What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness refers to how familiar consumers are with a particular brand. It’s the level of recognition and understanding customers have about a brand’s existence, products, and values when shopping or engaging with marketing. This familiarity is crucial for driving trust, consideration, and, ultimately, sales.

Why is brand awareness important?

Brand awareness is crucial for a number of reasons — particularly in the ecommerce industry.

Here’s why:

1. Trust and credibility

Brand awareness significantly impacts trust and credibility in the ecommerce landscape.

When customers recognize a brand, they often associate it with reliability and quality.

This familiarity helps mitigate the uncertainty that comes naturally with online shopping, especially when faced with a lot of options.

For instance, consider a shopper searching for a new laptop online.

They might lean towards a brand they’ve seen advertised or one they’ve heard positive reviews about, as opposed to an unknown brand.

Established brands like Amazon or Nike have cultivated strong trust through extensive brand awareness efforts.

They consistently deliver quality products, and their visibility across various channels has solidified trust among consumers.

This trust becomes a competitive advantage, driving customers to choose these familiar brands over lesser-known alternatives.

2. Competitive Edge

In a crowded ecommerce market, brand awareness sets brands apart.

When customers are browsing through a sea of products, they tend to choose ones they recognize.

For instance, a customer looking for skincare products might gravitate toward a brand they’ve seen on social media or encountered through influencer partnerships.

This recognition influences the decision-making process, giving brands with higher awareness a competitive edge.

Companies like Glossier have excelled in leveraging brand awareness to gain a competitive edge.

Through a strong social media presence and word-of-mouth marketing, Glossier has become a prominent player in the beauty industry, despite competing with established giants.

3. Customer acquisition and retention

Brand awareness not only attracts new customers but also retains existing ones.

When customers are familiar with a brand and have had positive experiences, they are more likely to return.

For instance, ecommerce brands often offer loyalty programs or personalized recommendations based on a customer’s previous interactions.

This familiarity and positive association lead to higher customer retention rates.

Take the example of subscription-based ecommerce brands like Dollar Shave Club.

Their witty and memorable marketing campaigns initially attracted customers, but their consistent service quality and product offerings retained those customers, showcasing the power of brand awareness in customer retention.

4. Value proposition communication

Brand awareness allows companies to effectively communicate their unique value propositions.

A brand with strong awareness can convey its core values, mission, and what makes it stand out from competitors.

For instance, when a customer sees the logo or tagline of a brand they recognize, they instantly associate it with specific values or benefits.

This clarity in communication helps in establishing a loyal customer base.

5. Marketing efficiency

Higher brand awareness translates to more efficient marketing endeavors.

Brands with established awareness find it easier to engage with their audience.

For example, when a well-known brand launches a new product or promotion, it gains traction faster due to the existing customer base.

This reduces marketing costs and efforts required to generate interest and sales.

Apple is a prime example of a brand with immense awareness, enabling them to efficiently market new product launches.

Their dedicated fan base eagerly anticipates and readily adopts new Apple products, giving marketing efforts an extra level of potency.

6. Expansion and growth

Brand awareness lays a sturdy foundation for expansion and growth in ecommerce.

When a brand is well-known in its niche, it can explore new markets or introduce new products more confidently. This recognition serves as a springboard for expansion initiatives, facilitating growth opportunities.

A brand like Airbnb, which started as a platform for renting accommodations, expanded its services to Airbnb Experiences.

Their established brand awareness in the travel industry allowed them to seamlessly introduce this new offering and gain traction among their existing user base.

In essence, brand awareness is the cornerstone of success in ecommerce, influencing purchasing decisions, fostering trust, and nurturing long-term relationships with customers.

How to increase brand awareness

Unfortunately, increasing brand awareness isn’t a quick or simple process.

It demands consistent application of good strategies over a long period of time.

However, the brands that invest in long-term brand awareness will see the benefits compound over time.

Here are some ideas to help you increase brand awareness in the ecommerce landscape:

1. Content marketing and SEO

Create valuable, shareable content related to your brand and industry.

Blog posts, videos, infographics, and guides can attract and engage your target audience.

Optimize this content for search engines (SEO) to improve visibility in organic search results, driving more traffic to your website.


2. Social media engagement

Leverage social media platforms to connect with your audience.

Regularly share engaging content, behind-the-scenes glimpses, user-generated content, and interactive posts.

Use targeted ads and sponsored content to reach a wider audience

Engage with your followers by responding to comments, running contests, and fostering a community around your brand.

3. Influencer partnerships

Collaborate with influencers or micro-influencers in your niche to amplify your brand’s visibility.

Firstly identify individuals whose audience aligns with your target market then work with them to showcase your products or services authentically.

Influencers can help you reach a broader audience and build credibility through their recommendations.

4. Email marketing campaigns

Developing personalized and engaging email campaigns can help stay top-of-mind with your audience which is key in building brand awareness post-purchase.

You can share valuable content, promotions, and updates about your brand.

It also helps to segment your email list to deliver targeted messages that resonate with different segments of your audience.

5. Partnerships and collaborations

Explore partnerships with complementary brands or organizations to reach new audiences.

Co-marketing campaigns, joint events, or product collaborations can introduce your brand to a wider customer base.

You don’t have to work with direct competitors, either.

You can align with non-competing brands that share your values or target a similar audience to help increase brand awareness for both parties.

6. User-generated content and reviews

Encouraging customers to create and share content featuring your products helps to create authentic endorsements, increasing trust and visibility.

Showcasing customer testimonials and reviews prominently on your website and social media platforms is also key to building credibility and attracting new customers.

7. Visual branding consistency

Maintain a cohesive visual identity across all platforms and marketing materials.

Consistent use of colors, logos, fonts, and imagery helps in immediate brand recognition.

Another tip is to ensure your brand’s aesthetic aligns with your target audience’s preferences and values.

8. Community engagement and events

Engage with your audience by hosting online events, webinars, or workshops related to your industry.

You can create or participate in forums, discussions, or groups where your target audience is active to build strong brand awareness.

Building a community around your brand is a great way to increase brand loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion too.

9. Platform expansion

An under-utilized brand awareness strategy in the ecommerce space has been multi-platform adoption.

Brands are slowly realizing platforms like Amazon are not just optional but essential for creating brand awareness in otherwise untapped markets.

There are large portions of the ecommerce buyer community who will only shop on Amazon, just like there are those who will only shop direct with brands.

Expanding to as many platforms as possible can help raise brand awareness and ultimately grow sales.

10. Remarketing and retargeting

Retargeting: Specifically targeting users who have visited your website but left without making a purchase.

Remarketing: Encompasses broader strategies that can involve reaching out to past customers or those who’ve engaged in different ways beyond just website visits.

These strategies combined can re-engage with visitors who previously interacted with your website or products and build brand awareness.

11. Customer service excellence

Deliver exceptional customer service as positive experiences lead to word-of-mouth referrals.

Aim for:

  • Quick response times
  • Personalized interactions
  • Problem resolution.

Remember: Happy customers are more likely to recommend your brand to others, contributing to increased awareness.

Select and tailor these strategies based on your brand, target audience, and resources available.

A blend of these approaches can significantly help with building brand awareness in the competitive ecommerce landscape.

How to measure brand awareness

It’s impossible to know how aware consumers are of your brand without measuring that awareness in some way.

Here are some quick ideas to consider for measuring brand awareness:

  • Surveys and Questionnaires: Directly ask about brand recognition and recall through targeted surveys. These work particularly well in a post-purchase email flow, or even straight away on your order confirmation page.
  • Website Analytics: Monitor direct traffic in Google Analytics and branded search in Google Search Console to track brand discovery. When either of these metrics are increasing in percentage, it’s a sign brand awareness is growing.
  • Social Media Metrics: Analyze mentions, shares, comments, follower growth, reach, and engagement rates.
  • Brand Sentiment Analysis: Use social listening tools to assess sentiment around your brand online.
  • Brand Recall Tests: Evaluate top-of-mind recall of your brand within your industry.
  • Customer Feedback and Reviews: Monitor feedback and reviews across platforms including your website, Amazon, and public review platforms like TrustPilot.

Measuring brand awareness using a mix of these methods can help provide a better understanding of your brand’s awareness levels.

Brand awareness FAQs

Yes, building brand awareness is more crucial on Amazon than ever before. As competition on the platform grows with a range of sellers offering similar products, standing out through strong brand recognition helps drive trust and encourages customers to choose your offerings over competitors. You can easily measure brand awareness on Amazon by monitoring branded searches inside the Search Query Performance dashboard, or with a paid tool like Helium 10.

Absolutely. On Shopify, brand awareness plays a pivotal role in setting your store apart. It helps build credibility, fosters customer trust, and influences purchasing decisions, especially when competing with other online stores. As it’s unlikely you’ll have the same level of trust with buyers as on Amazon, creating a strong brand presence is even more important.

Yes, brand awareness is significant on Etsy, but not quite is important as on Amazon or Shopify. With a focus on handmade, unique, or vintage items, establishing a recognizable brand helps sellers attract and retain customers seeking specific styles, quality, or experiences associated with their brand.

Indeed, brand awareness matters on eBay. With a diverse range of sellers and products, having a strong brand presence helps differentiate your offerings, gain buyer trust, and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases. Standing out amidst the variety of sellers with strong brand awareness is a definite boost for businesses selling on eBay.

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