A couple of great posts on branding this on preference v. awareness from Jennifer Rice at Brand Shift.
If you're working with an agency that talks about building awareness as the primary objective, get a new agency. Your primary objective is to create preference, not awareness. And that usually happens by investing in your product or service and creating a compelling experience. Create preference, and awareness will follow.
I love this thought in another post by Jennifer
Too many companies (and individuals) are focused on the effect, not the cause. Their objectives are to be "the leading provider of xyz service" or to "generate x million by 2006"... or "to change customer behavior." But really effective companies simply focus on being more attractive than the alternatives. Change always starts with yourself.
For companies to be loved by their customers, they must be loveable. And they must be loving. And if you love someone, you don't expect them to change. You meet them where they are. Good relationships involve mutual giving, mutual evolution, mutual change. As Freddie noted, it's about co-creation.