Building a strong brand name is key factor for business success. In the competitive business environment of today, consumer sophistication has altered business practices. Organizations are forced to anticipate customers’ needs and convey clear messages to consumers by establishing strong brand names and focusing on brand building.
Brand awareness primarily determines a firm’s promise to consumers. This involves developing a product or service, agree on the best positioning to gain competitive edge and decide on the marketing and advertising strategies to convey the promise to consumers. By effectively communicating its branding message, a firm can tell the public “this is who we are; this is what we can do for you; this is how we will satisfy your needs.” In doing so, not only it creates brand awareness, but it also builds consumer expectations that it pledges to constantly meet by delivering superior products and services. Through effective targeting of consumer needs, a product brand name can come to the forefront of consumer perception by meeting those needs and by making consumers relating the brand name with the product.
A brand’s practical attributes and symbolic values are inherent elements that help the brand appeal on consumers’ minds and emotion. When consumers relate brands with symbols, it becomes easier for an organization to raise consumer interest. For instance, Lexus is known for luxury, or Apple is known for innovation. Therefore, in consumers’ minds, a brand is more than just a recognizable name: it is a promise that needs to be met on a regular basis.
This is, after all, the importance of building brand awareness. By raising consumer interest and making consumers aware of their products and services, firms not only expand their customer base, but they also keep their loyal customers and increase their market share. In other words, the more aware consumers are of a brand, the more likely they are to buy from a particular business.
As a firm increases its customer base and attracts more customers, it also increases its sales and profitability. Ideally, a firm wants to introduce its products and services to a growing number of consumers, who will become loyal customers of the firm as soon as they relate the firm with the brand and the promise it conveys to the satisfaction of their needs. By identifying and understanding the needs of target customers and adding brand value to its products and services, a firm is able to build brand awareness through advertising. Consumers will soon turn into customers and subconsciously will act as advocates of the firm by using word-of-mouth advertising. Moreover, by being aware of the brand and its value, they are highly likely to make repeat purchases, thus increasing the firm’s profitability even more.
Moreover, brand awareness enables a firm to achieve product differentiation. For instance, Apple is widely regarded as highly recognizable brand that nearly 90% of consumers are aware of. This means that Apple has the option to offer to consumers and prospect customers differentiated products and services, thus gaining a competitive edge. This enables Apple to position its products more effectively and to increase its market share, only because consumers, as a result of brand awareness, would choose an Apple product over a similar product of another company.
In conclusion, brand awareness refers to the extent that consumers are aware of a firm’s products and services. In order to remain competitive and differentiated, firms need to develop branding strategies that allow them to increase brand awareness and recognition. To achieve that, they have to create expectations to consumers and be able to meet them. It is very important for a firm to understand how consumers perceive its brand and implement the appropriate strategies to create business value. In doing so, not only it prioritizes brand building investment to satisfy customers’ expectations, but it also creates customer loyalty that, in return, boosts profitability and expands business operations.