What Is The Value Of Aided Brand Awareness Relative To Unaided?

For smaller companies, or newer brands, I would argue that aided brand awareness is something a company should aggressively target at the beginning in certain circumstances.  The most valuable situation where aided brand awareness comes into play is if your product is already on the shelves at most major retailers where your company competes.  For example, I have no idea what toilet paper has the funny animated bear commercials, but when I see it in the aisle I buy it because of the commercials.  That is an example of how aided brand awareness can drastically increase sales.  If your brand is sitting on the shelves, and the packaging or the name prompts people to remember the advertising campaign, then that can draw sales regardless of whether or not the consumer can name your brand in an unaided survey.

An example where this would not be the case would be when you are searching for a e-book reader.  The only name I knew of is the kindle, and I had no interest in one.  However, three of my family members got e-book readers and were so excited about how cool they were.  None of them could remember the name (turned out to be the Nook).  Long story short, I went out and bought a kindle because I was not going to wait for the name from my family members.  In that business, since the e-book readers are not all on the same shelf, unaided brand awareness (or lack thereof) lost the Nook a referral sale (which is the most important kind of sale).

To answer your question, you first must look at how your product is sold.  If it is sold in a community store where customers will see it while shopping for that general product, then aided brand awareness is extremely important.  If it is only sold in apple stores or Ford dealerships, then unaided brand awareness is far more important because consumers will never get into the store unless they remember what brand they were looking for.

From a metric perspective, there were two parts to your question.  You asked what would be considered successful in terms of aided awareness to lead to increased brand preference.  Of course, in the long term, Aided awareness will lead to an increase in brand preference, but brand preference is an equation with two variables.

1) Do I know the brand?
2) Do I like the brand enough to make a purchase on it?

Unfortunately, measuring aided brand awareness alone cannot answer this question.  You have to have a quality product that people want/need, and it has to be a more compelling value proposition than what your competitors are offering in order for you to turn aided brand awareness into brand preference.  There is no magic number that will eliminate the need for those extra variables.  I wish I could be more specific.  I hope that helps, good luck out there!

Todd Hagopian

Please follow the conversation on quora.com:  http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-value-of-aided-brand-awareness-relative-to-unaided/answer/Todd-Hagopian


About Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian)

Todd Hagopian received his BA from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a Financial Advisor and a Bank Manager before returning to school. He attended Michigan State University, where he completed an MBA with a double-major in Finance and Marketing. Todd is now a Senior Product Development Manager for a Fortune 500 company. He frequently writes about business issues, social media strategy, and political issues that he finds important. Enjoy the blog!

Posted on September 23, 2011, in Business Strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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