How To Measure Brand Awareness

Depending on who you ask, the idea of brand awareness may come with either a nod of approval…or a disapproving eye-roll. Some marketers view brand awareness as a meaningless jumble of metrics that has no true effect on marketing ROI. Others argue that being able to recall a product is what compels a consumer to buy it.

In truth, brand awareness is essential for any business to succeed as it plays a role in customer decisions. It’s so much more than just recalling a product (brand recall); it also includes being able to recognize a brand and tell it apart from others (brand recognition).

It covers a multitude of factors, such as a memorable logo and tagline, effective advertising through various platforms, sponsorships from more popular brands, and of course, endorsements from celebrities.

Numerous companies heavily emphasize brand awareness. Coca-Cola, for example, spent around $3.96 billion on global advertising in 2017. Their efforts in brand awareness has lead to their wide recognition as a soda company, so much so that you will likely hear consumers ask for a Coke when referring to any type of cola soda.

With all this in mind, you may wonder how you can tell whether your brand awareness strategies are working. It’s true that increasing awareness is important but so is knowing what sticks and what doesn’t.

Although it’s a bit tricky, you can try the following tactics to measure brand awareness:

1. Conduct a survey

One direct way to measure brand awareness is conducting surveys. We recommend either asking existing customers how or where they’ve heard of your business or selecting a group of people to ask if they recognize brand.

If you can, try talking to your customers and survey participants directly through phone, email, website, or even face-to-face. From these interactions, you can see where and how people hear about your business and learn how many people know about your brand.

2. Observe all types of traffic

By measuring the traffic your company website garners over time, you gain insight on brand awareness and consumer behavior. It’s important, however, to use the right tools and methods to accurately measure this traffic.

Google Analytics, for example, gives users the ability to track how many people typed your website URL into a browser or even used a browser bookmark. This helps you observe changes or trends in brand awareness.

There are two types of traffic to look into: direct and referral. Here’s a quick breakdown of each:

  • Direct Traffic: When a user types your website’s URL into a browser or uses a browser bookmark to access your page. You can use this traffic to observe brand recall. If users are typing your website URL onto their browser bars, it means customers can easily recognize your brand.
  • Referral Traffic: When another website gives a link that goes directly to your website in their content (think blogs) and a user clicks on it to access your site, this becomes referral traffic and is listed as such in Google Analytics.

It’s important to observe any changes or trends in your website’s traffic. According to Brand24, if you notice your direct traffic going up, it means that your brand has good brand recall. On the other hand, an increase in referral traffic means more sites are linking back to you in their content, which helps your site’s SEO and gives you insight on where your site visitors are coming from.

3. Keep an eye on search volume data

Search volume lets you know how many people are searching for your brand online. You can measure this data by using tools like Google Trends, SemRush, and Google Adwords Keyword Planner. These tools also allow you to track your site’s search volume over time, letting you know how good your brand recall is among consumers.  

The only downside to using these tools is how tricky it can get to track your brand if your brand’s name is generic, like ‘Shell’.

4. Use social listening metrics

To make tracking your search volume data a little less hectic, try looking in the places where people are always talking about different topics—social media. This practice, called social listening, means you track online conversations about your brand, its competitors, the industry it belongs to, and other topics relevant to your company.

The best part about listening to what online users are saying about your brand is that it allows you to hear consumer’s opinion in an informal and natural manner. You can measure social listening through the following metrics:

  • Volume of mentions

Tracking and counting the amount of times your brand is mentioned on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms and sites lets you know how many conversations there are about your brand. You can track whether this number grows or not as time passes. You should also track any conversations outside of these channels to see other places your brand is mentioned.

  • Engagement levels

Likes, shares, and comments on posts and online mentions of your brand all constitute as engagement on social media. Engagement levels can indicate how effective brand awareness is and whether consumers are engaging with your content. You can also use engagement levels to see what aspect of the products or services in your branding are helping increase brand awareness.

  • Reach on social media

With social media reach, you can see the potential amount of times a post or mention of your brand has been viewed by online users. This is different from measuring the volume of mentions for your brand since it tracks views for the mentions and posts of your brand over the number of mentions.

This is why influencer marketing is often incorporated in campaigns as products shared by influencers with millions of followers have the potential to be seen by a lot of users.

Brand awareness can serve as a base for building your marketing strategy. By increasing your brand awareness in your designated industry, you can become the go-to source of your niche. Once this familiarity with your brand is established with consumers, it will take less time and money to acquire customers.

In the long run, this important aspect of brand awareness is the key to your brand’s success.