10 simple ways to measure brand awareness

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

“Do you even know who I am?

Ah, the million pound question brands have to ask their target group. In a nice way, that is. Brand awareness is where it all begins: if you want to turn your target audience into loyal customers and brand advocates, you’ll first have to make them aware of your existence.

We’ve explained how to do that in our blog with 16 ways to build brand awareness in 2021. But none of those tactics really set you up for success if you’re not measuring your progress in brand awareness. 

It doesn’t have to be rocket science, if you simply choose the relevant ways to measure, specifically for your brand. We’ll give you ten tactics to draw inspiration from that’ll help you understand how well people know your brand.

“Wait, what’s brand awareness again?”

When you think of vacuum cleaners, what brands come to mind? The first names that pop up in your head are doing great in terms of brand awareness. Now, you don’t need to be a mind-reader to figure out how well you’re performing in that area. There are tactics and tools that do the work for you. The Google search bar basically gives you a peek into peoples’ brains.

Brand awareness is how familiar people are with your brand, or more specifically, your product or service. That’s why we can divide brand awareness up into three layers:

  • Awareness of your brand name
  • Awareness of your product offering 
  • Awareness of your brand attributes (i.e. what distinguishes you from competitors)

While the first one is great, it merely scratches the surface. Brand awareness is most valuable when people know why they would purchase from you, not just what.

Brand awareness: the more, the merrier?

Not exactly. Brand awareness should focus on quality ‘leads’ in your target audience. Being well-known by accident or a publicity stunt amongst people who aren’t relevant to your brand, doesn’t do much.

It’s all about how well you’re known in your category, to the people who fall into your target audience and may one day be customers. Keep your focus on useful brand awareness! And for a fuller understanding of your potential market, it makes to run customer profiling research to get to the bottom of the attributes you need to know.

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Why you should be keeping an eye on your brand awareness metrics

Brand awareness has an ROI. Just look at one of the pieces of the puzzle that is brand awareness: share of search. Fairly easy to measure, but it holds more value than you’d think. Turns out, it’s a trustworthy predictor of market share, months in advance. Knowing that, it’ll give any marketer a solid base to create their new marketing campaigns on.

How to measure brand awareness: the tactics you should be using

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. But before you start playing with the wide variety of brand tracking tools out there, grab a copy of our free guide, How to do brand tracking in-house, to find out how to measure brand awareness effectively, no agency needed: 

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 organisation, 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

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Measure brand awareness using these ten tactics

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. Now, let’s get started.

1. Launch a brand awareness survey, 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 at large (rather than your own existing customers) are your best bet. 

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?

Get started with brand awareness!

Run a free, 3-question brand awareness survey to see how recognisable your brand is and how your brand ranks amongst your competitors.

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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

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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 amount 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! 

3. Use Google Trends data

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 our 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.

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

One of the best ways 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. 

Like mentioned earlier, 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 London”, 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 SEA. 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. Analyse your performance 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. 

9. Dive into your referral traffic stats

brand tracking attest

Not only branded searches, but also referral links are important to keep tabs on when you’re analysing 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 content is performing

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. 

Analysing 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 favourite 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.

Need help making sense of your brand awareness campaigns?

Measuring brand awareness is a vital part of brand awareness success and a future-proof marketing strategy. If you’re looking to get real data from real people, we’re here to help.

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