Brand Awareness measurement for small businesses; is it important?

First and foremost, the answer is yes — but you need to understand what brand awareness is and how to measure it.

In simple terms, brand awareness is the extent to which a brand is recognised by consumers. It's an important metric because it can tell you how well your advertising campaigns have performed and how much people know about your product or service.

It can also give you a sense of whether or not your marketing efforts are working, or if they need adjusting. If your company has high levels of brand awareness, it means that people know what you do and recognise your products or services.

It's important to understand that brand awareness doesn't necessarily mean that people like or use your product or service. It means they've heard of it, but that doesn't mean they know anything about it or would ever consider buying it. However, this is a starting point to try ‘nurture’ them, or in simple terms WOW them with your brand positioning, product offering and pricing.

Brand Awareness gets your products in front of customers before they need to buy

Build Brand Awareness with Advertising

YouTube advertising is particularly effective at raising brand awareness because it's a visual medium that allows you to show off your products in action (or at least pretend they're in action). For example, it's pretty hard to get excited about buying a product like body lotion until you see someone rubbing it on their skin and feeling its silky softness.

The key to raising brand awareness with YouTube ads is making sure they're relevant: people visiting YouTube are there for entertainment, so if they see an ad that isn't related to their interests they'll probably skip it and go back to watching cat videos instead.

How to measure Brand Awareness for your business:

The main benefit of brand awareness is that it opens up opportunities for companies to grow their business by increasing sales, customer loyalty and repeat purchases.

Measurement of brand awareness can be done in several ways:

How a Google brand lift survey looks in YouTube
How a Google brand lift survey is viewed on YouTube

1.) Google does have an internal tool that can effectively measure your ‘Brand Lift’. 

Have you ever taken a short survey on YouTube while waiting for your next video, usually showing four competitor brands? Generally, the top company in that survey is the company running a ‘Brand Lift’ study to determine the performance of their brand awareness campaigns. 

Brand lift survey questions tick some important use cases: 

  • Have you noticed a particular brand advertisement lately?
  • Are you aware of a particular brand name?
  • Would you consider a brand/product over competitors?
  • Purchase intent (would you purchase x…).

However, there is a catch…

Unfortunately, as of now at least, Google has not released brand lift surveys for all businesses, and this is a particular dark mark for ‘small to medium’ advertisers on YouTube or Display Advertising. 

Brand Lift study costs several thousands of Euros across a two week campaign, depending on how many questions, and the geo targeting of the campaign.

2.) Survey your online users/customers directly.

Brand awareness can be measured by surveying a sample of your customers or first-party users to determine if they have heard of your company, product or service. You can also use industry studies as a benchmark for comparison. Visit stats websites such as Statista to get industry benchmarks. 

If your business is digital and has a good level of email/newsletter signups, simply earmark a once a quarter check-in through a newsletter to determine where your customer has found out about your business. This is very important data to be able to better allocate your marketing budget. You will now be armed with the different channels that best work for your business.

Extra tip: If your business is Brick & Mortar (physical store), create a very simple (and cheaper) paper survey to present to customers while they stand in front of you. You will get honest and valuable feedback. However, it’s important to keep this quick as many customers are busy and in a rush. A max of 5-6 questions would be good here, but don’t forget to ask about your digital advertising even if they are physically in your store.

3.) Online brand searches can indicate growth in brand awareness.

Brand searches are one way to measure brand awareness. For example, if someone searches for "Nike" in Google, that means that person is actively looking to learn more about Nike. This can be an indicator of how many people are aware of a certain brand and how much they want to know about it.

While this may not seem like a big deal at first glance, it's actually very important because if people aren't searching for your brand, it means they aren't interested in learning more about it. This makes it harder for you to reach out and connect with those people later on down the road when they're ready to buy something from you instead of your competitors.

More importantly, if your brand searches see significant increases after running advertising campaigns, but not direct clicks, you can conclude that your campaigns were in fact a success. It is somewhat more difficult to prove compared to the Brand Lift Study or Survey options above. However, to get a full picture view across your advertising reach and effectiveness, more innovative approaches are needed.


How to determine increases in branded searches for your website:

  • Access Google Analytics (or alternative platform.
  • Navigate to ‘Reports’ from the main menu.


  • Click ‘Traffic Acquisition’.

  • Set up your date parameters.

  • View the traffic data.

For a short advertising campaign, try to use at least 30 days of data from the point the advertising campaign ended, comparing it to 30 days before the campaign ended). For longer campaigns, just extend date ranges to one quarter, six months or a year. 

Brand Awareness Conclusion

This overview should help you gain a better understanding of brand awareness and how it can be measured. As you can see, there are opportunities for you to take advantage regardless if you have high marketing budgets or would prefer a cheaper, and more intimate approach with your customers. So yes, it is feasible for all businesses to carry it out in some capacity, but just know that there is work (and important work at that) to carry out initially.

Businesses will begin to market the awareness of their brand and increase the involvement, reputation, competitiveness and the strength of the brand by keeping a close eye on consumer behavior and market trends. By gauging the public's perception of their brand in a legitimate, qualitative and quantitative way, businesses can bolster their content strategy, design new products to meet consumer demand, modify their pricing strategy and revise marketing tactics through concrete data.

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