Brand awareness: what it is and how to improve it

When Semrush asked 1,500 marketers from around the world what their top priority is when they create brand content, one answer rose to the top: brand awareness. Around 45% of respondents ranked “increase brand awareness” as their number one priority.

So, what is brand awareness, what goes into creating it, and why is it so important? In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about brand awareness and offer several ways you can build brand awareness and boost your presence in the marketplace.



What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is the extent to which a potential customer is familiar with your business, products, services, and values. It includes familiarity with the company name, logos, slogans, jingles, colors, and other elements that make up a brand identity.

It takes customers only seven seconds to decide whether or not they like and trust your brand. That’s not a lot of time to make a powerful first impression. Brand awareness can give you a competitive edge by keeping your business top of mind and helping you stand out.

When developing your brand strategy, consider how to increase brand visibility and recognition. For example, signature brand colors can boost brand recognition by an impressive 80%. After all, what’s Coke without its signature red?

Blue is another popular color choice — 35% of brands include a shade of blue in their logo. Blue is perceived as secure, trustworthy, and dependable. Pepsi, Chase, and IBM are some of the most well-known brands that use blue in their logos.

But branding is more than just a logo or brand name — it’s the whole marketing strategy. You should communicate your company’s message, purpose, voice, and values through your branding. What sets you apart? Why should customers choose your business over the competition?

When making a purchasing decision, people often look for brands they know and trust. In fact, 46% of consumers said they’d pay more to buy from brands they trust.

Creating an emotional connection with your target audience is key to establishing a strong brand presence. You want people to think of you first and talk positively about you when they discuss the industry or product category.

Why is brand awareness important?

Brand awareness is like the neon sign that beckons customers to come closer and get to know your brand. It's all about making sure that your target audience knows you exist and remembers you when they're ready to make a purchasing decision. But why is it so important?

When people are familiar with your brand, they are more likely to choose you over your competitors. Brand awareness builds recognition, allowing customers to connect with your products or services effortlessly. Trust also plays a significant role. When customers repeatedly encounter your brand and have positive experiences, they develop a sense of trust and loyalty, making them more inclined to choose your offerings.

Brand awareness acts as a megaphone for your marketing efforts. It's like turning up the volume on your brand message and spreading it far and wide. When your target audience is aware of your brand, they become more receptive to your marketing campaigns, whether it's a captivating social media ad, a compelling email newsletter, or an attention-grabbing billboard. Brand awareness helps cut through the noise and ensures that your messages are heard.

By focusing on brand awareness, you can pave the way for increased customer engagement, expanded market reach, and, ultimately, business growth. So, let your brand shine brightly, and watch as brand awareness lights up the path to success.

How to increase brand awareness: 9 proven strategies

If you’re looking for practical steps to build brand awareness, there are several tactics you can utilize. Let’s dive into nine brand-building tactics that are guaranteed to help increase your level of brand awareness.

1. Run awareness ads

People need to be exposed to a brand five to seven times to start recognizing it. That’s why advertising is so important.

Advertising is a powerful tool for building a successful brand and increasing recognition with potential customers. By carefully crafting brand awareness campaigns tailored to the needs of your target market, your business can create compelling messages that are more likely to be remembered.

Traditional advertising, like television, radio, and print ads, is an attractive option for sharing your brand message. Digital advertising offers even more powerful options through platforms like Google Ads, social media ads (like those on Facebook and Instagram), and targeted email campaigns. About 80% of brand marketers use social media ads to increase brand awareness.

Tools like Google Analytics make marketing efforts more effective by tracking visitors and new customers funneling in from digital marketing. Social listening tools help businesses get more insights into their customer base, allowing them to understand better what resonates with them.

With these tools, you can design campaigns tailored to your audience’s needs, ensuring they reach the right people at the right time.

2. Optimize your social media

To improve brand awareness, optimizing your social media presence is a must. Consider this compelling statistic: nearly 80% of consumers in the U.S. have made purchases from brands they discovered on Facebook. Moreover, businesses with a social media presence make an average of 32% more sales compared to those without.

Whether you're a small business or a large corporation, social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Twitter can play a crucial role in growing awareness of your brand.

Start by choosing the right platforms for your target audience and industry. Each platform has its own strengths and user demographics, so it's important to identify where your audience spends their time. By focusing your efforts on the platforms where your target audience is most active, you can maximize your brand's visibility and engagement.

Consistency is key when it comes to social media. Maintain a regular presence by posting content that aligns with your brand's guidelines. This includes ensuring that your messaging, visuals, and tone of voice reflect your brand personality and values. Consistency builds familiarity, which strengthens brand awareness and fosters trust among your audience.

Engage and interact with your audience to create meaningful connections. Respond to comments, messages, and mentions promptly. Run contests, ask questions, and encourage user-generated content to actively involve your audience. By participating in conversations and showing genuine interest, you foster a community around your brand, enhancing brand awareness organically.

3. Create eye-catching posts

When it comes to improving brand awareness, social media marketing can be a game-changer. Although regularly posting engaging content and interacting with customers allows you to spread the word about your brand's products and services, the key to creating a great customer experience on social media starts with an eye-catching post. Here are some tips to help you create social media posts that leave a lasting impression:

First and foremost, focus on visual appeal. Capture attention with stunning visuals that make your posts stand out in crowded feeds. Utilize high-quality images, vibrant colors, and intriguing graphics to grab the viewer's attention. Incorporate your defined brand's visual identity, such as your logo or unique design elements, to maintain consistency and reinforce brand recognition.

However, captivating visuals alone aren't enough. Craft compelling captions to accompany your visuals. Use your captions to tell stories, share insights, or evoke emotions that resonate with your audience. Use search engine optimization (SEO) best practices in your captions to optimize your posts further and increase the likelihood that they’ll be seen by your intended audience.

Be creative, witty, or informative — whatever suits your brand's personality. By combining striking visuals with captivating captions, you create a winning combination that not only catches the eye but also engages and connects with your audience on a deeper level.

4. Run social media contests

Running social media contests can be a powerful strategy to level up your brand awareness game. Contests not only generate excitement and engagement but also provide an opportunity to expand your reach and attract new audiences. Here's how you can make the most of social media contests:

First, choose a contest format that aligns with your brand and resonates with your audience. It could be a photo contest, a caption contest, a giveaway, or a user-generated content challenge. The key is to make it fun, interactive, and shareable. Encourage participants to tag their friends, share their entries, or use a branded hashtag to amplify the contest's visibility.

Next, offer enticing prizes that are relevant to your target audience. The prizes should be valuable enough to generate interest and motivate participation. Consider partnering with other brands or influencers to enhance the prize pool and tap into their audiences as well. Collaboration opportunities not only add more excitement to the contest but also introduce your brand to a broader network of potential customers.

Don't forget to promote your contest across a variety of channels and leverage your existing customer base to spread the word. Create interesting posts to announce the contest, share sneak peeks, and provide updates throughout the entry period. Encourage participants to engage with your brand by commenting, liking, or sharing the contest posts. This will not only increase brand awareness but also boost engagement metrics, thereby improving your overall social media presence.

By running social media contests, you can create a buzz around your brand, attract new followers, and encourage user-generated content that showcases your products or services. It's a win-win situation that fosters brand awareness while rewarding your audience for their participation. So, get creative, plan an exciting contest, and watch as your brand awareness skyrockets in the social media sphere.

5. Partner with creators

If you're looking to boost brand awareness, partnering with creators or influencers can be a game-changing strategy. In fact, over 40% of brands already work with influencers to increase their brand's visibility. Influencers are individuals with a significant following on social networks who can help spread your brand's message and create a heightened sense of awareness. Working with influencers allows you to tap into their established audience base, helping you reach new users and demographics.

When choosing influencers to partner with, consider those whose values, interests, and niches align with your brand. Look for influencers whose audience demographics closely match your target market. By collaborating with influencers who have a genuine connection with their followers, you can leverage their influence and trust to introduce your brand to a receptive audience.

When working with creators, it's essential to establish a mutually beneficial partnership. Clearly define your goals and expectations for the collaboration, and ensure that the creator understands your brand's identity and messaging. Together, brainstorm creative ways to showcase your products or services that resonate with your audience while staying true to your brand values. These partnerships not only enhance brand awareness but also add an authentic touch to your marketing efforts.

By partnering with creators, you can gain access to their already engaged followers as well as increase the potential to reach new audiences. These collaborations can bring fresh perspectives, expand your brand's visibility, and create a renewed buzz around your offerings. So, explore the world of influencers, find the right creators to collaborate with, and watch as the awareness around your brand takes off to new heights.

6. Offer something for free

If you want to capture attention and make a memorable impression, offering something for free can be a powerful tactic to improve brand awareness. People love freebies, and by providing value without asking for anything in return, you create a positive association with your brand. Here's how you can leverage the power of free offerings:

Consider what you can provide for free that aligns with your brand and appeals to your target audience. It could be a free e-book, a downloadable guide, a sample of your product, or access to an exclusive webinar or event. The key is to offer something valuable that showcases your expertise, solves a problem, or enhances the lives of your audience.

Promote your free item across your social media platforms, websites, and email newsletters. Craft compelling messaging that highlights the benefits and value of the freebie. Encourage people to share the offer with their networks to expand your reach organically. By generating buzz and creating a sense of urgency, you can drive more people to engage with your brand, increase brand awareness, and capture valuable leads in the process.

Remember, offering something for free is not just about attracting attention — it's about building relationships and nurturing trust. When people experience the value you provide without any obligation, they are more likely to develop a positive perception of your brand and become loyal customers in the long run. So, identify what you can offer for free, promote it strategically, and watch as your brand's awareness and reputation soar.

Sponsoring events is a fantastic way to boost brand awareness and connect with your target audience in a more tangible and experiential way. By aligning your brand with relevant events, you can leverage the excitement and engagement surrounding them to increase your brand's visibility. Here's how you can make the most of event sponsorships:

First, identify events that resonate with your brand's values and target audience. Look for opportunities where your brand can shine and make a meaningful impact. It could be industry conferences, local community gatherings, charity fundraisers, or even virtual events. Choose events that align with your brand's identity and provide a platform to showcase your products or services to a relevant audience.

As a sponsor, go beyond just slapping your logo on banners. Find creative ways to engage with event attendees and create memorable experiences. Set up interactive booths, host workshops or demonstrations, or offer exclusive discounts or giveaways. The goal is to create a positive and lasting impression that goes beyond the event itself. When attendees associate their enjoyable event experiences with your brand, it increases the likelihood of them becoming loyal customers and advocates.

Leverage social media and marketing channels to amplify your event sponsorship. Promote your involvement before, during, and after the event. Use hashtags, live updates, and behind-the-scenes content to generate excitement and engage with both event attendees and those who couldn't attend. By extending the reach of the event through your marketing efforts, you maximize the exposure and impact of your sponsorship.

Sponsoring events not only enhances brand awareness but also provides an opportunity to connect with your audience on a personal level. By choosing the right events, creating engaging experiences, and leveraging marketing channels, you can leave a lasting impression and forge meaningful connections that translate into long-term brand loyalty.

8. Collaborate with other brands

Collaborating with other brands is a smart and effective way to improve brand awareness. By joining forces with complementary brands, you can tap into their audience and gain exposure to new customer segments. It's like expanding your brand's reach by borrowing a bit of their spotlight. Here's how you can make brand collaborations work for you:

Start by identifying brands that share a similar target audience or have a synergy with your offerings. Look for opportunities where you can create mutually beneficial partnerships. It could be co-creating a product, hosting joint events or webinars, or collaborating on a marketing campaign together. The key is to find brands that align with your values and enhance your brand's story.

When collaborating, focus on creating unique and valuable experiences for your audience. Think beyond traditional marketing tactics and aim for memorable interactions. By offering something special, whether it's exclusive discounts, limited-edition products, or joint content, you can generate excitement and incentivize customers to engage with both brands. This not only increases brand awareness but also fosters a positive perception of your brand through association with reputable partners.

Leverage your marketing channels to amplify the collaboration. Cross-promote on social media, create joint content, and feature the collaboration prominently on your website and email newsletters. Encourage your audience to explore the partner brand and vice versa. By combining your marketing efforts, you can reach a wider audience and maximize the impact of the collaboration.

Collaborating with other brands allows you to tap into their audience, expand your brand's reach, and create unique experiences that resonate with your target market. It's a powerful way to enhance brand awareness and build credibility through association.

9. Invest in content marketing

Content marketing is a big term, so let’s break it down. Content marketing can be anything from creating blog posts and articles to producing podcasts, videos, infographics, and webinars.

Content marketing is a great way to build trust with potential customers by providing them with valuable content. When done right, content can help you increase brand awareness by driving more organic traffic to your website and engaging new audiences.

Creating SEO-friendly content helps your website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), leading to more organic traffic.

Ultimately, your customers are wondering what you can do for them. How will you make their lives easier? A solid content strategy is the best way to answer those questions and create helpful resources to make your brand stand out from the competition.

How to measure brand awareness

Brands must track their brand awareness efforts. Brand awareness is a crucial metric for businesses to gauge their market impact and customer recognition. However, in today’s digital-first landscape, measuring and understanding brand awareness can be a bit tricky. You can use several metrics to measure brand awareness, such as brand recall, recognition, and familiarity. This section will dive into the various strategies businesses can use to track and measure brand awareness metrics.

Direct traffic

One of the key indicators to measure brand awareness is direct traffic. It's like having your brand's very own dedicated fan club — people who know your name and come directly to your website without needing any prompts or intermediaries. It's like that friend who shows up unannounced at your doorstep because they know you so well!

Direct traffic represents the visitors who type your website URL directly into their browser or click on a bookmark they've saved. These are the folks who have either heard about your brand through word-of-mouth, seen your offline advertisements, or simply have you top of mind. It's a beautiful testament to the strength of your brand's identity, and it's like getting a warm virtual hug from your audience.

By keeping an eye on direct traffic, you can gauge how well your brand is sticking in people's minds. So, the next time someone visits your website without any referral sources, take a moment to celebrate the power of direct traffic and the enduring love your audience has for your brand!

Website traffic

When we talk about website traffic, we're essentially counting the number of people visiting your website. Each visitor represents a potential customer or someone who's curious about what you have to offer. By analyzing your website traffic, you can get a glimpse into how many people are discovering your brand, exploring your content, and interacting with your products or services.

Think of website traffic as a virtual barometer for brand awareness. The more people flock to your website, the greater the chance that your brand is making waves and attracting attention. It's like throwing a fabulous party and watching the guest list grow — each new arrival is a testament to your brand's appeal and visibility.

So, keep an eye on your website traffic, celebrate those surges in visitors, and take it as a sign that your brand awareness game is strong. After all, there's nothing quite like the feeling of knowing that your online presence is drawing in a crowd and leaving a lasting impression.

Reach vs. impressions

Now, let's unravel the mystery behind reach and impressions, two buzzwords that often pop up when measuring brand awareness. They're like the dynamic duo of the advertising world, working hand-in-hand to give you a clearer picture of your brand's visibility.

Reach is like the spotlight shining on your brand. It represents the number of unique individuals who have had direct contact with your content. Think of it as the size of your brand’s potential audience. It's like waving to a crowd and seeing how many people notice and wave back. The higher the reach, the more eyes are on your brand, which means a wider net for brand awareness.

On the other hand, impressions are like the footprints your brand leaves behind. They represent the number of times your content has been displayed or shown to people. Each impression is a tiny breadcrumb, reminding people that your brand exists.

So, while reach focuses on the unique individuals your brand has reached, impressions highlight the repeated exposures to your brand. Together, they provide a powerful snapshot of how far your brand's influence has spread. Keep an eye on both reach and impressions to understand the full scope of your brand awareness and make sure those numbers continue to expand.

Social share of voice

Now, let's turn our attention to a metric that's as social as a group of friends chatting over coffee: social share of voice. It's like eavesdropping on conversations at a bustling café to see how many people are talking about your brand.

Social share of voice is all about determining how much buzz your brand generates in the social media realm compared to your competitors. By analyzing social share of voice, you can see how often people are mentioning, tagging, and discussing your brand in relation to others in your industry.

Think of it as a popularity contest in the social media world — the higher your social share of voice, the more your brand is dominating the conversation. It's a fantastic way to gauge how much your audience is engaging with your brand and spreading the word. So, the next time you spot your brand's name lighting up social media platforms, give yourself a virtual high-five for grabbing people's attention and becoming the talk of the digital town.

Brand surveys

Welcome to the wonderful world of brand surveys — a treasure trove of insights that can help you gauge brand awareness. It's like having a direct line to your audience's thoughts and opinions, where you get to ask them questions and listen to their answers. So, let's unfold the power of brand surveys and how they can measure brand awareness.

Brand surveys are like friendly interviews with your target audience. You can ask them about their familiarity with your brand, their perceptions, and measure their recall of specific advertisements or campaigns. Imagine them as heart-to-heart conversations with your customers to understand how deeply your brand has resonated with them.

By conducting brand surveys, you can gather valuable feedback and data straight from the source — your audience. You'll uncover insights about how memorable your brand is, how well your messaging is sticking, and whether you're successfully carving a space in their minds.

Brand awareness examples

To better understand brand awareness, let’s look at real-world examples of companies with strong brand awareness.


A Coca-Cola truck

Coca-Cola is the strongest brand in the U.S., with a brand value of over $97 billion. This iconic beverage company has been around since 1886 and is known for its signature red-and-white logo. Throughout the decades, Coke has had many memorable marketing campaigns, like the iconic polar bears that have appeared in the company’s ads for 70 years.


A Nike store with a giant Nike logo in front

Around 95% of people in the U.S. recognize Nike’s name and logo. It’s one of the most successful sports brands in the world, with over $49 billion in annual revenue. Nike is known for its iconic swoosh logo and tagline, “Just Do It.” The “Just Do It” brand awareness campaign is one of Nike’s most successful marketing campaigns and has featured countless athletes.


An aerial view of various Apple products

When your brand name and logo perfectly align, you create something recognizable and trusted worldwide. Half of people surveyed said they’re more likely to use a company with a logo they easily recognize. Meanwhile, 60% said they avoid companies with weird logos, even if they have good reviews. Apple’s timeless, minimalistic logo — featuring an apple with a bite taken out — is immediately recognizable.


The McDonald's golden arches

The golden arches are in over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries around the world. The brand is valued at over $190 billion. That’s a pretty giant leap from the first location in Des Plaines, Illinois, which opened in 1955. It’s memorable “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle came out in the early 2000s when the stock was low. While the turnaround can’t be attributed entirely to a catchy jingle, it certainly helped bring McDonald’s back to the minds of consumers.

Build strong brand recognition

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Whether you're creating a new logo, designing a social media campaign, or making a product video, Adobe Express can help you get the job done. And with its Brand Feature, you can easily add your logo and branding to any project, so your content always looks consistent.

So, what are you waiting for? Start using Adobe Express today and build a strong brand identity that will help you grow your business.

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