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Definition: Awareness

Brand Awareness, sometimes also called consumer awareness is the degree to which a brand is recognized by consumers and also related to a specific product. Generating brand awareness is important in two instances, one for a new product/brand, and two for a product in a highly competitive category. It has two components namely Brand Recognition and Brand Recall.


Brand recognition means that a consumer is able to recognize a brand when someone is trying to make the consumer recognize it, like if it is being talked about or when a logo is shown, i.e. consumer recognizes having prior knowledge of the brand. Brand recall means that the consumer should be able to recall the exact brand (name) when the product/product category is mentioned.

For example, if soft-drink is mentioned and consumer recalls Coca-Cola, it is brand recall; but if the consumer says he has heard of Pepsi, earlier when the logo is shown and/or Pepsi is talked about, and doesn’t recall it right away, it is brand recognition.


There are two types of brand awareness measures:


1. Aided awareness: Consumer is able to select a brand of a product from a list of brands, as in a supermarket aisle.

2. Top-of-Mind awareness: Consumer is able to ask for a specific brand of a product as her/his first choice because when (s)he thinks of that product category, that brand comes to mind first.

Brand awareness is important to maintain long-term sales of a product. It creates loyalty to that product as the brand is readily associated with that product, instead of the competing brands and also is given word-of-mouth popularity, which can last generations.

Some good examples would be Colgate, in the olden days in India when the middle-class went to buy toothpaste, they asked for ‘Colgate’; Coca-Cola and Pepsi almost have a monopoly in the soft-drinks market. Also, BandAid, Parachute (hair oil), FeviQuick etc. are other popular examples demonstrating high brand awareness.


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