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Brand Visibility And Brand Awareness
10/16/2013 at 8:49 AM ET
I am a communication student doing a research for a company. Their question is how they can use an event to improve their brand visibility.
The starting point of my research is to define brand visibility. But I cannot seem to find any definition of what visibility encompasses. Also, what is the difference with brand awareness, to what extend can we talk about brand awareness, and to what extend can we talk about brand visibility?
I did not find much theory about visibility in any of the books I have. If someone could help me out, it would be much appreciated!
10/16/2013 at 10:25 AM
Now you're a student, and I never studied marketing at uni, so you're one up on me. OK? But then I didn't study carpentry either and my skills as a furnituremaker take some serious beating too - just as my marketing skills do here on this forum. However, I am that rare animal, a direct marketer. The sort of thing that's not taught at uni for some reason I've yet to fathom*.
So if this doesn't connect with you my apologies and you can simply leave me off your check-list when it comes to closing this question. I'm a bit low on questioners who've not accepted my answers so yours would top mine up a little. Ta.
Just in case - here are two things I dug out. They may (or may not be) of use to you.
Actually it's only one - I looked at the other and it was useless. I haven't looked at the above though, which could mean it is useless too ...
Down to business:
First I'd like to look at the psychology of branding, because it'll give you an insight into why the academics haven't thought about studying "brand visibility" - or writing papers about it either. You need to understand that my take on marketing is that it's all about communicating. Most people take this to mean writing something for the national news on TV - the sort of thing where you do lots of telling but you can't listen. For obvious reasons, you need peace and quiet in a studio, don't you?
Real communications, that is to say, person to person is another matter. Ever meet the party bore who's told you the same dull story three times in the same evening? Do you slip away and speak to someone else instead (which is what I usually do, by the way). If you'd like to read a story about this, go to my website and read "Partners in Crime".
Because all good communicators know to listen first. Or at the very least, early on in the process. Get a feel for how things are going (hence my early disclaimer - comments lack this facility, and it's possible to get things very, very wrong. I'm at the top of the moderator's hit list on that account alone ... ).
So what has this to do with branding? Well branding is the kind of communication where you do the talking and everyone sits down and listens. Come to think of it, it's like a university lecture. The point is that conversation is a two-way process, and branding at its worst is most certainly one-way.
Your problem: visibility.
If branding is largely a one-way process, where's the feedback? My point is that you can't know if your brand's been seen if you don't listen to the people who get to see it. It's a contradiction in terms.
As a direct marketer, the one thing I do is make sure things work. Since I can't tell if they'll work, so my initial step is to chuck a pebble in the water to test for crocodiles. Should the waters part and a pair of eyes appear, the test has proven valid. As it were. My point is that I wouldn't know if there were any crocs around if I hadn't thrown the pebble. The issue here is that my action provoked a reaction - and quite as importantly, I was looking for and recorded the result.
By and large, the Branding kind of marketers do not.
Which is crucial here.
Because how do you know how effective your brand is if you aren't taking notice of people's responses to it? There's the old adage that advertising (= branding, by and large) takes the viewer seven times to realize what it means. My take on this is that if they did it correctly, their best customers would recognize it IMMEDIATELY and never ever need to go anywhere else ever again.
That wasn't four times, or five - and certainly not seven. Once and once only. The way to get to this point is by listening carefully, and then tailoring your message to those who pop their hands in the air waving banknotes. That is to say, you are reactive - and most corporations don't do this. Or don't want to. That it wastes colossal amounts of money is something that used to give me headaches.
Branding visibility: how to make your brand effectively visible. How can you measure this at all? Holding an event is one way - but how to determine the levels of awareness before and after. If alcohol's involved, it's likely that the immediate effects will actually be negative ... but then the people you ask are likely to have forgotten their own names as well! Do you then have a survey three weeks afterwards? Four weeks? Two days? or Two years? Would the survey even produce a statistically valid result?
Because an event, like TV advertising is darned hard to measure.
My take on this is why bother trying. But then, it's your job, and no doubt you'd like to keep it. There is one way, and that is to use something fast and cheap like Google Adwords and see what the response is like. Tailoring your message to those who are buying will tell you what people want to hear when an event is held. That way you'll know that your visibility is at its max.
(*Actually I have but the other sounds better and takes a deal less explaining).
10/16/2013 at 10:45 AM
It's likely much better to measure change in sales and/or leads, rather than visibility. It's likely that the event's goal was an investment in their brand, so determine if the investment was effective.
Peter (henna gaijin)
10/16/2013 at 11:36 AM
I've not heard the term brand visibility before. Because you did not find any information on brand visibility in your text book, my guess is that they are using brand visibility to mean brand awareness. As such, I would just go ahead and see how the event would improve the brand awareness for the company.
But, don't be afraid to ask an adviser, teacher, or some other person who is in the know this question about how they differ, and explain that you couldn't find info on it in the text books. They are generally happy to answer for people who have done the basic research but are still confused.
10/16/2013 at 2:50 PM
I equate "brand visibility" to "web presence", which is an opportunity to increase "brand awareness", in the consumers mind, through a "brand presence" (image and/or copy) on web pages.
Be that as it may, brand visibility (or presence) is not limited to the web. A billboard on the highway is also an example of brand visibility, but if the consumer (the driver) is distracted and never sees the billboard, no "brand awareness" will occur.
10/16/2013 at 7:52 PM
Like Gemma (Moriarty) I have no formal training or background in marketing. She and I honed our chops by getting stuff done. Forget the theory. Ditch the classroom dogma and doctrine. If you fail to follow these two short pieces of advice your mind may fill with mounds of useless classroom trash and outdated claptrap that probably won't serve your career one oita.
Your teachers and professors won't like this next point. Forget the text books.
Ninety-three percent of the content of the typical academic textbook is out of date before the ink is dry. Instead, open your eyes and ears, clear your mind, enter the market place with a notepad and
a clear and enquiring mind and THINK, damn it!
Brand visibility speaks of vision, view, opinion, preferences, and positioning in market places, in minds, and in popular culture.
Because of this it encompasses perceptions, feelings, social proof and share—SPECIFICALLY—share of mind, market, and wallet; and share of sponsors and personalities. So, awareness speaks of who is following, who is leading, and who or what is driving the DESIRE, the WANT, and the MUST HAVE perception for THAT brand in THIS market, at THIS point in time—or next month, or in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
I'm not talking about logos and liveried baubles here. Forget logos. I'm talking about the market and social forces that shape the value of any given brand as a desirable commodity—as something that's to be traded, emulated, copied, admired, lusted after, loathed, hated, despised, saved up for desired, and sought after.
Visibility speaks of who is BEING SEEN using, owning, supporting, or fostering ownership, use, and possession of any given brand, and it speaks of who WANTS to or who ASPIRES TO BE SEEN using, owning, supporting, or fostering any given brand.
AWARENESS is a slightly different beast: One can be AWARE of something and not want it, need it desire it, or care for it. I am AWARE or Rolls Royce but I have no desire to own one. I am AWARE of Rolex, Miley Cyrus, Gucci, and Donald Trump but i have no desire to wear or rub shoulders with any of them.
Awareness matters more in the visibility aspects of branding, particularly in WHO is aware of any given brand and who is also aware of that person's awareness and thus, their potential as an influencer on others who may aspire to own, use, or possess said brand.
10/18/2013 at 4:52 AM
Thankyou, Gary! And an exceptional comment.
10/18/2013 at 5:16 AM
Thank you all for these useful answers. Unfortunately, I will have to go through all the theory, since that's how the bachelor thesis goes, applying the theory in practice, but I wiill keep your advice in mind!
10/18/2013 at 6:43 AM
All you have to do is to do some proper marketing (that is to say, do everything backwards from your customer's needs to your vendor's demands) and then start at the back of your thesis and re-write it in academic marketing terms. That's when you can find the theory you need to back you up ;-)
I have a blog post in the pipeline about my uncle Moriarty who's an ageing professor at the Erasmus* in Rotterdam. His sideline is making sure that EU officials have the "correct" evidence for their arguments ... they need evidence and he drops meaningful hints that tell the poor bureaucrat where to look for the evidence he's so desperately seeking. That it's actually the evidence that someone else wants presented is never mentioned of course! But that's what my uncle's being paid for ...
(*The Dutch Cambridge)
10/18/2013 at 6:59 AM
Visibility also speaks of people's ability to recognize specific brands and to know what those brands are.
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