Brand Awareness is the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers, and is correctly associated with a particular product. Expressed usually as a percentage of target market, brand awareness is the primary goal of advertising in the early months or years of a product's introduction.
Brand awareness is the extent to which the consumer associates the brand with the product he desires to buy. It is the brand recall and the brand recognition of the company to the consumers. Brand recall is the ability of the consumer to recollect the brand with reference to the product where as brand recognition is the potential of the consumer to retrieve the past knowledge of the brand when enquired about the brand or shown an image of the brand logo. Brand awareness is an essential part of brand development which helps the brand to stand out from the others in this monopolistically competitive market.
A brand name that is well known to the great majority of households is also called a household name.
"Awareness, attitudes, and usage (AAU) metrics relate closely to what has been called the Hierarchy of Effects, an assumption that customers progress through sequential stages from lack of awareness, through initial purchase of a product, to brand loyalty." In total, these AAU metrics allow companies to track trends in customer knowledge and attitudes.
Brand awareness plays a major role in a consumer’s buying decision process. The knowledge of an acquaintance or friend having used the product in the past or a high recognition of the product through constant advertisements and associations coaxes the person to make his decision in the favour of the brand.
The eventual goal of most businesses is to make profits and increase sales. Businesses intend to increase their consumer pool and encourage repeat purchases. Apple is a brilliant example of how there is a very high recognition of the brand logo and high anticipation of a new product being released by the company. An iPod is the first thing that pops into our minds when we think of purchasing an mp3 player. iPod is used as a replaceable noun to describe an mp3 player. Finally, high brand awareness about a product suggests that the brand is easily recognizable and accepted by the market in a way that the brand is differentiated from similar products and other competitors. Brand building also helps in improving brand loyalty.
Types of Brand Awareness 
Aided Awareness- This type of awareness is generated in a consumer. When asked about a product category, if the consumer is aided with a list of company names and he recognizes the company from the given set it is categorized as aided awareness.
Top of the mind Awareness- When the name of the company is automatically recollected because the consumer very promptly associates the brand with the product category, it is called a top of the mind awareness of the product.
Mokhira discussion in industry and practice about the meaning and value of various brand awareness metrics. Recently, an empirical study appeared to put this debate to rest by suggesting that all awareness metrics were systematically related, simply reflecting their difficulty, in the same way that certain questions are more difficult in academic exams.
Channels of Brand Awareness 
There are many ways to generate brand awareness in the consumers. Listed below are four such channels
Advertising is the activity or profession of producing information for promoting the sale of commercial products or services. Advertising is used through various media to generate brand awareness within consumers. They can be aired as radio ads, television commercials, internet etc.
Guerrilla Marketing tactics allow every small firm to compete with bigger firms by carving out narrow but profitable niches. These tactics include (1) extreme specialization, (2) aiming every effort at favourably impressing the customers, (3) providing service that goes beyond the customers' expectations, (4) fast response time, (5) quick turnaround of jobs, and (6) working hours that match the customer's requirements. The term 'Guerrilla Marketing' is a registered trademark of author Jay Levinson who popularized it through his several 'Guerrilla' books.
It is an out of the ordinary way of marketing a product. Low-cost channels can be utilised to generate a high level of interest in the product and create brand awareness. Utilisation of personal contacts is the most popular way of guerrilla marketing. Product Placement is an advertising technique used by companies to subtly promote their products through a non-traditional advertising technique, usually through appearances in film, television, or other media.
A formal agreement between the product manufacturer and a media company can be generated through which the media company also receives an economic benefit, usually in the form of a fee. The media company in return will showcase the product through any of the various means they have available to make the brand stand out. Some people, however, consider product placement to be deceptive and unethical.
For example, Coca-Cola could pay a given fee to have the title character drinking a Coke, instead of a Pepsi beverage, or Toyota might pay to have one of the characters drive their newest automobile. Through product placement, companies hope that moviegoers will take note of the products used by the characters, and therefore think more strongly about using the products themselves. Social Media is the most contemporary and cost effective way of creating a brand awareness with an online audience. Many companies use social media like facebook, youtube, blogs etc.
Maintaining Brand Awareness is a very important aspect in marketing a company. It is imperative and very helpful to analyse the response your audience has towards the change in packaging, advertising, products and messages sent across through various means. Working towards creating an image in the minds of the consumers is not the last thing a company should aim to do. Inviting consumer feedback and maintaining a constant presence in the market is equally essential. Availability of the product to the consumer is one such way of doing this. The consumer should not have to come looking for you when he is in need of making a second purchase of the product, dealerships and outlets at convenient places should make the consumer think of the brand as the most convenient and best solution to his need fulfilment.
While brand awareness scores tend to be quite stable at aggregate level, individual consumers show considerable propensity to change their responses to recall based brand awareness measures. For top of mind recall measures, consumers give the same answer in two interviews typically only 50% the time. Similar low levels of consistency in response have been recorded for other cues to elicit brand name responses.
- Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; David J. Reibstein (2010). Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0137058292. The Marketing Accountability Standards Board (MASB) endorses the definitions, purposes, and constructs of classes of measures that appear in Marketing Metrics as part of its ongoing Common Language: Marketing Activities and Metrics Project.
- Laurent, Gilles, Jean-Noel Kapferer, and Francoise Roussel (1995), "The Underlying Structure of Brand Awareness Scores," Marketing Science, 14 (No. 3, Part 2), G170-G79.
- Day, George S. and Robert W. Pratt (1971), "Stability of Appliance Brand Awareness," Journal of Marketing Research, 8 (February), 85-9.
- Dall'Olmo Riley, F., A.S.C. Ehrenberg, S.B. Castleberry, T.P. Barwise, and N.R. Barnard (1997), "The Variability of Attitudinal Repeat-Rates," International Journal of Research in Marketing, 14 (No. 5), 437-50.