Brand awareness refers to customers’ ability to recall and recognize the brand under different conditions and link to the brand name, logo, jingles and so on to certain associations in memory. It consists of both brand recognition and brand recall. It helps the customers to understand to which product or service category the particular brand belongs and what products and services are sold under the brand name. It also ensures that customers know which of their needs are satisfied by the brand through its products (Keller). Brand awareness is of critical importance since customers will not consider your brand if they are not aware of it.
There are various levels of brand awareness that require different levels and combinations of brand recognition and recall. Top-of-Mind is the goal of most companies. Top-of-mind awareness occurs when your brand is what pops into a consumers mind when asked to name brands in a product category. For example, when someone is asked to name a type of facial tissue, the common answer is “Kleenex,” which is a top-of-mind brand. Aided Awareness occurs when a consumer is shown or reads a list of brands, and expresses familiarity with your brand only after they hear or see it as a type of memory aide. Strategic Awareness occurs when your brand is not only top-of-mind to consumers, but also has distinctive qualities that stick out to consumers as making it better than the other brands in your market. The distinctions that set your product apart from the competition is also known as the Unique Selling Point or USP.