Building strong brand awareness is key if you want customers to know and recall your business when making purchasing decisions in your industry. But how do you really know if all your branding efforts are working?
Let’s walk through the top 3 ways companies measure their current brand awareness levels, so you can start benchmarking too.
1. Brand Recall Surveys
One of the most common and effective ways to measure brand awareness is through good old surveys. Brand recall surveys specifically look at how easily people can spontaneously think of your brand name when prompted about a particular product, service, or need.
For example, you might ask a survey respondent:
When you think of coffee shops, which places come to mind first?
If a high percentage of folks immediately mention your brand without any other clues, that indicates strong unaided brand recall.
You can also measure aided recall by providing a list of brands and seeing if people recognize yours when they see it.
Important metrics with brand recall surveys include:
- Unaided brand recall percentage – the ultimate goal! This means your brand is top-of-mind.
- Aided brand recall percentage – do they recognize you from a list? Still good, but keep working on unaided recall.
- First brand mentioned – are you the first brand that comes to mind for consumers? Track this over time.
To get statistically significant results, aim for at least a few hundred survey responses. Make sure to target both existing customers and average consumers who may not be as familiar with you.
Online surveys, in-person interviews, focus groups, and phone surveys are all great ways to conduct brand recall research.
And don’t just do it once – track it regularly to see if your awareness is improving over time.
2. Brand Recognition Surveys
While brand recall measures how easily people can actively dig your brand name out of their memory, recognition surveys take a slightly different approach.
Brand recognition surveys aim to evaluate whether people already know who you are when they encounter your brand elements like your logo, name, slogan, mascot or other identifiers.
For example, you could show someone your brand logo and ask:
Have you seen this logo before? Do you know what brand it represents?
Important metrics for recognition include:
- Overall brand recognition percentage – what portion are familiar with you?
- Unaided vs aided recognition – do they know you without help or only when shown logos/names?
- Competitor benchmarking – how does your awareness compare within your niche?
Some good ways to test recognition are through online brand quizzes, in-store surveys, focus groups, and customer panels.
The higher your awareness, the more likely potential customers will be to seriously consider and prefer your brand over alternatives.
3. Brand Search Volume Analysis
One more great way to get a data-driven snapshot of current brand awareness levels is to analyze search volume and trends for your brand name and associated terms.
Tools like Google Trends allow you to see how search interest for certain keywords has changed over time. If you see a noticeable spike in searches for your brand name, that likely indicates a successful awareness campaign or new product buzz.
Specific metrics to look at include:
- Raw search volume totals for brand name keywords
- Month-over-month or year-over-year growth in search volume
- Which long and short tail key phrases with your brand are most popular
- How your brand’s search volume compares to close competitors
In addition to analyzing search volume trends, you can get a high-level view of brand awareness by looking at the total estimated monthly search volume for your brand name keyword. The higher the search volume, the more awareness exists.
Also track the total number of search results returned for your brand name to gauge how much information is available online referencing your company. More results generally signals greater awareness and brand visibility, providing more opportunities to be discovered.
Aim for growing search volume and total results over time. New brands may start with minimal search presence, but establishing a strong online footprint is key for boosting brand recognition.
You can also boost brand visibility by optimizing content for those high-value brand keyword targets. Focus on ranking for the terms that get substantial search volume but are still relatively difficult to rank for organically.
Regularly conducting brand recall and recognition surveys, analyzing brand search trends, and tracking other awareness metrics will give you crucial insights into how well your marketing is working.
Set competitive benchmarks and brand awareness goals to aim for. Getting your brand to unaided top-of-mind status takes work, but pays off hugely.
The more aware potential customers are of your brand, the easier it will be for you to convert them and grow your business. So get out there and show the world why your company is worth remembering!