This post is part of our Brand Awareness 101 series: blog articles filled with helpful tips, insights and strategies to take your brand recognition to the next level.

“Brand awareness” is a term marketers and brand experts love to use in think pieces, pitches and case studies. But what exactly does it actually mean, and why does it matter that every brand has it? We’ll explore these questions and more in these 5 FAQs about brand awareness.

What's brand awareness?
In short, brand awareness is your consumer’s ability to recognize who you are and what you offer. Think about the McDonald’s Golden Arches along the interstate reminding you that you're hungry. Or that Nike swoosh on your sneakers assuring you that you've got the right footwear for your workout. Or maybe that radio jingle from your childhood you just can’t get out of your head. They’re all examples of strong brand awareness in action.

Why is brand awareness so essential?
Imagine what would happen if your brand, product or service came to mind first when consumers we’re considering your category. That sounds like a recruiting tool, a huge sales boost and a massive growth opportunity all rolled into one.

The first step to building that kind of brand loyalty is building brand awareness. When we consider marketing, advertising and sales objectives, brand awareness should always be in the mix.

Is brand awareness all good?
They say any publicity is good publicity, but when it comes to brands, not so much. Think about a negative experience you had with a brand or store—or a negative experience a friend had, and told you all about. Would you go back (or try it out) after that? Bad press, angry customers or faulty products can lead to negative brand awareness and drive people away.

How do we measure brand awareness?
Unlike other more concrete business goals, measuring brand awareness is a bit trickier. It’s important to look at a few different touchpoints and the ways they work together to create a clearer picture.

Let’s start with your site traffic: is it growing, declining or staying consistent? Looking at site traffic is a great way to see if your brand comes to mind first when consumers start their purchase journey.  

On the social content side, many social platforms offer their own analytics trackers, allowing you to see awareness, clicks and impressions. You can also track your search and SEO success with tools like Google Analytics.

Beyond digital measuring, consider working with a consumer research company. They can survey your current and potential customers to give you a better baseline of the competitive landscape and your brand’s recognition. 

How do we build brand awareness?
Fortunately for you, that’s what this 101 series is all about!

Building awareness is easy to understand, but can be difficult to master. At Madison, we have tons of experience working with brands across a variety of industries to drive brand awareness, customer growth and sales goals. Reach out to learn more about our collaborative approach.

Stay tuned for our next 101 blog, where we dive into one of the easiest ways to drive brand awareness: a digital campaign.