What Is Brand Awareness and 10 Ways to Build It

Mastering Brand Awareness: 10 Proven Strategies for Building Your Brand’s Presence


Let’s face it; every organization wants to build a memorable brand so its target audience doesn’t have to think twice before purchasing its products. That’s what brand awareness is all about, and with this post, you’ll learn ten different ways to build it.

What is brand awareness?

This marketing term refers to the degree of consumer recognition of a product or brand. It measures how memorable or recognizable a brand is among its target audience.

Recent studies reveal that consumers believe that they decide what product or service to buy based on the research they make, the reviews they read, the comparison they do with other options available in the market, and the information available. But, in real life, this is not entirely true.

Consumers usually make purchase decisions based on the fact that they recognize a brand. According to the Global Banking and Finance Review, 71% of consumers think being familiar with a brand before buying any of its products is essential.

In other words, it’s better to be known than not known. Without brand awareness, consumers won’t even consider your products when facing a buying process.

What is the purpose of brand awareness?

The reason why marketing teams spend time, resources, and money building brand awareness is simple: it increases revenue. Once consumers understand who your brand is and what it stands for, they are more likely to buy your products or services repeatedly.

At the same time, brand awareness helps build brand equity and value. The more positive experiences your consumers enjoy, the better perception built around your brand. This all translates into higher prices, higher stocks, and the opportunity to grow your business with different product lines or to different markets.

And, if that wasn’t enough, brand awareness also helps build trust. Trust in your brand, in your products, in your organization. And guess what… Trust is one of those critical factors when a consumer decides whether to buy a product. Plus, it contributes to turning a one-time consumer into a loyal customer.

Brand awareness leads to building brand salience or the degree to which a purchaser recognizes, notices, and thinks about your brand during purchasing decisionsA more salient brand is one that customers think about in a buying situation.

An example of what high salience looks like in strong brands think of Band-Aid. Someone with a paper cut doesn’t ask for an adhesive bandage; they ask for a Band-Aid.

How to measure brand awareness

But how do you measure brand awareness? Is your company enjoying the many benefits of high brand awareness? Or not?

Let’s be clear. Measuring brand awareness is not easy. There are many different ways to do it. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you can choose any of these options based on how deep you want to dive into it. At Sortlist, we suggest that you start measuring brand awareness by:

  1. Running brand awareness surveys within your target group. You can do it among existing customers to understand how they first heard about your brand. Or you can ask a random selection of people if they recall your brand.
  2. Measuring website traffic. Google Analytics allows you to see how your website traffic is behaving. If it’s going up, then that’s great. And the branded search volume allows you to understand what keywords they are using to drive into your website. Having your brand name as the leader would mean that they remember the name with ease and that they were looking exactly for your brand, not for options of products similar to yours.
  3. Checking your social media reach and followers. The more people who follow you on social media, your brand awareness increases. They are regularly exposed to your content, brand name, and logo. But don’t just stay with that number. Check the engagement levels of your posts to understand if you are posting at the best time and with the right type of content. You want your engagement levels to be on the high end.
  4. Using social listening tactics. Read what users say about your brand on social media and online. And evaluate those comments so you can understand what the current brand perception is. Is it positive, negative, or neutral?

In the end, it’s important that you keep your eyes on the prize. The goal here is to understand how well established your brand is among your target audience, in order for you to determine what brand awareness efforts need to come into place.

One last tip is to always look into 3 main metrics:

  1. The volume of mentions of your brand, even if they did not tag you or the brand’s official channels
  2. Reach of the potential number of people that those mentions will be seen by
  3. Engagement levels of your posts on social media and web

And don’t forget to compare yourself to other industry experts. You want to understand what percentage of market share you hold, who are the leaders, and what are they doing to stay on the customer’s top of mind.

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10 ways to increase brand awareness

Now that you know how to measure brand awareness, you are probably wondering how to improve that score. In fact, you are not alone. Over 90% of marketing teams recognize building brand awareness as their number one priority for the year.

While there are many different ways to raise brand awareness, it’s important to note that this is not an easy task. It doesn’t happen overnight. Or just as a consequence of a great brand communication campaign.

A well-established brand is the result of campaigns that go beyond short-term acquisition, or convincing new audiences of buying your products, and focuses on long-term brand building.

With that said, let’s deep dive into the 10 different digital marketing actions that we, at Sortlist, believe will help you when creating brand awareness.

1- Give your brand a personality

The first thing you need to do is help your brand stand out from the pack. The best way to do so is by giving your brand a personality or treating it as a person. For example, you should make sure to stick to your brand voice, color scheme, values, traits, and passions.

Another great benefit is that this personality helps leave an impact on your target audience and creates trust.

2- Create a referral program

Word of mouth is one of the most common ways customers learn about new products or services in the market. Plus, it can bring up to 5 times more sales than any paid media. So, why not encourage your happy customers to spread the word about your organization?

Referral programs are a great way to reach new audiences and increase brand awareness.
Source: Dropbox

Different organizations have taken advantage of this brand awareness strategy. For example, Dropbox, the cloud storage and sharing service offers 1 GB per referral and up to 32 GB. And Coursera, an online course provider, will give you 50% off a course, or the first month of specialization, if you enroll using a referral link.

Just think about how many happy customers you have, and how they can become your best advocates.

3- Consider guest posting

Guest blogging is one of the best ways to build brand awareness. Not only will it require close to little effort, but it will help you present your brand and products in front of the eyes of people looking to buy them.

One thing to keep in mind is that the pieces of content you share with other websites need to be powerful, filled with valuable information, and attractive. If not, guest posting will only hurt your brand awareness efforts.

4- Take content creation to the next level

Content is one of the best ways to help your potential customers understand what your brand stands for and its personality. But content does not have to be presented in the same way time after time. You should leverage all the different channels and create content in different formats: videos, infographics, podcasts, webinars, blogs, guides, etc.

Infographics and other content formats can help raise brand awareness
Source: Statista

We get it, written content might be the easiest one on the list. But, people don’t read. They would rather watch a video, listen to an audio file, or just see some stats. So do some research, figure out what your target audience likes best, and create content interesting enough for them. Shareable content increases your brand’s opportunity to reach new audiences while helping it rank on search engines.

5- Give something away for free

Offering a freemium allows your potential customers to have a taste of your products and/or services. While some of them will stick to the free sample, others will be convinced that they need the paid version.

Freebies can be a great option to attract new visitors to your website and present your brand to new potential customers.
Source: HubSpot

HubSpot, a developer of software products for sales and marketing services, offers a free version of its CRM. No credit card is needed, and no time limit. Their goal? To give you enough tools to get started and encourage you to buy their full suite of premium products.

But, how does this help create strong brand awareness? Adding a freemium option on your website will attract more visitors while increasing your brand exposure.

6- Start your podcast

Podcasts can help pave the road for your business to have a strong voice. It allows you to build trust and more authentic relationships with your customers. What’s important here is that your podcast is not to talk about the brand or the company. It’s about telling stories that connect with your target audiences. It’s about giving advice, sharing experiences, or hosting an interview with industry leaders.

A strategic approach to podcasting will help you reach new audiences and create a close relationship with them
Source: Shopify

Shopify understands the value of podcasts to create awareness. They currently have two different podcasts. One of them talks about actionable strategies and eCommerce marketing advice. The other one analyzes how unexplored communities and unexpected subcultures make money today. Both of them are related to the core of their business. But, they are designed to engage with different segments of their audiences.

7- Partner with local businesses

Partnering with other businesses to collaborate on a product or service can have a tremendous impact on your brand awareness levels. Not only will it help you present your brand to a new segment of the market, but it is also a way for you to portray yourself next to brands that are trusted by their customers and with a high level of consumer satisfaction.

Make sure to choose brands that are not your competitors. For example, sponsoring events can be a great option to get your brand in front of the eyes of hundreds, and even thousands, of people. You can have your logo on flyers, banners, and even marketing materials.

Spotify and Starbucks understand the value of partnering to raise awareness
Source: Spotify

Or you can choose to partner with another local business. Spotify and Starbucks forged a co-branding partnership in which the Spotify users would earn stars for the My Starbucks Reward, and they have the opportunity to listen to what’s playing at the coffee shop stores. Starbucks’ employees would receive a Spotify Premium subscription.

8- Choose your social media channels

Social networks still play an important role in digital marketing. But this does not mean that your brand should be actively participating in every single channel. It’s not strategic. You should choose the ones where your target audiences spend the most time.

Keeping your brand active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other channel you choose will redirect people to your website and spread the word about your products and brand. Plus, these are great channels to host contests, surveys, or any other posts that encourage user engagement.

Social media can become a great asset when looking to raise brand awareness
Source: Twitter

Just take a look at what Funko did to promote their exclusive Star Wars Pop. They launched an RT and follow the campaign on Twitter that offered the chance to win their brand new Amazon exclusive character.

9- Create an influencer marketing campaign

Could you imagine social media without influencers? We sure can’t! In recent years they have become a great business opportunity for many organizations and a way to build trust. Of course, when you create your influencer marketing strategies you need to take into consideration the fact that they relate, in a natural way, with your brand and products.

Source: BMW

A simple tag or mention by an influencer will help increase your brand awareness. For what it’s worth, you can check how BMW worked with TikTok influencers @falcopunch and @skyandtami to reach a new and younger target audience. BMW encouraged their followers to perform a dance and post them with the hashtag #THE1challenge.

The result? Over one million likes, 7K comments, and 7 million views.

10- Design a good and clear SEO strategy

Last but not least, is SEO. Also known as Search Engine Optimization will be a very helpful resource to increase your brand awareness. A good and clear SEO strategy will help your brand rank high in search engine results. Which translates into more organic traffic to your site.

In other words, you will gain more customers while increasing brand awareness. The reason for this is that a large portion of search engine users do not look beyond the first page of results. And a large portion of those users doesn’t even look past the first few results.


Increasing your company’s brand recognition or brand awareness is not an easy task, especially at the beginning. Yet, it is critical to put your company in the spotlight. While there are many different actions to help you in this process, it’s important that you monitor and evaluate results on a regular basis.

If you need help with your brand awareness campaigns don’t hesitate to reach out to our different branding agencies. Their experience will help you understand how good, or bad, your brand awareness is right now and what actions will help you get results.


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