It's hard to understate the importance of brand recognition. When someone says they need a BandAid or Tylenol (instead of an adhesive medical strip or acetaminophen), it shows the height of bread recognition's power. At it's extreme, brand awareness can reach a point where a brand name overshadows the product being offered. Brand recognition isn't just for large multinational businesses. Local and national brands of all size need to increase brand awareness among new consumers. This article will highlight research that shows why brand recognition is so important for business owners and why the internet is the best place to start increasing brand awareness.

Getting new customers to try and stick with a brand is an essential part of any brand's strategy. Customer loyalty drives revenue, and brand recognition is a key way to increase customer loyalty. By getting a brand's name out there and accentuating the positive aspects, internet marketing can improve consumer sentiment and increase profits.

Increasing brand awareness among young consumers is necessary for businesses looking to grow in the future. Brands that don't do this may find themselves obsolete as their current customers get older. For a more positive way to look at it, millennials are eager to find brands they can trust. In a study from Statista, more than half (52 percent) of U.S. millennials said that finding brands they can trust is important to them. It's even more important for international marketers, where 58 percent of young adults had the same feelings on brand loyalty. And nearly seven out of 10 (69 percent) of the highly sought after professional consumers, often called "prosumers", stated they were looking for good brands.

Brand awareness is also an important part of any SEO strategy. When consumers search for things using brand names in the keyword, the search results will greatly favor the site of the brand in the query. A search for "shoes" and a search for "Nike shoes" will bring up radically different results. It may simply be the low-hanging fruit, but branded keywords generally have a much higher conversion rate than non-branded keywords. Even with business to business marketing, the conversion rate for branded search is higher than the rates for direct traffic to the site and non-branded keyword traffic, according to the 2013 B2B Optify study. This is why small business owners should make brand awareness a key part of their overall marketing strategy. A local lawyer will get far more web traffic from search if people in the community know the lawyer's name and use it in the search than from people just searching for local lawyers.

Given the importance of brand awareness for the growth of a company in the future and the effectiveness of SEO in the present, business owners and marketers should devote a lot of their social media efforts toward increasing brand awareness amongst the public. This can have an exponential effect on brand awareness. According to a study from Ipsos, 38 percent of people have recommended a brand they "like" or follow on a social network.

When done right, marketing can lead to some consumers becoming brand advocates for a company. Brand advocates actively tell others about brands they like, and since their word is trusted by their peers, the brands they advocate can see large increases in revenue. Zuberance released a report that found 57 percent of brand advocates make recommendations through emails, compared to 35 percent for Facebook, 5 percent for third-party sites, and 1 percent each for blogs, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This means that brand advocates help business owners reach new consumers through channels they can't use (since the only way a brand should have access to a consumer's email is if the consumer already gave it to them). The same report noted that nearly a third of brand advocates made recommendations weekly, while nearly another four out of 10 (39 percent) did so monthly. Increasing brand awareness among this key demographic can greatly increase the value of brand now and into the future.

All of these statistics point to a simple truth that business owners and marketers should already know: getting more people to know and care about a brand will have huge benefits in both the long term and the short term. Positive brand perception by consumers can have amazing effects on consumers behavior and internet marketing makes it easier than ever to get positive information out there. Anyone who wants more evidence of the power of brand awareness, just take a teenager shopping.