Brand awareness refers to the strength of a brand’s presence in the consumer’s mind (Aaker, 1996:10). It is a measure of the percentage of the target market that is aware of a brand name (Bovée et al., 1995:248). Brand awareness is the extent to which consumers are able to recall or recognize a brand. The term includes both brand recognition as well as brand recall.
Brand recognition relates to consumers’ ability to confirm prior exposure to that brand when given the brand as a cue. It requires that consumers can correctly discriminate the brand as having been previously seen or heard. Brand recall relates to consumers’ ability to retrieve the brand from memory, given the product category, the needs fulfilled by the category or a purchase or usage situation as a cue. It requires consumers to correctly generate the brand from memory when given a relevant cue. (Source: Aaker, 1996:10-16)
Every marketer aims at achieving high levels of brand awareness. Traditionally this end was achieved through intensive advertising campaigns utilizing the traditional advertising media. Radio, newspapers and television helped achieve high levels of reach and frequency. While these traditional media continue to remain effective to create brand awareness, the marketing world has now woken up to newer and more interesting ways of reaching out to the consumer. A number of changes in the media landscape along with changing consumer media habits have brought about a sea change in the way brand messages are conveyed as well as consumed. Marketers are employing a wider variety of media platform to place their brand messages.
One of the most striking ways to capture attention is ambient advertising. Grabbing attention of consumers in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected manner creates an element of instant curiosity and interest, delivering brand awareness in a very effective way. Another method is cinema advertising, which immerses a captive audience in a larger than life format with superb sound quality effects which can mesmerise your audience. A sure shot way to grab the attention of affluent urban population is advertising in shopping malls. Branding in shopping malls or advertising in shopping malls is an effective way to reach the young affluent audience as they take a break from their fast paced lifestyle. Airport advertising, advertising in coffee shops, brand activations in shopping malls, experiential marketing, etc. are other non-traditional and effective ways to reach affluent consumers across varied spheres of life. All these methods are highly effective in creating brand recognition and brand recall, eventually adding up to increased brand awareness and desire to purchase.