How to measure brand awareness? Start with this framework.

How to measure brand awareness

Jupiter’s marketing director, Nataly, sits in her CEO’s office. The company is facing a scaling challenge. Their product is a B2B tech leader in the HR industry, with 150 paying customers reached through networking and organic demand. It’s time to focus on brand awareness! Considering that the impact will be felt gradually, it was decided to split the activities into three campaigns to analyze each campaign and gain practical insights for the next one. During this period, they expect to see an increase in searches for the Jupiter brand and generate revenue that matches the campaign budget (thus achieving a flat return on investment). But beyond the obvious, she also realizes that she needs to understand how to measure brand awareness impact.

She called her dear friend and colleague, Luke, a VP of marketing at Saturn Insurance, to brainstorm. Saturn Insurance was dealing with a similar but very different scaling challenge. Their customers were shifting to their competitors for lower prices — a battle the executives didn’t want to get into.

“We have redefined our target audience to high-income families,” Luke said. “To make this mindset shift, we tested three new messages emphasizing our benefits’ importance and polished them along the way. In the end, we had one solid message that resonated the best and hit our goals by raising 25% the share of wallets.”

“But how did you measure it?” she asked. “I looked for how to measure brand awareness online and found similar examples all over the internet, like tracking organic and direct traffic, running surveys, and social mentions. They are ways to track the activity, yet they are the means, not the end.”

“We have been using the Thebrandformer framework for measuring brand awareness,” he answered. “It has focused our approach, helped us address measuring challenges differently, and given us inputs to use for the next steps.“

Measuring Brand Awareness Framework

Thebrandformer’s team suggests a different angle to this dilemma. We have developed a framework with 3 key layers that enable you to track the progress, Find out what contributes to scaling, and build the foundation for running a long-term (ongoing) brand awareness activity.

  1. Clarify your goals and objectives. (New tab for more)
  2. Set up KPIs based on your objectives. (New tab for more)
  3. Track and measure the activities. (New tab for more)

Challenges in measuring brand awareness

  1. It’s an ongoing process that needs patience and dedication. We’re living in a rapidly changing environment. Marketing teams who decide to jump into this pool expect to see the needle shift immediately, but if they don’t see fast results, they decide to roll back. It’s a process of trial and error. You have to keep that in mind.
  2. It requires collaboration with your teammates and other departments in the company. Sometimes it’ll be hard to explain the importance of it, especially when it’s out of scope. A big part of this process is to develop those connections and steadily make the method part of the marketing scope.
  3. It can be difficult to explain that brand awareness activities can be tracked and measured. We have gotten use to used to the fact that there are elements in the marketing area that we know impact buyers’ decision-making, but we can’t say precisely what. There is no secret formula that can pinpoint it. This framework suggests developing a method that gives you the compass.

How to tackle these challenges

If you analyze the traffic sources, you’ll find that most of your valuable traffic is driven by people searching for your brand. However, the tricky part is knowing what leads the users to look up your brand. That’s where measuring brand awareness becomes so important.

To make this process happen, we recommend taking James Cleare’s (Atomic Habits) approach to build great habits. This helps to break this process into small steps and aim to get 1% better each day. Here is an example of the steps we recommend (take only one step/substep daily).

  1. Evaluate the impact of your direct brand response:
    1. Map the direct response channels: Calls to the call center, people who search for your brand on Google Sponsored results, traffic to your company’s home page (direct or organic), etc.
    2. If you’re not an analytics person, approach a colleague in your organization who you think can help with the next steps (it’s a great chance to develop connections and collaborate).
    3. Export the data of your brand activity for each channel and arrange it in one folder. Make sure to name the file so you can easily find it later.
    4. Analyze the data and discover how impactful the brand traffic is for your company (What is the revenue you received from all those channels? Is there a cap for this traffic that your company hasn’t succeeded in breaking?)
    5. Write 2-3 main conclusions in bullet points. For each conclusion, back it up with the data. (e.g., The number of people who search for the brand is steady…)
    6. Coherently present the data in slides, spreadsheets, or another clear format.
  2. Set up a meeting and explain the importance to relevant stakeholders in your company by showing a detailed analysis.
  3. Get practical with this framework by reading the first layer, “Clarify your goals and objectives,” and sending it to the relevant people.

If you have gotten this far, you believe that scaling your company’s brand would increase the business’s success. Developing this process takes time and effort, but the beauty of it is that the clear actionable steps make this process digestible and simplify the process of increasing brand awareness.