Friday, October 30, 2015

Awareness - The Cornerstone of Branding

I have talked about each of the other four drivers of customer brand insistence - relevant differentiation, value, accessibility and emotional connection. However, I have saved the most important driver of customer brand insistence for last.

Brand building begins with awareness. If you make the best products in the world, support them with exceptional service and offer them at very low prices delivering the best overall value, but no one has ever heard of them, how many sales will you have? That's right, zero.

Consumers first must be aware that there are different brands in the product categories in which your brand operates. Next, they must be aware of your brand. Ideally, your brand should be the first one that comes to their minds within specific product categories and also  associated with key consumer benefits. Consumers should:
  • Have heard about your brand
  • Know what it stands for
  • Be able to identify which products and services your brand offers
  • Be able to identify its unique value proposition
  • Have some idea of where your brand is sold
Increased brand awareness has been correlated with increased quality perceptions, increased favorability, increased preference, increased sales and increased market share. More than 70 percent of the impact of advertising on market share results from increasing brand awareness (vs. creating or building brand image). 

How can one increase brand awareness? Here are several ways to do that:
  • Advertising and other paid marketing communication
  • Proactive publicity
  • Publicity stunts
  • Increased distribution
  • Social media campaigns
  • Including YouTube videos
  • Viral marketing
  • Including word-of-mouth marketing
  • Referral programs
  • Product placement 
  • Demonstrations
  • Free product trial
  • Sponsorships
  • Speeches and other presentations
  • Blog posts, articles, white papers and other informational pieces
  • Flagship stores
  • Brand museum
  • Submitting your brand to product reviews
  • Providing industry analysts with detailed brand information
  • Community involvement
  • Brand identity and hyperlink in email signature
  • Brand signage
  • Including vehicle signage
  • Insignia merchandise


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