The terms brand image and brand awareness are very much related concepts because both of them are concerned with building a strong brand reputation. A company uses both of them as marketing strategies in business. Brand image stands for brand reputation or how customers associate with a brand. It means how much customers value a brand. Brand image is a very important concept in today’s competitive society, and a brand can have a good or bad image in the minds of the people, which is not easy to change. So, nurturing a good brand image is a necessity for a brand because customers have a variety of options available and it takes just a few seconds for them to shift from one brand to the next, if they receive better opportunities there. This is why maintain a strong positive brand image is a must in today’s society., otherwise a brand can get lost in this highly competitive market.
Brand Awareness is awareness or knowledge of people about a particular brand. It is the promotion of a brand through advertisements and campaigns to spread its area of influence. Brand awareness is especially done for newly created businesses to let people know about a particular brand. So, first brand awareness comes, and then comes the brand image. People need to know about a brand and only after that, they can have a perception about the brand based on their experiences.
Brand Image vs. Brand Awareness
Brand Image refers to how a customer sees a brand, the reputation or image of the brand in a customer's mind. It is similar to brand equity, which means how customers associate with a brand, what is the value of the brand to a customer. Here, only the word image is openly used to describe clearly that it refers to brand reputation among the customers. Image means reputation, and a person can have a good or bad image according to the judgment of others. This is similar to the concept of brand image. It is a set of beliefs held by a customer about a specific brand, and this may consist of several elements, both the positive and the negative aspects. Brand Awareness, on the other hand, is making people know about a particular brand through awareness campaigns, advertising, and various other marketing strategies. It is like spreading the influence of a brand far and wide. It is like advertising that makes people aware about a particular brand and its products and services.
Difference Between Brand Image and Brand Awareness in Tabular Form
|Parameters of Comparison||Brand Image||Brand Awareness|
|Meaning||Brand Image refers to the image or reputation of a brand according to a customer. It is an overall set of beliefs held by a customer about a specific brand.||Brand Awareness is making people know about a particular brand. It is mainly used for newly created businesses to spread their influence far and wide through advertising and brand awareness campaigns.|
|Effectiveness||Brand Image is more effective and is for the long run because it is related to the impression made by a brand in the customer’s mind which cannot be easily changed.||It is not effective in making people stay with a particular brand as it only preaches about a brand.|
|Influencing Objects||Brand Image is influenced by marketing campaigns, marketing strategies, customer experience, and taglines.||Brand Awareness is about spreading the influence of a brand, so it consists of the brand logo, packaging, and awareness campaigns.|
|Area of Focus||It focuses on the customer experience, and how they associate with a brand.||It focuses to what extent consumers are acquainted with a specific brand and its products.|
|Tracking Mechanisms||Brand Image can be positive or negative and it is tracked through customer surveys, polls, and reviews where customer opinions can be collected.||There are mechanisms to track the progress of brand awareness campaigns and how visible a brand is among its competitors.|
What is Brand Image?
Image means reputation here, and a person can have a good or bad image. Similarly, brands can also have a good or bad image in a consumer's mind. It is what a customer thinks and believes about a particular brand's products or services. It is simply the reputation of a brand according to the consumers. The image here does not at all mean anything related to the physical or visual aspects of a brand but focuses on customer experience. A good and positive brand image depends on various aspects of a brand, such as convenience provided by a brand, brand values, and quality products that enhance customer experience. The communication between a brand and its customers shapes and builds brand image.
First comes the brand awareness campaigns through which people get to know about a particular brand, then comes effective and consistent social media impression which urges a consumer to buy a product from a particular brand. The customer then starts trusting the brand when he receives good customer service from the brand. Failing in this step turns out to be a major negative point for the brand because not only a negative impression is formed in the mind of the customer but also because negativity spreads faster than positivity. This will lead to a huge loss of reputation for the brand, which is a brand that should always maintain a strong and positive brand image from the beginning only. This is because competition is high in the market, and customers have got a lot of options, so a strong brand image ensures stability in the market.
There are some basic aspects that lay the foundation of any brand. It is important to address these aspects before taking steps to improve the brand image of a company and they are: -
- Determining the Target Audiences
- Defining the Brand Personality
Determining the Target Audience
The first or the primary step after setting up a brand is finding the right consumers for a brand. They will be the target audience of a brand. This includes employees, industry analysts, and people who are not part of a company. Creating a target audience group makes marketing very specific, which is beneficial since they have a very high probability of converting into customers and purchasing from a brand. If a brand does extensive marketing without creating a target audience group, then it is a waste of its resources because it is also marketing to those people who are not likely to become its customers.
Determining Brand Personality
It is also a very significant step to take before building up a strong brand image. The basic factor of a brand is its brand personality, like what a brand is about and what its values are. It is necessary to determine brand personality of a brand. This is because values maintained by a brand appeal to various customers and they start associating with a brand. It makes it unique and different from its competitors. The personality of a brand is very much useful in defining a brand image, so it should be kept simple and relevant.
These are some of the steps that should be followed to lay a strong foundation for a brand after which there are various ways to create a strong brand image which are: -
- Hosting Events
- Paid Marketing
Events are very beneficial for building relationships between a customer and a brand. Hosting both virtual and in-person events can strengthen a relationship between an existing customer and a brand and can also bring in new customers for the brand by acting like brand awareness campaigns.
Paid Marketing involves advertising. Advertising helps people to know about a particular brand and creates brand awareness. So, it helps in bringing in new consumers. When the brand provides good customer service to these consumers, a strong brand image gets created.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand Awareness is the degree to which consumers can recognize a brand. It is mainly making people know about a particular brand that exists in the market. Brand Awareness campaigns are hosted by a brand to spread its area of influence and attract new and existing customers to a brand. It is done for newly created businesses to let the public know that a brand exists. Advertisements are also done for brand awareness that a specific brand exists in the market and to make people know about its products and services, and discounts offered. Brand awareness is effective in making people aware about a particular brand. But it does not assure loyalty. So, brand image is important here. It is effective in the long run and keeps customers coming back for a brand. There are various mechanisms available today to track the progress of various brand awareness campaigns and advertisements.
The brand awareness of a particular brand can be improved by using various marketing strategies, among which some of them are: -
- Offering Free Samples
- Running advertisements
Offering Free Samples
Free samples are something that everybody likes to try. This is because samples are like a trial that is provided before making the decision of purchasing the original product. So, a brand can take this initiative of providing free samples to its target audiences to build trust among its customers. It is also a clever way to convert skeptical people into customers as, on the one hand, their doubts get removed, and they also get a taste of the actual product. A brand giving out free samples can create a social media buzz and can increase the sales of a brand.
Advertisements also function as a good marketing strategy for increasing the brand awareness of a particular brand. Advertisements, as is known, are already used for marketing a brand's products and services, but they can also be used with the motive of brand awareness to let people know that a particular brand of such characteristics exists in the market. It is also a very useful medium for achieving brand awareness far and wide and spreading the area of influence of a brand.
Main Difference Between Brand Image and Brand Awareness (In Points)
- Brand Image refers to the image or reputation of a brand according to the consumers. It is a set of beliefs held by a customer regarding a specific brand. It is what they think about a particular brand or what is their opinion about a brand. A brand can also have a positive or negative image based on public opinion, just like an individual. The brand image here does not at all focus on the physical or visual aspects of a brand but primarily focuses on customer experience. Brand Awareness, on the other hand, is a marketing strategy that focuses on expanding the area of influence of a particular brand. It mainly includes using brand awareness campaigns and advertising to make people know about a particular brand that exists in the market or that has recently been introduced in the market. It is mainly done by newly created businesses to let people know that a new brand has come up.
- Brand Image is more effective in comparison to Brand Awareness regarding a particular brand because it is the impression made by a brand in a customer's mind that cannot be easily changed, such as if a brand makes a good impression upon a customer through good customer service and customer experience then that customer will remember that brand. The chance of brand loyalty will also come in. This is because a good impression has lasting results. But brand awareness is just for making people know about a particular brand. It is the first step that a brand takes to make itself known after which comes brand image. People will come to know about a brand through brand awareness campaigns but to make them stay loyal to the brand, building up a good and strong brand image is very important which is why brand awareness is not much effective.
- The primary area of focus of brand image is customer experience and their opinion about a particular brand. The brand image of a particular brand can be tracked through surveys, reviews, and polls, through which data on customer opinions can be collected. Brand awareness, on the other hand, focuses to what extent customers are acquainted with a particular brand, the area of influence of a particular brand. The result of brand awareness campaigns and advertisements can also be tracked like a brand image through various tracking platforms.
Hence, brand image is related to a person's overall opinion about a particular brand and how they feel about a particular brand, whereas brand awareness is a marketing strategy used to spread the area of influence of a particular brand and to make people know that a particular brand exists or has been newly introduced in the market. Brand Image is more effective than brand awareness in the long run because it is concerned with people's opinions about a particular brand, and if a brand has a good brand image, then it cannot be easily changed, but this good image should also be maintained consistently.