How Brand Awareness Boosts Your Lead Generation Efforts

brand awareness

As a marketing or sales professional, you’ve probably read about brand awareness and lead generation as competing priorities. But we’ve got good news for you: it doesn’t have to be so.

Brand awareness and lead generation can and should coexist as part of your brand’s marketing and sales strategies. You do not have to strictly separate your resources into one bucket or the other. In fact, brand awareness serves as an important foundation for generating quality leads consistently over time. 

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of brand awareness and lead generation, how they’re related, and 4 specific ways high brand awareness can boost your lead generation efforts.

Quick Takeaways

  • With the right strategy, companies can get brand awareness and lead generation efforts working in a virtuous cycle, each increasing the positive effects of the other.
  • Brand awareness is an important builder of brand trust, which is critical for getting people to share their contact information.
  • Brand awareness attracts partnerships that enable companies to increase their visibility to audiences in new markets, generating lots of potential new leads.

Brand awareness and lead generation: what are they and how are they related?

Brand awareness

Brand awareness is the extent to which consumers remember and recognize a brand. It’s all about association — when you have high brand awareness, yours is the brand people think of when they have a need that falls under your product or service category.

For example: when you think of fast food, you probably think of McDonald’s. Soft drinks? Coca-Cola. Bandages for a minor cut? Band-Aids. Search engines? Google. Computers? Apple.

You get the picture. Brands with the highest levels of brand awareness become nearly synonymous with their niche — “google” is now even a verb in the dictionary meaning to search for information about something. 

As you can see below, awareness is also the first stage of the customer journey. This means without brand awareness, you can’t realistically grow your customer base or earn sales because people don’t know that your brand exists.

brand awareness is the first stage of the customer journey

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Brand awareness efforts are all about casting the widest net possible. When you’re focused on brand awareness, you’re not really worried about getting consumers to act or converting potential customers into leads or sales at that very moment. Instead, you’re building important recognizability that sets the foundation for more tangible results later on.

Lead generation

Lead generation is the process of capturing actual interest in your brand by getting people to share their contact information with you. It’s part of moving them to the next stage of the customer funnel pictured above: consideration. When you generate a lead, you’ve earned the opportunity to take more targeted action like sending emails or following up by phone call.

Consistent and effective lead generation tactics keep your pipeline full and give your sales team plenty of prospects to potentially convert into actual sales. Lead numbers are an indicator of how well your overall marketing efforts are working and whether your brand is resonating with consumers once they learn about you.

The relationship between brand awareness and lead generation

Brand awareness and lead generation are often positioned as competing priorities for marketing and sales teams. Should you conduct a brand awareness campaign or a lead generation campaign? Where should you allocate more resources? Which one is more important to your brand’s success?

The truth is that these two concepts do not exist in an either-or scenario. Brands absolutely need to simultaneously focus on both brand awareness and lead generation in order to succeed. 

It’s true that you may need to emphasize one more than the other at different times and depending on your brand’s specific situation. But long-term, brands require both high awareness and strong lead generation strategies to keep their pipelines healthy and hit their sales goals.

We like to think of brand awareness and lead generation as existing in what’s called a virtuous cycle, or a recurring cycle of events in which one increases the positive effects of the other.

In this case, high brand awareness increases the likelihood that a consumer will recognize and feel comfortable sharing their contact information with your company. In turn, you’re able to share more information about your brand and communicate more regularly with that consumer, increasing their awareness of your offerings.

4 ways brand awareness boosts your lead generation efforts

People know your brand

When people know your brand, they’re more likely to share their information with you when the right time comes. The thing is, you don’t know when that actual time may be. This is why brand awareness efforts on their own are so important.

HubSpot is a great example of a brand that consistently creates high awareness in order to generate leads later. They provide tons of free, valuable content that has essentially made them a go-to brand for marketing and sales resources.

Most of the time, when people visit HubSpot’s website or read their blog, they aren’t thinking about becoming a paying customer. But when the time comes that those same consumers need one of HubSpot’s free resources or actual product offerings, they won’t hesitate to share their information (and become an official lead).

You earn automatic association

Remember we mentioned that Google is now a verb in the dictionary? This is an example of automatic association. “Google” is so widely synonymous with “search engine” that just about every internet user goes there automatically when they need to conduct a search. They don’t even consider another option.

This has led to Google’s ownership of a whopping 92% of the search engine market share, proverbial miles ahead of their nearest competitors.

graph showing google’s high market share compared to competitors

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We might not all be the next Google when it comes to brand awareness, but this example gets the right point across. High brand awareness sends potential customers straight to your website when they have a related need, ready to share their content information to learn more about how you can help them.

You’re considered the expert

Longstanding, widespread brand awareness helps you establish perhaps the most important thing when it comes to growing your customer base: brand trust. Brand trust occurs when consumers have confidence in the integrity of your brand and the quality of what you deliver.

For B2B companies in particular, this trust is important to buyers considering making a significant financial commitment. Research has shown that more than 60%  of adults making large purchases report that trust significantly influences their decision.

survey results show brand trust is important to most adult consumers

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By nature, brand awareness builds trust. The more visible your brand becomes and the more consumers see and hear about it, the more likely they are to begin associating it with quality in your industry.

What does this have to do with lead generation?

Simply put, people do not want to share their personal information with brands they consider untrustworthy or sketchy. When you establish trust, you establish confidence in potential customers that you won’t spam their emails, that the products and services you offer are high quality, and that the information you share with them will be relevant and valuable.

You attract partnerships

Brand awareness attracts new opportunities in potential partnerships with other brands — one of the best ways to expand your audience and create even more brand awareness in new markets, thus potentially generating lots of new leads. Brand partnerships also offer benefits like unique added value to your offerings and a boost in excitement around your offerings.

See how Uber and Spotify created a partnership to increase brand awareness and boost business:

Our outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.