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Definition: Brand awareness

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is a general term that describes how familiar (aware) consumers are with a brand or its products. Put simply, brand awareness is the measure of how memorable and recognizable a brand is to its target audience.

Establishing brand awareness is a powerful marketing strategy that leads consumers to develop an instinctive preference towards a brand and its products. Making a brand recognizable and memorable is at the heart of most marketing strategies because it is a major force behind brand trust, and ultimately, sales generation.

We recently interviewed 1000+ marketers from across industries and asked them about the future of marketing. Check out what they said about brand awareness in our State of Branding report '20.

How does brand awareness help generate sales?

Brand awareness relates to how well consumers recognize a product. When making a purchase, if consumers are familiar with a brand—regardless of whether they have had any first-hand experience with it—they tend to instinctively prefer that brand over all the alternative ones they don't recognize as familiar.

Brand awareness also refers to the consumer's ability to recall a specific brand over another when in need of a product or service. Recalling a specific brand helps the consumer make an immediate, instinctive choice and frees them from the burden of having to weigh up alternatives when making a purchase.

Associating (or generalizing) a single brand with a whole category of products is the final stage of brand awareness. When this is achieved, consumers use the brand name in their speech to describe actions, products, needs, and services. By turning a brand name into a generic word for a class of products or a verb, they become ambassadors of the brand itself; they help spread more brand awareness, and keep it alive.

Want to learn how to build a recognizable, global brand for the digital era? Download our free guide Global brand building: How to be more than just a commodity.