From brand awareness to brand advocacy

BY Aleksandra Michaliszyn

Building a strong and recognisable brand and attracting loyal customers is key to the smooth running of any business. However, the process requires a great deal of commitment and creativity.

The role of the brand in building a marketing strategy

Today’s market is characterised by considerable volatility and competitiveness. The dynamics of the environment and free access to information present companies with ever-increasing challenges. If you want to gain and then maintain a competitive advantage, it is essential as an entrepreneur to create a strong brand. This is particularly important when other market players offer similar products or services, especially if they are priced similarly. Building a strong brand is therefore the key to success in today’s market.

Why is branding so important in the development of a marketing strategy? Because it is what makes your company and the products or services you offer stand out from the competition and therefore more attractive to consumers. It is important to remember that a brand is an intangible asset – a collection of values, emotions, stories and specific messages. It is part of the consumer’s lifestyle that encourages them to buy. With a well-chosen branding strategy and the use of various branding tools, your product will be able to stand out on the shelf or in the online space. It will also be able to create positive associations – and therefore loyalty – with your target audience. It should also be noted that branding allows you to segment your market, which is extremely important when designing your marketing activities.

Do you want people to talk about your brand?

Brand awareness – what is it and why is it so important to the success of your business?

The definition of brand awareness is nothing more than brand recognition. It is a long-term process involving communication activities to build a positive brand image in the eyes of the public. It starts by making consumers aware of the brand and then introducing them to the values and messages that the brand represents. In this way, consumers are able to perceive the distinctive characteristics that set the brand apart from others. This provides you with the opportunity to build a closer relationship with your customers.

Level of brand awareness

Depending on the activities carried out, brand awareness can develop at different levels. How to measure brand awareness?

  • The most desirable level is called immediate or top-of-mind awareness. At this level of awareness, a particular brand in a particular category is the first to come to the consumer’s mind. This means, for example, that when a consumer thinks of gaming laptops, a particular brand immediately comes to mind. Unfortunately, this is no easy task to develop, but top-of-mind brand awareness means that there is very little chance of a customer choosing a competitor’s offering.
  • Much more common in the marketplace, but still very beneficial to individual companies, is spontaneous awareness, or unaided recall. This means that the brand is present in the customer’s mind. When they think about buying, for example, the laptop mentioned above, the brand will appear in the pool of the first three to six brands that come to mind.
  • The least significant indicator of brand awareness is aided awareness or aided recall. This indicator assesses the customer’s knowledge of the brand and their ability to recognize it compared to competing brands. Recognition can be influenced by factors such as distinct logos or names.

There are a number of ways to measure brand awareness. The most popular are the computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI), the computer-assisted web interview (CAWI), and the paper over pencil interview (PAPI), which is a questionnaire that is completed on paper.

How do you build brand awareness?

Building brand awareness has a huge impact on the success of a brand. How do you boost brand awareness to establish a stronger presence in the minds of your audience?

First and foremost, you need to present yourself to your audience visually and appeal to their senses and emotions. Elements such as the social CI and visual identity, i.e. the logo, brand-specific graphics or even the layout of a bricks-and-mortar store, can evoke specific emotions in recipients and thus become fixed in their minds. Merchandising, i.e. the use of brands, symbols and images, has a significant impact on purchase decisions and can be used to implement the AIDA method (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).

Remember also to always try to establish a close relationship with your customers by engaging in a dialogue with them. Stay active on social media, aligning with your brand’s nature, and engage your audience. Utilize appropriate tools to monitor all mentions of your brand on the internet and respond to customer feedback, including praise, complaints, requests for help, or questions.

Brand advocacy – what is it?

From the point of view of building a brand strategy, brand advocacy is also a very important concept. What is brand advocacy? It is an action taken by customers themselves to voluntarily shape the image of a brand through recommendations, positive reviews and brand mentions on the internet and elsewhere. In a sense, customers are brand ambassadors, hence the name ‘brand advocacy’. Involving the audience in the communication and promotional activities undertaken makes them even more effective. As a result, the brand’s position in the marketplace is likely to be strengthened.

Brand advocacy can be relevant from a sales and marketing perspective as well as from an employer branding perspective. Brand ambassadors can be not only customers, but also company employees and influencers. If customers are satisfied with the products or services and recommend them to their friends, family or on social media, the brand’s reputation will grow. Similarly, if an influencer who is well known and liked by the target audience mentions the product or service and promotes the brand on their social media profiles, the brand’s reach and awareness will increase significantly.

Similarly, if current or former employees speak positively about your company as a place to work, the brand will benefit, both in the eyes of customers and potential future employees. It is a win-win situation, with ambassadors happy to share a valuable product or service with the world, and your company able to promote itself more effectively.

Brand Awareness vs. Brand Advocacy

Of course, you can’t develop brand advocacy without brand awareness. For a brand to gain ambassadors, it must first exist in the minds of its audience. An important element of this is brand recall, i.e. whether consumers associate the brand at all and, more importantly, whether these associations are positive. Positive associations create an emotional bond between the customer and the brand. This is why building brand awareness and a good brand image is so important – it makes customers loyal and more attached.

How does brand awareness and advocacy affect your business?

In summary, a strong brand allows you to create a positive image not only for your company as a whole, but also for your individual products or services. A brand that works in the minds of its audience is a guarantee of success and customer loyalty.

By developing a high level of brand awareness, consumers are more likely to seek out the brand’s products or services and form an emotional bond with the brand. The brand will then stand out from the competition, becoming special, unique and synonymous with value. In this way, it will be able to gain ambassadors among customers, which will make promotional activities even more effective and attractive. So is it worthwhile to opt for additional activities to increase brand awareness? Definitely yes!

FAQ: Understanding Brand Awareness and Advocacy

What is Brand Awareness?

Answer: Brand awareness refers to the recognition and recall of a brand by the public. It’s a long-term process involving communication activities to build a positive brand image and make consumers aware of the brand’s values and messages.

How Can Brand Awareness be Measured?

Answer: Brand awareness can be measured at different levels, including top-of-mind awareness, spontaneous awareness, and aided awareness, using methods like CATI, CAWI, and PAPI.

What Strategies Help Build Brand Awareness?

Answer: Building brand awareness involves presenting the brand visually and emotionally to the audience, engaging in social media, and responding to customer feedback. Elements like visual identity and merchandising play a crucial role.

What is Brand Advocacy?

Answer: Brand advocacy is when customers voluntarily promote a brand through recommendations, reviews, and mentions. It involves customers acting as brand ambassadors, enhancing the brand’s image and reach.

How Do Brand Awareness and Advocacy Affect a Business?

Answer: High brand awareness and advocacy lead to a strong brand presence in the market, customer loyalty, and a unique brand identity. They are crucial for the success and growth of a business.

Aleksandra Michaliszyn

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