How to measure brand awareness: KPIs, metrics and strategies

Want to understand how to measure brand awareness? Check out these five essential tactics for understanding how many people know your brand.

Me, measuring brand awareness?”, you might be thinking, “don’t I need a big research agency to do that?”

Good news: you really don’t. The truth is, doing brand tracking in-house has never been easier, and you too can learn how to measure brand awareness.

Here we’ll turn you into a champion of brand awareness measuring, with ten tactics to use and eleven metrics to focus on. It doesn’t get more practical than this.

Read on to learn how to measure and build brand awareness effectively.

How to measure brand awareness: 10 tactics

Now, there are lots of simple ways to check in on the awareness around your brand. It’s just a matter of how deep you want to dive into it, and what metrics match the campaigns and strategies you’ve been using. 

From that point on, you can (and should) measure brand awareness without the help of any external experts. Ultimately, all the relevant data is already in your organization, you just need to know where to look.

The tactics we’re about to show you range from simply keeping tabs on certain types of website traffic, all the way through to conducting regular brand tracking studies across the year. Ideally, you should combine these tactics to get an accurate view of your brand awareness.

One last thing before we start: it’s important to note that brand ‘awareness’ and brand ‘recognition’ are slightly different things. To learn more check out our guides on how to measure brand recognition and brand perception or chat directly with our consumer research experts with a demo. And if you’re looking for something niche and specific, here are some awesome beverage branding ideas that were big successes.

We’ll give you ten tried and tested ways that help you measure brand awareness based on the most important brand awareness metrics. Please note that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this, and you’ll have to combine them to give more context to the data:

  1. Run regular brand awareness surveys
  2. Check your social media followers
  3. Use Google Trends data
  4. Let brand tracking software do the heavy lifting
  5. Look into your brand name mentions
  6. Look for branded search volume in your Google Analytics
  7. Check your share of voice and share of impressions
  8. Analyze your performance with earned media
  9. Dive into your referral traffic stats
  10. Keep an eye on how your content is performing

1. Run regular brand awareness surveys, stat

Surveys are one of the best ways to measure brand awareness. Simply select your target group—aka the people who you most want to be aware of your brand—and ask away.

For measuring brand awareness specifically, online surveys to consumers (rather than just your existing customers) are your best bet. 

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Running brand tracking and brand perception surveys over time will reveal those crucial fluctuations in knowledge and appreciation of your brand, allowing you to spot trends and act before they become issues.

It’s important to have a clear strategy in mind when creating a brand awareness survey—are you assessing unprompted brand recognition or brand recall? Are you trying to see if your target audience knows exactly what your brand does, and what their sentiment is towards you? Are you planning to use multiple-choice options, or are you opting for free text?

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Attest’s data shows clear changes across consumer perception and awareness. We get rich, insightful data on a regular basis, which means we can get on with building the strategies and campaigns we know will work.

CMO, Rover

2. Check your social media followers

Some might consider this a vanity metric, but at a surface level, your social media following gives you a sense of how broad your reach is and how many people are familiar with your brand. 

Assuming most people will follow you because they’re interested in you and like you, it gives you a pretty good picture of your brand awareness.

It also means these people are more likely to see your content more frequently—meaning they’re less likely to forget who you are and what you’re up to. Staying front-of-mind in a market full of established and emerging brands is key to maintaining familiarity.

Keep an eye on the reach of your posts—aka the number of eyeballs your content gets in front of—and use this metric to plan your posts for optimum brand awareness. If posting at a certain time of day results in better reach, factor that in for future posting. Get granular with it! 

The Google Trends competitive analysis tool is a valuable asset for brand awareness measurement. It roams the internet looking for mentions of your brand, so you can examine whether those mentions are increasing or decreasing over time. You can also benchmark this data against your competitors.

Again, context is important here; it’s crucial to take all of your brand and marketing activities into account when drawing insight from Google Trends data. It’s also important to note that using Google Trends data is harder for those with more generic brand names or names that are already associated with something else. 

4. Let brand tracking software do the heavy lifting

Once upon a time, brands had to rely on big research agencies to do their brand tracking. They were expensive, took months to complete, and even then you wouldn’t have full access to the data collected—only the stuff the agency wanted to show you. 

Brand awareness is just one brand health metric that you should be tracking—but you can easily do it yourself and get the full picture.  

With Attest’s brand tracking software, you can run quarterly or monthly brand tracking surveys with full visibility of the data—data which comes back in days, not months. 

Running a regular tracker with Attest has reinforced our USP, which is especially important as the category becomes more saturated. Because of the regular insights, we know what we need to do to grow.

Head of Marketing, Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

Brand tracking software is the best and most reliable way for marketers and brand managers to measure brand awareness, as well as a whole host of other things, like brand sentiment and NPS. No more basing your next marketing campaign on guesswork, you’ll know exactly where to strike.

Ready to give it a try? Check out the Attest brand tracking software, or grab a copy of our free guide to get started with bringing brand tracking in-house.

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From the brand tracker we can understand the emotional drivers from users, to make both product and business decisions. We can see how our competitors are doing, we can see where the opportunities are for us to grow and disrupt the space even more.

CMO, WorldRemit

5. Look into your brand name mentions

Another way to know if people are aware of your brand, is to know if they’re talking about you. Or rather tweeting, blogging or commenting. Sounds like an impossible task?

Not with tools like Brand24. They allow you to keep tabs on all social media platforms, blogs, websites, and publishers to see who’s talking about you. And not just that: you’ll also be able to engage with those mentions to give an extra positive spin to them. 

6. Look for branded search volume in your Google Analytics

Is your website traffic going up? That’s great. But if you look into those insights a little longer, you’ll be able to spot an important brand awareness metric: branded search volume. 

Search data is an important one when it comes to brand awareness and even market share. The trick is not only to look at the amount of traffic driving into your website, but also what keywords it’s riding on. 

The more people directly type in your brand’s name, the better. It means that they remember you and see you as an interesting option for whatever they’re looking for. They’re not just looking for ”the best vegan cupcakes in New York”, they’re specifically looking for yours.

You don’t need any difficult tools to look into this, just head over to good old Google Adwords and Google Analytics and you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. 

7. Check your share of voice and share of impressions

Your brand awareness should be measured alongside that of your competitors. A boost of 25% in brand awareness for your brand is great, but if your competitors are growing it at double the rate, you need to step things up a notch.

A great tactic to measure this is to look at your share of voice and share of impressions over time. Whereas brand mentions focus on how many people are talking about you (and what they’re saying), this way of measuring also takes into account that those people are talking about your competitors. 

Share of impressions is related to this in that it shows you how well you are performing in generating organic traffic and paid search traffic. If you combine these two metrics, you’ll get valuable insights on how well you’re covering your market and where to tweak your marketing strategy.

You can also run some competitive market analysis to gather insights about where your competitors fit into the market and how you can win over customers.

8. Analyze your brand image awareness with earned media

Look beyond your own website stats if you want to get the full picture on your brand awareness. If you’re being mentioned on third-party websites, you’ll be generating extra publicity and therefore awareness. While it does not directly measure brand awareness, combining this tactic with one of the ones mentioned above will show you how third-party publicity contributes to your brand awareness over time. This will help you make sense of the effectiveness of your campaigns. 

If you’re not sure how to start tracking your brand awareness, you may wish to work alongside a brand tracking company who can give you a head start with the more complicated side of brand analytics.

9. Dive into your referral traffic stats

Not only branded searches, but also referral links are important to keep tabs on when you’re analyzing your brand awareness efforts. Other brands knowing about you and them being willing to share your name with their followers and visitors plays a key role in growing your brand awareness.

You can find these stats in Google Analytics, but do be wary of high bounce rates to filter out referral links that do more harm than good.

Keep tabs on the referral links that generate real traffic and combine this strategy with one of the ones that focuses more on brand awareness in numbers to give context to the data. 

10. Keep an eye on how your brand’s content performs

Shares and likes are not a thing of the past or vanity metrics. If you look at them the right way, you’ll be able to spot trends that give you important insights in your brand awareness strategies. 

Analyzing your brand awareness campaign is not just counting the people that know your brand, it’s also about knowing what blog posts, videos, and social media content have been working and in what way it contributed to the rise in brand awareness. And that is as simple as looking at how people react to it. 

Simply dive into the analytics tools that your favorite social media or video platforms are already offering. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn all give you very detailed reports on how each of your individual posts are performing when it comes to views and more importantly: engagement.

11 key brand awareness metrics & KPIs

What brand awareness metrics should you keep an eye on? We’ve summarized the most important ones to mix and match.

You might also want to take a look at our key brand health metrics you need to know.

1. Brand awareness surveys

With a handful of the right questions, asked to the right target audience, you can measure important brand awareness metrics that include:

  • Unprompted brand awareness—this is when your target audience will name your brand when prompted to think about a product or service you offer.
  • Prompted brand awareness—this is when the person being surveyed says they are aware of your brand when presented with a list of brands.
  • Level of brand awareness—this is the number of people who can correctly identify your product or services and the correct brand attributes associated with that product or service.

Using a brand awareness survey gives you direct feedback from your target consumer with less interpretation required than other brand awareness metrics. When carried out at regular intervals, brand tracking allows you to monitor brand awareness growth over time and tie that growth to specific marketing activities. Self-service brand tracking software makes brand tracking more accessible for brands, meaning they don’t have to pay a research agency.

And before you set up, here’s everything you need to know before you set up your brand tracker.

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2. Branded search volume

How many people find your website by typing branded keywords into search engines? The Branded Search Traffic metric calculates this volume of visits to indicate how well your brand is doing organically. It basically shows you how many people remember your name and show interest in you.

Now, this is mostly volume: to get really valuable insights, you should combine it with other metrics to determine the value of this volume in the bigger picture. It is, though, a great metric to keep an eye on over time, simply by using tools like Google Adwords and Google Analytics. 

3. Brand name mentions on social media (and elsewhere)

Are people actually talking about you online? This is one of the best indications of brand awareness. But how do you stay on top of all possible mentions across all possible social media platforms, blogs, content from influencers, and other websites? 

Luckily, there are some brand tracking tools out there that automatically give you a heads-up when someone mentions you anywhere. You get real-time updates on new mentions, not only allowing you to always have up-to-date data, but also to reply to these mentions right away.

When using tools like this, it goes further than just knowing the number of times your brand is mentioned. You also get insights into the platforms your audience is using. Plus, you get to see the context of your mentions.

It pays off to pay attention to what is being said. Social listening is a great way for your brand to interact with your audience, getting insights into how the target audience sees your brand whilst allowing you to sculpt the conversation.

4. Share of voice and share of impressions

This is very much related to brand mentions but dives in a bit deeper. Moreover, it is the combination of these two metrics that makes it powerful. These two are all about visibility compared to your competitors. 

  • Share of Voice—this is the percentage of coverage and conversations about your brand, relative to your competitors. In other words, how often your brand is mentioned on the internet compared to other brands. 
  • Share of Impressions—this is the percentage of times your ads were shown out of the total impressions they could have received based on your targeting, a number you can find in Google Analytics.

Combining these two metrics gives you valuable insights about not just the amount of coverage you have, but also the quality of it. For instance, having a high Share of Voice but a low Share of Impressions indicates that even though you might be underperforming in Search Engine Advertising, you are doing better than your competitors in generating organic traffic, for instance, through social media or publications.

5. Earned media

Also known as third-party publicity, earned media usually refers to mentions or references in articles, blogs and social media that occurred organically.

By measuring the frequency, you can understand the accumulative effect of your marketing and PR. This is especially effective when analyzed in relation to other metrics such as sales, followers, or leads. Done effectively, you can get insight into how and when people become aware of your brand.

6. Referral traffic 

Are referral links part of your SEO strategy? You can easily spot how much traffic has come to your website through referral links in your Google Analytic tools. What does that have to do with brand awareness, you might wonder?

More than you think. First of all, it shows you that your website is linked somewhere else: awareness part one. Second of all, you see how many people follow those links. That might not indicate any awareness, but it certainly helps build it. 

With this in mind, you can figure out what types of content work best for sharing your brand name and links and use this knowledge as a tool to boost your awareness.

7. Secondary brand health KPIs and metrics

There are also other metrics that have value when measuring brand awareness. They often require a more nuanced analysis as they measure a variety of things, sometimes even only indirectly relevant. But when they are properly tracked, they can give marketers incredible insight into their brand awareness. 

8. Social shares

Let’s dive into your social media performance and how well your social media campaigns are working. If you’re creating great content, you would expect your fans and followers to share it. Social shares are a great metric—and goal—for your content marketing team. Keeping tabs on the usage of hashtags related to your brand is another good way to assess engagement. 

9. Reach

Reach is the potential number of people who have received your content in their timeline. As a stand-alone metric, however, it is flawed and has its shortcomings. This is because many things influence your potential reach, but holistically, it does allow you to see trends and analyze which channels get your brand in front of the most people.

If another website is willing to link to your website, that can be seen as a vote of trust. Essentially, that website is saying as a brand: “We are willing to be associated with your brand.” 

With the right tools, you can track how often this takes place organically, which gives you an insight into your brand awareness. For example, a spike in organic backlink acquisition that coincided with a specific marketing campaign could definitely give you insights into the effectiveness of that marketing campaign in raising brand awareness.

For many businesses, their brand’s goal is to become synonymous with a product or service and its key identity. So, when people are interested in purchasing a specific product or service, they actively seek out your brand as part of their decision-making process. In this case, brand awareness is a critical metric to measure.

Why you should track your brand health & awareness metrics

Whether you’re launching a new business or trying to revive an old one, brand awareness metrics are vital in measuring the success of your marketing efforts. 

These metrics track the performance of your brand across various platforms, from social media to search engines.

When measured and tracked over a period of time, businesses can directly attribute the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, sales or sign-ups. Perhaps you’re looking for Qualtrics competitors or Latana alternatives— we’ve created rundowns of the best tools to look into.

If you haven’t started measuring brand awareness yet, take this as a sign!

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Turn mentions of your brand into valuable insights

All the brand awareness metrics discussed above have value if used right and can help you build brand awareness.

The metrics you choose to measure will depend on your objectives—are you looking for deep insight into the connection your target demographic has with your brand or just a general understanding of trends?

With this in mind, you can start creating brand awareness campaigns that align with your marketing strategies and render real results, not just a vague concept and more web traffic: but getting in front of new audiences to raise brand awareness.

If you’re looking for more direct feedback, a brand awareness survey is a great tool to implement in your research. If you’re looking to track the overall impact of your marketing, using website traffic metrics or social listening tools can give you a good idea. Sign up today to send you first brand tracking survey.

Looking for more on brand tracking? Head over to our Consumer Research Academy—it’s full of tips and guides from the experts in our Customer Research Team.

FAQs

1. How do you create brand awareness?

There are many ways to create healthy brand awareness. You can share your brand name and links on social media, use hashtags related to your brand, and get other websites to link to your website. With whatever format you choose, keep in mind that you want to create positive and relevant brand awareness, so go for content that matches those goals and choose your audience wisely. Brand awareness of the wrong people has no value!

2. What is the purpose of brand awareness?

People rather buy from brands they know, than brands they don’t know, no matter how strong your offer is. With brand awareness, you try to position yourself in the minds of your target group in a positive way, setting yourself up as a trustworthy business to buy from.

3. What tools would you use to measure brand awareness?

With our brand awareness survey, you can easily start measuring brand awareness amongst relevant consumer groups. You can also use social listening tools to supplement your brand awareness research. If you want to get started with brand awareness research, sign up for Attest here, for free!

The Experts’ Guide to Brand Tracking

How to look at the impact of things like audience reach, panel diversity, and survey design to help you decide whether your current brand tracker is up to scratch.

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Alexandra Aquino

Customer Research Principal 

Alexandra joined Attest in 2018, with a strong background in market research. In the Customer Research Team, Alexandra takes a leading role in supporting brands to uncover consumer insights and explore new opportunities for growth.

See all articles by Alexandra