Eugene M Schwartz, the man who invented the term “awareness states”

Eugene M Schwartz, the man who invented the term “awareness states”

Eugene M. Schwartz

Eugene M Schwartz was one of the most famous copywriters in the world. His book Breakthrough Advertising is the best-advanced guide for learning copywriting and marketing skills.

Eugene M Schwartz, in Breakthrough Advertising, introduced copywriters to mass desire, the five states of awareness, and market sophistication. And this is one of the essential fact copywriters needs to know to create winning campaigns.

If they did not tailor their message to the real buyers, advertisers would waste their money sending the promotion to the wrong audience.

Most copywriters and marketers don’t understand how real buyers differ from everyone else. So, they end up wasting money and effort generating lower than expected earnings, while their competitors are grabbing clients before they even hav a chance to make their pitch.

As I mentioned, Eugene M Schwartz explains the five states of awareness in his book Breakthrough Advertising. If copywriters correctly understand and imply them in their lead, they will get the winning campaigns.

Eugene M. Schwartz (2)


The five states of awareness are

Problem Aware
Solution Aware
Product Aware
Most Aware

To understand and remember them, I will give you simple real-life examples.


You have an old coach that is deformed by years. Yet, you use it daily without knowing it causes back pain problems because of improper body position.

In this state, you don’t know the problem.

One day you woke up with back pain. It worsens in the following days, so you decide to take action.

Problem Aware

In this state, you know you have a problem – back pain.
So you visited the doctor and started researching on the net to learn more about your problem. Finally, after seeing the doctor and taking an X-ray, you found the reason for your pain: daily improper body position on the couch for hours.

Now you know you have back pain and what caused your back pain.

Solution Aware

You must buy a new anatomic couch to solve your problem.
In this state, you start looking for various couches, their features, benefits, price, and dimensions.

You search online, read reviews, and ask on the phone for additional information.

In other words, you are looking for a solution to relieve the back pain by buying a new comfortable couch.

Product Aware

According to Eugene M Schwartz, in this state, you have chosen 2-3 products that are the best according to you.

You know their features, benefits, and price, and you need a trigger to decide on one of them.

Most Aware

You bought the coach and are satisfied with the brand and its product.
If you need a coach in the future, you will go to their salon or website and ask for the price and discounts.

If you want a winning campaign, you must start your headline and lead with the proper awareness state.

In the case I explained above, no one in the unaware state will pay attention to the couch ad.
They don’t know they need it.
They don’t have back pain and don’t have the urgent need to change the couch.

Do you see the importance of the awareness state if you want to reach real buyers?

They will ignore the ad if they don’t have an urgent need.

Eugene M Schwartz not only explained the awareness states, but he explained how to reach the target audience using them.

Awareness is the first step toward buying a product. It’s also the first step toward changing behavior. Once a person becomes aware of something, he will think about it more often. He will start noticing things that remind him of the issue. And he will begin to consider solutions to the problem.


This is essential because it allows us to recognize their problems and take action. It’s also an excellent time to start thinking about how to approach them to solve their problems with our product.

Unaware State: The prospect is either not aware of his desire or his need

If you’re looking to sell something, you must first identify the needs of your prospects. Next, you must create your avatar and ask questions such as:
What do they want?
Why do they want it?
How much do they want it?
Where will they use it?
Who else will use it?

Once you understand these things, you can begin to design a product that meets their needs.

Your next task is to make them aware they need your product.


You can reach them by telling them stories about where they will find themself in the same situation as the main character.

Problem Aware: The prospect has—not a desire—but a need

The problem awareness state is the next phase of the buying cycle. It begins with the customer being aware of a problem. This means that the customer knows a problem but does not yet know how to solve it.

In this case, your headline and lead will start with the problem.

Solution Aware: The prospect either knows or recognizes that he wants what the product does

Once the customer has recognized the need for a solution, he enters the solution-aware state. At this point, he realizes he needs a solution to his problem and knows what he wants. He also knows that he will pay for the solution.

So here, your headline and lead will start with the solution.

Product Aware: The Customer Knows the Product But Doesn’t Yet Want It

To sell a product, you must first ensure that the customer knows about the product. This means that you must educate them about the product and its benefits. Then, you must convince them that they should buy the product.

In this state, your headline and lead start with your product, testimonials, and proof. Next, you must convince them that your product is better than the competition.

The Most Aware: The customer knows of your product—knows what it does— knows he wants it

Your headline and lead start with the product’s name, price, discount, limited offer, and so on.


Eugene M Schwartz invented the awareness states to help copywriters and marketers create their winning copies.

Do you need help with copywriting services and marketing strategy tips according to the awareness states

Contact me at

Online Marketing Academy

or book a call