One of the first questions asked about a brand is “What is the brand’s awareness?” Without awareness there is no value. Creating awareness is the very first gate a brand must open on the path to becoming valuable. Awareness can be measured as aided or unaided. High unaided awareness scores are important and indicate how strongly a brand is associated with a category of products or services.
Awareness, unfortunately isn’t the best predictor of sales. Hearing about the brand doesn’t provide enough knowledge to buy. The marketer must strive to develop brand familiarity with the potential customers of the brand. Familiarity is a higher standard than awareness, it is a measure of the knowledge and understanding the customer has about the brand.
My son said, “Dad, you are making this too hard. Have you heard of Snoop Doggy Dogg*?” I said “Yes”. He asked, “What kind of music does he play?” I said “Rock.” My son said, “No, he plays rap, you are aware, but not familiar, you wouldn’t know which section in the store would have his music.” He is so right. We want to build familiarity so customers have the information they need to make a purchase.
Our goal is to focus on the key messages that build understanding and knowledge. The ideas that reinforce why the brand is relevant to the customer and different from the competition increase familiarity and help move the customer’s desire to purchase.
*Snoop Doggy Dogg changed his name to Snoop Dogg in 1996