Brand Awareness vs. Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?

Brand Awareness vs. Lead Generation: What’s the Difference?

If you don’t know the difference between brand awareness and lead generation, we’re here to help. Here’s what you should know about these two strategies.

Brand awareness and lead generation are two marketing concepts that businesspeople sometimes mix up. While they have some similarities, these practices differ quite a bit. If you’ve confused the two before, that’s okay. We’re here to help straighten them out for you and go over some examples of each strategy. Without further ado, here are the differences between brand awareness and lead generation.

The Key Difference

The reason why people tend to confuse these two concepts comes down to the fact that both of them focus on bringing in new customers. They differentiate themselves in how they go about it, though. Brand awareness specifically focuses on creating recognition of the company’s existence. While it’s a positive when it leads to a conversion, that isn’t the main goal of this strategy.

Lead generation, on the other hand, focuses entirely on creating conversions. Most of the time, these are non-sales conversions like signing up for a newsletter or setting up an account. However, these actions will usually lead to a sale down the road.

Also, because of this distinction, brand awareness almost always comes before lead generation. It’s difficult to sell someone an idea if they’ve never heard of you before. While some niche examples have lead generation come first, this is rare.

Examples of Brand Awareness

Now that we’ve covered the key difference between brand awareness and lead generation, let’s look at some common examples. While many marketing strategies fall under the brand awareness category, we’ll only cover the most popular ones to give you a good starting point.

Search Engine Optimization

One of the most powerful tools a company can use to build brand awareness is search engine optimization (SEO). Carrying out SEO takes some time to develop, but once you’ve built it out, it becomes a reliable way to continually show new consumers who you are. The best part of SEO is it’s essentially free. All you’re doing is making your company show up in people’s natural search results.


If you want something similar that will work faster, you should consider using PPC ads. They’ll accomplish many of the same things. The reason why this strategy is so much quicker than SEO is that you’re paying to show up at the top of search results immediately. You don’t have to put tons of time and effort into climbing. You could be in front of your target audience tomorrow through PPC.


Another solid brand awareness strategy is using sponsorships. These are effective for companies, both large and small. We’re used to hearing about big deal sponsorships, but thanks to social media and the rise of influencers, small companies can now afford to have a relevant party sponsor their brand for relatively cheap. Plus, these smaller deals are great ways to hit very niche markets.

Examples of Lead Generation

Next, we’ll cover some of the most common strategies for lead generation. Their effectiveness will vary depending on what you sell, but each of them can be useful to companies of any size.

Free Trials

The king of lead generation is free trials. No one likes having to pay lots of money for a program or service they aren’t even sure they’ll like. Giving people unrestricted access for a short period for the low cost of making an account with their email address is worth it in most people’s books. Even if they don’t make a purchase at the end of the trial, you can still change their mind down the road through emails.

Email Newsletters

Another common tactic many companies use is offering email newsletters to those who subscribe to them. Through these emails, you can inform your leads about new products, show off deals on your best-selling items, and even offer them exclusive discounts. There are many ways to convert your subscribers into loyal customers, but if you’ve gained their interest, you’re already halfway there.

Lead Magnets

If you haven’t heard of lead magnets before, you should know that these free downloads offer lots of informative value to potential leads. From eBooks to how-to guides, these documents can teach consumers about various topics related to your industry. Once they understand these things better, they’ll be more likely to buy something through the company that just taught the information to them.

Which Should You Use?

In the end, while each of these marketing strategies has its purposes, you should always try to use them together. Without brand awareness, people won’t be able to easily discover your lead generators. And without those, people who learn about your company won’t feel compelled to convert. Brand awareness and lead generation naturally feed into each other, so utilize both throughout your strategy to achieve the best results.