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  • 1. Brand Awareness and PerceptionApril 30, 2009 by gromit | 0 commentsAwareness and Perception are the two key metrics that any company would use tomeasure their brand strength.Awareness in simple terms - how many people know my brand? Usually, awareness ismeasured through surveys that asks participants a series of questions for example “Whatbrand comes to your mind if you want to buy shoes? In general, companies measureunaided awareness- what % of survey participants mentioned the brand without any kind ofhint. For top brands like Coke, McDonalds the awareness will be close to 100%.Perception is the values consumers attach to a brand. For example, perception for Volvowill be safety. To measure perception of a car company, survey will have questions like“How do you rank car brands in terms of safety? And various questions will be asked onquality, performance, or green. Outcome of the survey reveal the brand perception. List ofquestions depends on what is goal for the brand and how you want customers to think ofyour brand.Studies have shown that awareness and perception plays a big role in the market share of aproduct. What is important? Awareness or perception? For a growing company (trend) likeTwitter, awareness would be the prime driver to grow the product usage. As more peopleare aware of micro blogging and Twitter, more people would use Twitter. Hence % ofawareness level would decide Twitter’s growth and penetration among online population.On the other hand, for a mature business segment like ’cars’, awareness may not be themajor driver of market share. Close to 100% of people might be aware of BMW but manywould not buy BMW cars. Hence perception matters the most for BMW. Not only the stageof company and industry, other factors such as type of product, level of competition,switching cost, risk of switching also drive the importance of awareness vs. perception.Generally, it takes at least frequency of 5-6 ads through various mass media to gain 1%increase in awareness among population. Cost for such a campaign will be close to $100M.Since consumers are constantly bombarded with huge number of ads, new products andbrands, cost for gaining awareness is constantly going up. Given the high cost involved inconventional mass media, small startups leverage non conventional and inexpensive medialike Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and YouTube to generate brand awareness and perception.Most importantly, companies leverage current user base to generate awareness andperception. Facebook and Twitter effectively used their user base to increase awareness.Services like Facebook are useful to consumers only when more people use the service.Hence users inherently have an incentive to popularize the service. For any company to be
  • 2. successful in the future, its product or service should have some way to provide anincentive for the users to recommend the product to others.