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Brand awareness is a marketing term that refers to the level of consumer recognition of a brand by its name. It can be divided into two broad categories; aided brand awareness and unaided brand awareness.
Unaided brand awareness is a measure of the number of consumers that can recall a brand without being prompted. When asked to name a sports shoe company, most people will immediately think of brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Reebok. These brands have a high unaided brand awareness, and their companies are at the top of consumers’ minds. This level of brand recognition is very advantageous to brands, as they enjoy high levels of customer trust and low price sensitivity.
Aided brand awareness, also known as brand recognition, refers to when customers are able to recognize a brand when prompted with its name. Unaided brand awareness, or brand recall, refers to when customers are able to recall a brand without being prompted.
Unaided brand awareness is better for a company than aided brand awareness, as it signifies that their brand is at the top of consumers’ minds, even when they aren’t prompted.
It is important for brand awareness surveys to include a combination of unaided and aided questions, in that order, to get an idea of the degree of brand recognition and brand recall. Unaided brand awareness questions are often open-ended, and will not mention the brand’s name. Within brand awareness surveys, unaided awareness questions are placed before the aided awareness questions to get accurate results.
Let’s take an example of a soft drink company that wants to measure the level of brand awareness of their brand among soft drink consumers. They choose to conduct a brand awareness survey to do so, and include a series of unaided and aided questions. These are a few unaided questions they may include in their survey:
Such questions must be followed by a text box where customers can input their responses, as unaided brand awareness questions are open-ended.
Unaided brand awareness is important as it has the power to do the following:
Companies with high unaided brand awareness are at the top of consumer’s minds. This means that yours is one of the first brands customers think of when they think of your product category. This can potentially increase your sales and market share.
Brand equity refers to the social value of a well-known brand name. A high unaided brand awareness will directly translate to a higher brand equity.
Brand awareness campaigns help establish brand recognition, and can strengthen your brand. This plays a role in increasing brand loyalty, as brand loyalty starts with brand recognition.
Unaided brand awareness indicates that customers are able to recall your brand without being prompted. Therefore, your brand is at the top of consumer’s minds. Aided brand awareness, on the other hand, indicates that customers are able to recognise your brand when prompted.
Brand awareness surveys should contain both, unaided and aided questions, in that order. This will give you an idea of how strong your unaided brand awareness is in relation to aided brand awareness.
The following is an example of an unaided brand awareness question: “Please name the first three brands that come to mind when you think of sports shoes?”. Notice that this question is open-ended, and must therefore be followed by a text box for respondents to input their response.
Brands that have a high unaided awareness enjoy the following benefits: