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How does brand awareness impact sales? Business building via your brand

Branding is a vital part of driving business success, including new and repeat custom.

Many people think that the terms ‘brand awareness’ and ‘brand recognition’ are interchangeable, but there is a difference. So, before we dive into the question, how does brand awareness impact sales, let’s define the two, and then focus in on how brand awareness can make all the difference to your business.

Table of contents

  1. Brand recognition vs brand awareness
  2. How does brand awareness help a company?
  3. How to measure brand awareness return on investment (ROI)
  4. How does brand awareness impact sales?

Brand recognition vs brand awareness

So what’s the difference between brand recognition and brand awareness? Find out below:

Brand recognition

When developing a brand recognition strategy, it’s all about keeping your business up front and centre in the minds of your current and potential customers.

You’ll aim to be consistent both in the look, feel and tone of everything you post, whether it’s on your website or social media. You’ll create all the visual elements that go towards making up how a brand looks, including your logo, how memes and images appear on social media, what your colour scheme is, and so on.

The idea is to make your business instantly recognisable, memorable, and known for the product or service you provide.

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Brand awareness

Brand awareness goes much deeper than brand recognition. Brand awareness is about understanding your target market’s values and your own, and about creating a connection between you and the people you want to sell to. It’s about offering value, standing for something, and giving your customers a strong message, with heart and soul, that they can get behind.

More than just about recognising your logo, who you are, and what you do, brand awareness should give your customers an emotional connection and a reason to choose you, not your competitors.

Do you really need both?

Well, brand recognition is very much a part of brand awareness, so the answer is ‘yes’.

But is all that effort with building brand recognition and awareness really worth it? Is there an actual return on your investment of time and money? And what if you’re not the next Nike or Starbucks? Can a small business make this work?

Let’s find out.

How does brand awareness help a company?

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.”

And of course, having a top-quality product or service is important, but if no one knows you exist, they’re never going to buy from you. They won’t ‘beat a path to your door’, even if you offer the best product or service in the world, if they’ve never heard of you.

You can’t sit back and rely on having an amazing product. You have to get out there and tell people about it – and about your company.

Brand awareness can help you get over the point where no one’s ever heard of you and bring your business to a point where increasing numbers of your ideal customers do know you exist. They know who you are as a company, they recognise your visual branding when they see it, and they know what you offer.

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There’s a lot of work involved in building brand awareness, but once people start to recognise you for good products or services, and values that match their own, they’re much more likely to buy from you, because you’ve started to build trust with them. You’ll have heard of the idea that people have to know you, like you, and trust you before they’ll do business with you, and that’s exactly what building brand awareness does.

Think of it as just like building relationships when you go to networking events or get chatting to people on social media. Even you, as a solopreneur, can be consistent in how you post on social media and you can use your logos and brand colours properly. There’s nothing at all stopping you from showing up as consistently, genuinely, unabashedly ‘You!’ Because, who else would you be?

Many businesses struggle hugely with choosing their unique selling point (USP) but, especially if you’re running a one-person business, your USP is you! No one else can be you with your ideas, thoughts, and ways of doing things, and you are completely ‘uncopyable’. And that’s how you make your brand, and your company, stand out from everyone else.

Brand awareness underpins every other aspect of your marketing and, done well, makes getting every sale so much easier.

How to measure brand awareness return on investment (ROI)

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Some companies have got Google Ads down to a fine art, where they can almost guarantee that if they spend £5k on ads, they will get £20k in sales as a result. That’s great, but to keep your sales going, you have to keep doing that and paying out that money.

Brand awareness is not going to give you instant ROI, like ads can. It’s a slow build, over time. But the results are absolutely worth it, leading to the point where you can spend less on Google Ads and still have sales coming in at a good rate, because people know, like and trust your business over your competitors. You’re top of mind for people who are looking to buy and they’ll choose to spend their money with you.

It’s not as easy to point to brand awareness and say ‘this is my ROI from that activity’ as it impacts so many aspects of your marketing, but there are ways to track it, including looking at your website statistics for how many people are searching for your company name or product directly, and looking at your increasing social media statistics and how people are finding you. You could also use your collected data to look at customer behaviour, and run surveys to see how customers feel about your brand.

Read more ways of tracking your results in our article, What does brand awareness do?

How does brand awareness impact sales?

Still not sure brand awareness has an impact? Think about this: How many people when they use a search engine, think of it as Googling something? How many people’s first thought about toy building bricks is ‘Lego’? How many people, especially in the North of the UK, think of vacuuming the house as ‘doing the Hoovering’?

That’s the impact that great brand awareness can have!

Wouldn’t it be amazing if your business became synonymous with what you do, and everyone started referring to that particular activity with your company name?

“After following a brand on social media, consumers continue to engage in various ways. 91% visit the brand’s website or app, 89% will buy from the brand and 85% will recommend the brand to a family or friend.”

Sprout Social, 2021.

We’d say that’s pretty conclusive, wouldn’t you?

We could write even more about how does brand awareness impact sales, but given everything we’ve walked you through above, and reading that particular statistic, it looks like a forgone conclusion to us!

✏️  For a more in depth overview of brand awareness, check out our six-part series on Brand Awareness Essentials, starting with What is brand awareness?

Useful resources


Header image: Alexey Mak 

Embedded images: Faizur Rehman, Campaign Creators, Kelly Sikkema  

Gill Fernley

The director of her own copywriting firm, Gill writes B2B and B2C content for SMEs and digital marketing agencies. She has a background in performing arts and writes conversational, direct sales copy for businesses on a range of topics. She’s also a keen writer of chick lit.

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