What is Brand Awareness Theory (and what does it mean for your business?)

What is Brand Awareness Theory (and what does it mean for your business?)

Technically, a "brand" is nothing more than a marketing concept. Tony the Tiger isn't a real employee of Kellog's Frosted Flakes and there is no "easy" button we can push in our real lives to summon a clever solution from Staples. These concepts are carefully crafted by the businesses they represent to help cultivate certain kinds of thoughts when their brand comes to your mind. 

What is Brand Awareness Theory?

Brand Awareness Theory is all about consumer perception. Just like people in our real lives, we tend to assign vague personalities or themes around the businesses and products we interact with - some good and some bad. This may sound complex but it's actually quite simple. Brand Awareness is thought to be made of two simple functions of consumer minds:

Brand Awareness is made up of:

  1. Brand Recall (or Unaided Recall)
  2. Brand Recognition (or Aided Recall)

What is Brand Recall?

Brand recall refers to the ability of a consumer to name a specific brand when its product or service topic comes to mind. For instance imagine that you're on a road trip and someone suggests it's time to look for something to eat. When several roadside dining options pop into your mind, unprompted other than the suggestion of finding something to eat, this is brand recall at work. 

Experts think that typical consumers will only be able to think of 3-5 specific brand names in instances like this. These 3-5 brand names have strong "brand awareness", represented by the consumer's "brand recall" when roadside dining is mentioned. 

What is Brand Recognition?

Brand recognition is a consumer's ability to recognize a brand when presented with its name, packaging, logo, etc. This could be as subtle as a subconscious recognition that they've heard of it before - it does not need to be a specific memory of a specific commercial or other reference. 

This may seem insignificant but it's quite powerful. Consumers are most likely to purchase a brand which is readily within their awareness. So for instance let's imagine you're researching web hosts. While you may not be able to recall the names of any web hosts unprompted, perhaps you'll recognize one or two of the names you see on a list of Web Hosts. The names which seem familiar to you are most likely to get your clicks, and perhaps even your purchase.

How can you enforce Brand Awareness for your own business?

Since brand awareness is largely dependent on a consumer's ability to recognize or remember something about your business, it's important to make sure your business name or logo has plenty of exposure. 

If you're a business owner with a traditional, brick-and-mortar store, this means making sure your customers know who you are. Here are some simple tips for doing that:

  1. Make sure you have a clearly visible sign on your storefront. Ideally, this is visible from the road so that even someone driving by gets that subconscious instance of exposure.
  2. Display your logo and brand name in various common-sense locations throughout the store. For instance you could make sure it shows up on the receipt. And you can even use custom printed crowd control stanchions to display the logo and brand name at checkout. 
  3. Invest in advertisements which display your brand name, logo, and information about your services in other places. For instance rack-cards are frequently used for this purpose. Restaurants will often display these rack cards at the front of their facility, advertising local businesses.
  4. Sponsor local events so that your brand name and logo can be displayed on team shirts, or on the custom printed crowd control stanchions of others.

You'll notice that a few of these strategies require customizing the crowd control structures you're already using within your store. This allows you to efficiently increase brand presence without needing to add additional signage. Here are some of the crowd control products which can easily be custom printed to accommodate this brand awareness strategy:


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