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Brand awareness versus product specific advertising

Posted by Veronica Wainstein on December 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM
Veronica Wainstein
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Brand awareness.pngShould you run a campaign to increase brand awareness, or should your marketing focus on the products you actually sell? We dig into the advantages and disadvantages of either.


One of the biggest conundrums for any marketer is whether brand awareness trumps product specific advertising, or the other way around. Well the answer is: neither. You can’t have a brand without a product and your product won’t really sell if your brand isn’t recognised.


How important is brand awareness?

Brand awareness is really the only way in which consumers can form a relationship with your product. In an era where we’re inundated with brand messages and competitor products, it’s vitally important to maintain a brand presence in the market. Consumers are exposed to over 600 brand messages a day and if you think about it, you start your day staring into a brand, whether it’s your smartphone, alarm clock or watch. You then move to the bathroom where your toothpaste brand greets you, your favourite brand of soap or body wash awakens your body and you slip on your chosen brand of jeans... and so the list goes on. This is before you have been served a single ad! So it’s not hard to see why brand awareness is so important.


When to promote brand and when to promote product

Knowing when to promote brand and when to only push your product all depends on your audience and when they are ready to interact with your brand or your product - you will need to analyse your market very closely to determine when they require which message. But by and large it’s important to have a good balance of both.

Take a look at the consumption habits of your audience. They may be more willing to interact with your brand on Facebook for example, but with a product message when searching on Google. Many brands use social media to communicate feel-good or brand essence messages and then use their search ads and other targeted advertising to promote products. All messages still complement one another wherever they are seen.


What are the advantages and disadvantage of brand awareness messages?

Brand awareness, quite simply, lets your audience know that you exist, so when they are ready to buy your product they know what to look for.

Brand awareness builds an affinity with your audience, the emotional connection between the product and your audience is all done via the brand tone, messaging, ethos and placement. Brand awareness also helps sell products by the ‘mere exposure’ effect, where “people feel a preference for people or things simply because they are familiar,” says Psych Central.

The downfall of relying on too much brand awareness and not enough of your product leaves the consumer unsure about what you are actually selling.

One other consideration when contemplating running a brand campaign is to look at your competition and ensure that while your brand speaks to the category you’re competing in, that your brand isn’t exactly the same OR too far removed from what you’re selling.

Finding the balance between brand and product messaging can be intimidating, but once you’ve found the right balance, you’ll see a positive ROI and increase in sales.


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