The Ultimate Guide to Building Brand Awareness

The Ultimate Guide to Building Brand Awareness

Do you grab a Hoover rather than a vacuum cleaner? Or perhaps you Google something rather than use a search engine?

Brand awareness permeates our daily lives, get it right, and you can successfully catapult your brand into the public eye.

But what exactly is brand awareness, and what can you do to help boost your brand’s presence? In this guide, we’ll run through everything you need to know about brand awareness, covering a few different ways that you can make people aware of your brand.

What is brand awareness?

The dictionary defines brand awareness as ‘the extent to which consumers are familiar with the qualities or image of a particular brand of goods or services.’

So, breaking this down, brand awareness is all about familiarity; you want to be the first brand that someone thinks about when considering your product or service, essentially immortalising your brand as the go-to choice.

For decades, this has relied on clever advertising strategies and a concerted team-wide effort to spread your message far and wide.

While the principles of this haven’t changed over the years, the methods by which you achieve success have changed dramatically with the advent of always-on social media.

Brands with amazing brand awareness might be seen ‘trending’, or creating a ‘buzz’, successfully finding their way into the hearts and minds of consumers.

Why is it important for your business?

At its core, brand awareness is trust

As a small business, we’re sure you’re used to frustrating comparisons to bigger brands, or the ‘why should we choose you over them’ conversations.

Unfortunately, if your bigger competitors have a stronger, more familiar brand, then people will innately trust them more, which is why it’s essential that you spend time and resources to raise brand awareness across the board, ensuring that people recognise your brand for the great work you do.

By doing this, you’ll find that all leads are (at least to an extent) a little warmer to you, as your reputation will precede you. Establishing this trust will also mean that people are more likely to purchase from you again – why would they want to work with an inferior brand?

All of the above coalesces into one thing: brand equity. Your brand is more valuable when:

  • More people are aware of it
  • More people trust it
  • More people want to buy from it

This means that better brand awareness is good for everyone – stakeholders and employees alike.

How to build brand awareness – 8 top tips

Now that you’re ready to start on your brand awareness journey, here’s 8 of our top tips to building killer brand awareness campaigns.

What’s your persona?

The best brands have personality.

This doesn’t mean that you need to be overly cheeky (like Innocent’s smoothie brand), your personality can be anything you want it to be, as long as it’s memorable.

Your brand persona should reflect you as people and be something that will truly resonate with your target audience.

Need help establishing your brand’s persona? We can help. Get in touch today to find out how our team of designers, writers and strategists can support you in creating a new, effective brand.

Speak to one of our specialists

Get your social on

Like it or lump it, social media is here to stay. If you want to build out your brand awareness, you need to embrace social.

Being active and involved in the conversation online is a superb way to spread your brand far and wide. It also provides an opportunity for your followers to reach out directly, publicly answering any questions they might have.

You can also comment on posts, retweet or share relevant content and just be generally active online.

While it’s still a business account, treat it more like an individual account. That’ll help to humanise your brand and organically boost awareness.

Figure out your narrative

Your brand is, in essence, one big story, from conception to now and beyond, you are telling your unique story, and every good story needs a strong narrative!

Whether you’re selling a product, promoting a service or showing off your brand, your narrative is essential – it gives your audience something to invest in emotionally (and financially, if you do it right!).

Your narrative should be authentically you; a story that embodies your audience’s journey and allows them to truly relate to you.

Just make sure it’s factually correct – you don’t want anyone poking holes in your narrative.

Be as accessible & shareable as possible

Everything you produce should be easily shareable at the click of a button, and sharing should be encouraged at every opportunity.

Referrals and word-of-mouth still remain one of the most incredible conversion catalysts, and a share is, essentially, an endorsement of your product or service. Anyone who sees the shared content will be far more likely to trust your brand in the future.

This does mean that you need to share relevant, interesting content to for your audience (stuff that they actually want to share!). You could write blogs, articles and guides, or create funny social posts that people can’t help but repost – it all depends on the brand you’re creating.

Get everywhere through guest blogging

Guest blogging can prove mutually beneficial for both you and the host blog, and it doesn’t really take all that much effort.

Their website is driving traffic, you’re providing content for them to improve their traffic, more people get exposed to your brand – everyone’s a winner!

It’s the perfect opportunity to humanise your brand. It may not result in a conversion boom straight away, but it sure will help nurture potential customers ready for a conversion in the future.

Implement a ‘company face’

This can be an employee who’s good in front of a camera, or a mascot if nobody wants to volunteer.

A company face is a really good way to get your brand to stick in the minds of your audience. When you think of KFC, do you imagine chicken, or do you imagine the Colonel first?

Now that we mention it, we’re all suddenly extremely hungry. That’s a testament to the power of KFC’s brand!

Your company face should be plastered all over your social and website, providing that all-important human connection for your consumers.

Renovate your aesthetic

When was the last time you revisited your brand’s aesthetic?

We’d put money on the fact that it was years ago, which means that your brand most likely doesn’t represent what your business has become, and could probably do with a brand renovation!

Get yourself an interesting new colour palette, a striking new logo and an updated brand proposition. This shows two things:

  • You’re performing well enough to invest money into your brand.
  • You care about how people perceive your brand.

It’s a great marketing opportunity, as you can shout from the rooftops about your rebranding, and it provides you with ample chances to spread your narrative, too!

Try podcasting

If you’re an expert in your industry, then people want to hear what you have to say!

A podcast is the perfect way for you to create engaging content that is both informative and entertaining. It also establishes you as the go-to businesses for the topics you cover; people will actively seek you out if they have questions over your competitors. Result!

3 Common mistakes companies make when building brand awareness

There are a handful of common mistakes that we see from businesses looking to build brand awareness. Here’s 3 of the most pressing ones:

1) Not tracking results

While brand awareness as a concept can’t really be measured, website traffic, site numbers and social engagement all can (and should) be measured.

If your traffic is growing, then chances are that more people are becoming aware of your brand, and your efforts have been successful!

It’s essential that you get your tracking software all set up before you start your campaign. That way you’ll get a true sense of whether your brand awareness efforts have worked. Fail to do this, and you’ll never really know whether you’ve wasted your budget, or made a stunning investment.

 2) Not analysing results

Once you’ve gathered your data, it’s time for analysis! We see lots of businesses sticking to what they’re doing, which work fine, but with a splash of analysis, you can hone and improve your campaign and get even more out of it.


  • What posts people seem to like the most
  • What content is driving the most traffic
  • Social media growth (where are people coming from?)
  • Which channels are the most successful?

You can even take the time to send out surveys to get direct opinions from your most invested audience.

 3) Failing to target the right audience

Sometimes you do all the right things, and it simply doesn’t hit the mark.

Chances are, you’re targeting the wrong audience, or (this is an important distinction), your target audience simply might not be as open to brand awareness as others, meaning that you might need to revaluate your strategy.

The biggest mistake we see is businesses not undertaking thorough market research before starting. If you don’t have a really tight idea of the exact people you’re targeting, then you’ll end up throwing away a lot of money, and nobody wants that.

About the author

Ed Plant has worked for over 10 years in graphic design, specialising in digital, branding and web design.

As Catalyst’s Creative Director, it’s Ed’s passion to deliver the highest-quality user experience for any website he works along with brands and creative that help cut through the noise. If it looks good, then Ed’s involved.

We could talk about what Ed does in his spare time, but given he recently became a dad, spare time is a thing of the past. He thinks he remembers enjoying long cycle rides and going to music gigs.

Ed Plant