Brand awareness

Brand awareness is a marketing concept that refers to a consumer knowing of a brand's existence; at aggregate (brand) level it refers to the proportion of consumers who know of the brand.

Measurement driven conceptualization

Brand awareness can be measured by showing a consumer the brand and asking whether or not they knew of it beforehand. However, in common market research practice a variety of recognition and recall measures of brand awareness are employed all of which test the brand name's association to a product category cue, this came about because most market research in the 20th Century was conducted by post or telephone, actually showing the brand to consumers usually required more expensive face-to-face interviews (until web-based interviews became possible). This has led many textbooks to conceptualise brand awareness simply as its measures, that is, knowledge that the brand is a member of a particular product category, e.g. soft-drinks. Examples of such measures include:

* Brand recognition - Either the brand name or both the brand name and category name are presented to respondents.

* Brand recall - the product category name is given to respondents who are asked to recall as many brands as possible that are members of the category.

* Top of mind brand awareness - as above, but only the first brand recalled is recorded (also known as spontaneous brand recall).

Research on metrics

There has been discussion in industry and practice about the meaning and value of various brand awareness metrics. Recently, an empirical study appeared to put this debate to rest by suggested that all awareness metrics were systematically related, simply reflecting their difficulty, in the same way that certain questions are more difficult in academic exams [Laurent, Gilles, Jean-Noel Kapferer, and Francoise Roussel (1995), "The Underlying Structure of Brand Awareness Scores," Marketing Science, 14 (No. 3, Part 2), G170-G79.] .i

tability of responses

While brand awareness scores tend to be quite stable at aggregate (level) level, individual consumers show considerable propensity to change their responses to recall based brand awareness measures. For top of mind recall measures, consumers give the same answer in two interviews typically only 50% the time [Day, George S. and Robert W. Pratt (1971), "Stability of Appliance Brand Awareness," Journal of Marketing Research, 8 (February), 85-9.] . Similar low levels of consistency in response have been recorded for other cues to elicit brand name responses [Dall'Olmo Riley, F., A.S.C. Ehrenberg, S.B. Castleberry, T.P. Barwise, and N.R. Barnard (1997), "The Variability of Attitudinal Repeat-Rates," International Journal of Research in Marketing, 14 (No. 5), 437-50.]


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