have a solid customer base?  

Any business will continue to require branding despite having a solid customer base. As a brand grows, its message should evolve accordingly to remain effective. This will help the brand stay attractive to old or existing customers and entice new ones.  

Is branding expensive?  

Branding costs can vary depending on various factors, such as the level of competition in the market. For instance, if a company launches a new digital travel accommodation marketplace to rival Airbnb, the cost could be substantial. 

On the other hand, branding an e-commerce business focused on a specific niche can be more affordable. In any case, building a successful brand is a continuing investment that requires discipline, commitment, and persistence.

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