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illustration of a seesaw to demonstrate how to measure brand awareness

How to Measure Brand Awareness

Philippa Dods & Lance Concannon

Apr 3, 2024

A brand is more than just a name or logo. It’s the sum of all the interactions a customer has had with a company. Creating strong, positive brand awareness is essential to a company’s success. Measuring brand awareness, however, is a whole different animal. 

By tracking brand awareness, companies can better understand how customers perceive their brand and where they need to improve. If brand awareness is low, it means that the company's marketing efforts are probably not reaching the target audience. And if it’s high, that’s a good sign you’re reaching the right people.

Measuring brand awareness is a critical step in ensuring a successful marketing campaign. Let’s explore some ways you can measure the effectiveness of an awareness campaign.

Brand awareness means being known by consumers: how well they know and recognize your brand. This notoriety plays an important role during the act of purchase. Faced with several competing options, it is she who will influence the final choice of the consumer.

The challenge for brands is to increase and continuously improve their notoriety with their targets. But to be able to improve, you must first know where you are. How do you measure the reputation of your brand in the digital age?

Table of Contents

Tip: Learn more about brand reputation measurement.

How to measure a brand awareness campaign

Follow these steps to measure your brand awareness campaign:

1. Conduct a Market Study

Surveys and consumer surveys are the most traditional ways to measure your reputation.

By organizing focus groups or questioning random people, you can determine your spontaneous and assisted awareness:

  • The spontaneous notoriety: to the question “Which brands of this market do you know? The spontaneous awareness rate is the percentage of people spontaneously quoting yours. We also speak of top-of-mind notoriety if your brand is cited first.
  • Assisted awarenessThe awareness rate is the percentage of people who recognize your brand from a list of brand names.

You can also send this type of market research survey by e-mail to your customers, or include in your contact forms the question “How did you hear about us? – this will give you the first glimpse of your brand awareness.

2. Measure Your Notoriety on Social Networks

Social networks are an exchange space where many exchanges are linked to the brand. Internet users ask for recommendations and others criticize their latest purchases publicly. It is, therefore, a place of first choice to measure your notoriety.

Follow your mentions

When people spontaneously mention your brand, they generate what we call earned media.

These mentions are important to follow to understand your brand awareness. Indeed, this type of content is extremely rewarding because it is spontaneous and can have very positive effects on the reputation of your brand.

Some brands, like SodaStream, encourage their consumers in this sense.

The more mentions you have, the higher your brand awareness will be.

Bonus Tip: to have a complete vision of your mentions, be aware of mentions of your brand that have tagged you (like “@Meltwater“) but also the messages where your brand is simply quoted (like “Meltwater”).

Track your social networks

Your reach gives you an idea of how many people are exposed to your social media mentions.

On social media, the potential reach is measured by the number of subscribers of the people who mentioned you.

By following your reach, you will be able to see how many people your brand name or hashtag has reached.

brand awareness dashboard graph 1

Example: Nike’s Twitter Account Scope

By comparing your reach to your number of mentions, you will also be able to spot if influencers mentioned you spontaneously.

For example, on the graph above, one realizes that Nike’s Twitter account has reached a reach of over 98 million people by the day of October 7th. Analyzing the mentions of that day, we realize that the brand has been mentioned among others by Kevin Hart, famous American humorist, and the National Football League.

Measure the engagement rate

The commitment defines all the interactions that users can have with content on social networks: likes, reactions, sharing or comments.

By following the commitment of the publications which mention you, you will have an indication of the effectiveness of your notoriety, if this one pushes your consumers to the interaction.

Analyze the feeling of your mentions

The mentions give you a quantitative overview of your brand awareness. But a brand can also talk a lot about it negatively, which is not the ideal.

That’s why it’s important to follow the sentiment associated with these mentions. The feeling can be positive (if a user recommends you for example), negative (if we criticize you) or neutral (if we just share your latest news).

brand awareness sentiment analysis

If you notice an unusual number of negative mentions, analyze their context to understand what caused these reproaches.

Also, in case of many positive mentions, try to know what is at the origin, to amplify these mentions.

3. Measure Your Reputation via Your Website

Track direct traffic

Direct traffic indicates the number of people who directly access your website, without going through the search engines: by directly typing the URL, via their favorites or through an email or offline document.

You can measure this indicator directly on Google Analytics in the Acquisition section.

brand awareness google analytics

If your visitors are able to come directly to your site without searching for your name or product, this is a good sign for your brand awareness.

Track the search volume of your brand

The search volume tells you how many times people searched for your brand on Google.

You can get this information through the Google Search Console , which will tell you how many times your name has been searched, and how often people have clicked on your site.

brand awareness

For example, our brand name is pretty well positioned, however we still notice that many people call us “Melwater”.

4. Measure Your Reputation in The Media

The press and blogs can have a huge impact on your brand awareness and present different indicators to follow.

Track your press fallout

As with the mentions on social media, the number of articles is the indicator at the base of the measure of your notoriety in the media.

You can follow each of your press releases, via a PR Distribution Tool platform, and sort them according to their quality (feature article, quote) or their subject (product, direction, innovation).

Measure your media reach

The media reach refers to the number of people who have potentially seen the article. Scope is measured from the monthly audience of the site where your article is published.

This figure can be estimated via audience analysis tools like SimilarWeb, or directly from a media monitoring platform.

Comparing volume and scope allows you to analyze the quality of the sources relative to your target.

measure brand awareness chart

For example, if you have a lot of articles about your new campaign but from unskilled sources, and two or three articles about your new product in very good sources, you will reach more people with this new product.

5. Compare Your Reputation

Measuring your brand awareness is the first step, then it’s important to compare it to your competitors to see if they are ahead of you or not.

For example, consider your company’s social media mentions to measure your brand awareness. Imagine that they increase by 15% during the month. It looks pretty good, does not it?

But perhaps a market-related event has inspired this sudden spike in discussions across your industry, and your competitors have seen their coverage increase by 30%. What seemed like an indicator of growth suddenly turns into a warning signal once connected to your market.

To effectively compare your reputation with that of your competitors, you can use for example the share of voice. This indicator will show you at a glance your position compared to your competitors, comparing the media coverage or social networks of each.

Finally, it is important to be able to compare your performance to yourself. By analyzing your results from one month to another or from one year to the next, you will know if your efforts are going in the right direction.

All these different methods of notoriety measure will allow you to get a good idea of your brand perception.

But measuring is only a first step, the important thing is to be able to deduce a plan of action. Is your brand awareness up to your expectations? What actions to put in place to improve it?

What are some common metrics used to measure brand awareness?

Knowing how to measure the success of an awareness campaign means using KPIs and key metrics to track your progress. Based on the ways to measure a brand awareness campaign above, we see a number of brand metrics that can help connect your data-driven insights to your business goals.

Total Mentions

Mentions refer to how many people are mentioning your brand on various channels. One way to track this is to use in-built analytics on the platforms where you’re growing your presence. For instance, you can track Facebook mentions on Facebook, Twitter mentions on Twitter Analytics, etc. 

However, using only in-built analytics can limit you to mentions that happen only on those networks. A better approach is to use a comprehensive monitoring platform like Meltwater Radarly to track mentions across online and offline channels.


Reach represents the number of people who will potentially see your brand mentions or content. This metric takes into account the number of followers for each person who mentions your brand. So, there’s more weight if you get a mention from someone who has 100K followers compared to someone who has only 100 followers.


Social media engagement rates take your strategy to the next level. It indicates that your content hasn’t gone unnoticed in a feed full of other content from other brands. Engagement metrics can include likes, shares, comments, click-through rates, sign-ups, purchases, and more. 

Share of Voice

Share of voice (SOV) is a metric that indicates the percentage of total conversation about a brand compared to the conversation about its competitors. It measures brand awareness and can be a useful tool for identifying opportunities to increase visibility and improve reputation.

You can calculate SOV by taking the number of mentions of a brand and dividing it by the total number of mentions of all brands in the same category. For example, if there are 100 tweets about coffee brands and 30 of them mention Starbucks, then Starbucks has a 30% share of voice for that particular time period.

While SOV is a valuable metric, it's important to keep in mind that it only measures visibility, not sentiment. So, while a high SOV may indicate that a brand is top-of-mind, it doesn't necessarily mean that people have positive things to say about it.

Brand tracking and brand awareness tools can simplify this process for you. As a marketer, you should explore your options and take advantage of tools that can do much of the heavy lifting on your behalf.

Earned Media Value

Earned media value (EMV) attempts to measure the monetary worth of publicity gained through earned media coverage, such as news articles, influencer content, guest blog posts, or social media posts. It's a great way to lower your investment in AdWords and reduce your cost-per-click.

While traditional advertising spend is relatively easy to track and quantify, EMV can be more difficult to measure. This is because there is no set cost for earned media placements — unlike paid or owned media — and therefore no way to determine a direct return on investment (ROI). 

Despite this, EMV remains an important metric for businesses and organizations to track, as it can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of their communications and marketing efforts. 

EMV can also be a useful tool for determining the value of brand awareness campaigns. It can help brands to understand how well known they are and what kind of reputation they have.

EMV looks at how often a brand is mentioned in the media and how positively others talk about it. If a brand is regularly mentioned in the media, it is likely that people are aware of it. This can be a good indicator of how well known a brand is.

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