What’s the Difference Between Unaided and Aided Brand Awareness?
As retailers all over the world gear up for the post-pandemic surge in consumer spending, many are taking advantage of the wide variety of benefits market and branding research have to offer. Two of the most important aspects of branding research are competitive intelligence and brand awareness. In particular, analyzing consumers’ ability to recognize your company, product, or advertisement in comparison to key competitors is a strong indicator of how well-positioned your brand is. Aided and unaided brand awareness research both produce well-developed metrics for gaining a competitive advantage. Though they differ, the benefits of both are undeniably valuable at any stage of brand strategizing.
Unaided awareness is the percentage of respondents aware of a product, brand, or advertising top-of-mind without assistance. This open-ended question asks respondents generally what brands they are familiar with in an industry. For example, an unaided awareness question asks, “Which brands first come to mind when you think about clothing?” and gives participants the opportunity to input, unprompted, which brands they are most familiar with. This method of questioning measures brand recall.
Aided awareness evaluates prompted knowledge of a brand. Respondents are shown a list of brands and asked to mark down which ones, if any, they are aware of. This tests brand recognition. Aided awareness must always come after unaided awareness in a survey to maintain the integrity of awareness without prompting. It is also important to randomize the list of brands for each respondent in order to prevent sequence bias, which leads to the top choice being selected more often simply because it’s listed first.
Depending on the type of research a brand takes on, companies might seek out different insights. For example, brands seeking brand tracking research may evaluate region specific brands by adjusting survey options based on where a given respondent lives.
Two Sets of Data Are Better Than One
Total brand awareness is a valuable metric for companies to have. Adding the percentage of respondents that recalled a brand in unaided awareness with the respondents that recognized a brand in aided awareness (while removing duplicates) is a way of measuring total awareness.
Building brand awareness is crucial because 59% of consumers first check familiar brands when setting out to buy a new product. Furthermore, consumers cannot consider products they are unaware of. The more aware of a brand a consumer is, the more comfortable and the more likely they are to try it when browsing through the market.
Brand awareness research not only produces valuable information about how a brand stacks up against the competition, but also can acquire data that has the power to help drive sales, improve brand perception, open new channels, platforms and points of access to target audiences and more.
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