Brand awareness refers to the extent to which consumers recognize and are familiar with a particular brand. It’s the degree to which a brand name, logo, or other brand elements are known by consumers and come to mind when they think of a particular product or service category. Brand awareness is an important marketing metric as it serves as the foundation for building brand equity and customer loyalty.
Unaided brand awareness, on the other hand, is a specific measure of brand awareness that gauges the spontaneous recall or recognition of a brand by consumers without any prompts or cues. It measures the ability of consumers to remember a brand name or logo without being aided by any prompts or hints. Unaided brand awareness is considered a higher level of brand awareness, as it reflects the strength of a brand in the minds of consumers and indicates the brand’s ability to create a lasting impression.
The key difference between brand awareness and unaided brand awareness is that brand awareness can be measured through prompted recall, where consumers are provided with prompts or cues to recognize or recall a brand, whereas unaided brand awareness measures spontaneous recall without any prompts or cues. Unaided brand awareness is typically considered a more stringent and accurate measure of brand awareness, as it reflects the brand’s saliency in the minds of consumers without any external influences.
In summary, brand awareness is the general recognition and familiarity of a brand among consumers, while unaided brand awareness specifically measures spontaneous recall of a brand without any prompts or cues, providing a more reliable indicator of a brand’s true strength in the market.
There is no absolute right and wrong, like most things it depends on your objectives. It is very important to make sure that you are providing the right stimulus and that your question map is conducted by experienced professionals. Particularly in unaided brand awareness, your stimulus and questions will bias the respondent for later insights so get the ordering right otherwise you’ve lost a lot of time and money.
What about brand recall?
Brand recall is a related but slightly different concept from brand awareness and unaided brand awareness. Brand recall refers to the ability of consumers to remember a particular brand when prompted with a specific cue, such as a brand name, logo, or tagline. It is a measure of a consumer’s ability to retrieve a brand from memory when prompted with a specific stimulus.
Brand recall can be aided, where consumers are provided with prompts or cues, or unaided, where consumers are asked to recall a brand without any prompts. Aided brand recall is similar to brand awareness, as it involves providing cues or prompts to consumers to help them remember a brand. On the other hand, unaided brand recall is similar to unaided brand awareness, as it measures spontaneous recall without any prompts or cues.
The main difference between brand recall and brand awareness/unaided brand awareness is that brand recall specifically measures the ability of consumers to retrieve a brand from memory when prompted with a specific cue, while brand awareness and unaided brand awareness measure the general recognition and familiarity of a brand among consumers, with or without prompts.
Is that different to Share of Voice?
Yes, the measures are related but they look at different things. Try this analogy: Start my thinking of the brand as a human being. Brand awareness can be thought of as the overall opinions of the human – these opinions can be drawn from 100s of interactions and hearsay over the years. Share of Voice is more a measure of what the human being is saying right now. So that human being might have just become an expert in pizza making – most of what that human talks about is pizza and they talk very loudly and eloquently about it. They have a big share of voice in the pizza making community. But measure them in the sausage making community and their share will drop to zero.
So, share of voice is an important metric for knowing where you are in your industry but you have to set parameters to that ‘community’ – the area you are measuring – to make sure that your measures are usable. SoV should be measured over a period of time and incorporate insights about what has been happening to your brand or your competitors brand in that time period.
Check out my other post for free tools that you can use to measure brand without having to spend loads of money.