I'm convinced that awareness is the most overrated branding characteristic.
Many (most) companies are compelled to spend money to "get our name out there,"as if getting someone to recognize your name inherently leads them to become your customer. Vast resources are wasted on "spreading the word," with the result that many people have heard of the company, but few can attach any meaning to the name.
Companies would be better served not to focus their resources on getting large numbers of people to know their name, but on getting the right people to love what stands behind that name.
Branding isn't about getting your name out in the market place. It's about getting individual customers to say, "I get it, I want it, and I can't get it anywhere else."
Branding—one customer at a time!