What Is Brand Recognition? Everything You Wanted to Know
This article was last updated on December 17, 2022.
In today’s saturated market, brands are in constant competition for the attention of consumers. So how do you make your business stand out? What’s the magic ingredient that’s going to sway buyers in your direction?
The answer is brand recognition. The better your brand recognition, the more likely people are to choose your product. By making sure the elements that comprise your brand identity are unique, consumers will recognize your product even before they see or hear your company name.
While there are many marketing strategies that contribute to brand recognition, the first step is to come up with the perfect name for your business. To get the ideas rolling, try this brand name generator for inspiration. Then, you can hit the ground running to promote your business.
What is brand recognition?
Brand recognition refers to how identifiable a brand is through its visual and auditory characteristics, such as its brand colors or jingle. It is a key factor to staying relevant among consumers, as it increases brand awareness and ensures consumers opt to buy your product over your competitors’.
A successful brand recognition strategy requires a holistic marketing approach in which all aspects are intertwined and work together to bolster your business. Consistency is key here, so make sure your visuals and overall brand messaging are uniform across all your marketing assets.
To better understand brand recognition, let’s take a look at two examples - Kleenex and Tupperware. These are two brands that hit the nail on the head in terms of brand recognition and, ultimately, have become household names. Everyone knows that when someone asks for a “Kleenex” they’re looking for a tissue, or when someone searches their cabinets for “Tupperware” they’re looking for a food storage container. In both cases, the brand and the product have become synonymous.
Stages of brand recognition
There are anywhere from 4 - 6 different stages in the brand recognition process. These include some or all of the following in this specific order:
Recognition of a brand
The end goal of brand recognition is preference and loyalty, where consumers choose your brand every time, when faced with a choice or when in need of a product or service.
Measuring brand recognition is not straightforward, even for smaller companies, and will most likely involve a combination of metrics. Generally tracking brand recognition is tied up with measuring brand awareness and involves looking at how people react to a brand online, in person and across all of its marketing and advertising efforts.
Types of brand recognition
When it comes to brand recognition there are several main types brands can choose to use and develop in order to improve their brand awareness and marketing. These include:
As it name suggests, this type of brand recognition is based on the visual elements of a brand, such as its logo, color scheme, and packaging design. Visual recognition helps consumers easily identify a brand and its products through these different visual elements.
The audio elements of a brand, such as its jingle, slogan, or sound effects make up this type of brand recognition. Audio recognition can be especially effective in creating an emotional connection with consumers, as well as something that can go viral and be heard by millions of potential consumers on a global scale.
Verbal recognition is the verbal elements of a brand, such as its name, tagline, or catchphrase. Verbal recognition helps consumers recall and recognize a brand and pass on their awareness of a brand to others.
The emotional associations that consumers have with a brand, such as feelings of comfort, security, or excitement make up this type of brand recognition. It can be especially powerful in helping to build brand loyalty amongst diverse groups of potential consumers.
This type of brand recognition is based on the actions and behaviors of a brand, such as the quality of its products and services, the way it treats its customers, and its reputation. This includes a brand's online reputation, including how they present themselves on social media and other platforms. Behavioral recognition can have a significant impact on consumer trust and should be considered carefully.
Why is brand recognition important?
Brand recognition should be a key component of a smart and well rounded marketing strategy. Here are the key reasons why.
Builds brand awareness
Often used interchangeably, brand recognition and brand awareness are actually not the same thing. While the two are similar, brand recognition is a component of brand awareness.
Brand recognition involves establishing yourself in the market and making yourself known. Brand awareness, on the other hand, is more about showcasing why your brand is the best option out there. The two work in tandem to promote your business and transform your brand into a household name.
Establishes an emotional connection
When you think of your favorite brand, what comes to mind? Do you only think of the product, or is there a specific feeling that it evokes? Oftentimes, we choose specific companies because of the emotional connection we have to them. And brand recognition is a key ingredient to creating this. Your brand should trigger positive associations with consumers, persuading them to choose your product over others.
Keeps your brand top of mind
Achieving brand recognition requires steady and consistent marketing efforts to prevent your brand from flying under the radar. This also ensures that consumers will remember your product when it comes time to purchase.
In fact, a study conducted by McKinsey found that people are three times more likely to purchase a new product from a company they’re familiar with than from a company they haven’t heard of before. This just goes to show how important it is to stay
relevant and be memorable among consumers.
Creates consumer trust and loyalty
Successful companies have an identity that consumers can relate to. This connection enhances the trust that people have in specific brands and creates authentic, long-lasting relationships. Once you have a established your brand image and brand equity, customers are more likely to stick with you in the future.
Consider the iPhone, for example. 59% of iPhone users claim they wouldn’t consider researching other phones before their next upgrades, even if it meant saving them money. That’s telling of the power of brand recognition when it comes to building brand loyalty and getting repeat buyers.
How to build brand recognition
Building a brand is a journey that requires commitment over the long-haul. With that in mind, let’s discuss strategies you can incorporate that will help you achieve this goal:
01. Have a cohesive brand identity
Your brand identity includes all of the elements that encompass your brand. This includes what sets it apart, makes it memorable and the voice you use to share it with the world. Some of these primary aspects include your logo, colors, slogan and tone of voice.
It’s imperative that you keep all elements aligned and consistent throughout your branding efforts - for instance, use the same brand colors and adhere to the same brand values across all your channels. A unified marketing strategy is a key factor of creating consumer trust and loyalty.
02. Share your brand story
Consumers are more likely to recognize and choose brands that they can connect to on a personal level. By explaining the “why” behind your brand, your company is much more likely to resonate with consumers, as opposed to simply offering a list of what makes your product great. A powerful brand story can grab the attention of your target market and build that emotional connection that is so vital for brand recognition.
GoPro, for example, includes its entire brand story in the About Us section on their website. It explains how the founder, Nick Woodman, was seeking a better way to film his friends surfing. The story continues by describing GoPro’s users, writing, “They humble and inspire us every day with incredible creativity that helps us see the world in an all-new way - and fires us up to keep creating the most awesome, innovative products possible.”
The story explains that the product allows individuals to “celebrate the moment” and “capture life as you live it.” By making consumers feel like a significant piece of the GoPro journey, the brand is able to connect with customers on a personal level.
03. Grow your online presence
Having a professional website and maintaining a solid social media presence is invaluable for positive brand recognition and perception. Social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, allow you to communicate and engage directly with your target audience and reach them instantly. They can also bring new consumers into your marketing funnel and generate sales. For instance, 72% of Instagram users claim to have made a purchase based on the fact that they saw the brand featured on Instagram.
Another key factor to your online presence is your website. This is the first place people will go to learn more about your product, so you need to make sure you leave a lasting impression. Utilize a stylish and inviting website template and incorporate all elements of your brand identity to ensure that your site is a representation of what you stand for.
It’s also important to keep your site updated with products and announcement. You can even consider creating a free blog if it’s in keeping with the tone of your brand. The more content you include on your website, the better your search engine optimization (SEO) and the likelihood of ranking higher on Google.
04. Make it about the consumer
One of the most effective ways to set yourself apart is to make your brand as customer-centric as possible. In turn, consumers will feel valued and appreciated and will become lifelong purchasers.
Amazon, for example, launched unlimited, two-day shipping as part of its Prime membership program in 2005. In addition, most products shipped from Amazon’s warehouses can be returned for a full refund, even if they’ve been opened and used.
“The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company,” says Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos. Bezos has emphasized that Amazon puts more focus on customer service and support than it does on company growth. This dedication has resulted in a surge of Prime memberships as well as lifelong loyalty to the company.
05. Incorporate social responsibility
Don’t be afraid to share your beliefs and values with the world and stand up for a specific cause. It may or may not be directly related to your product. However, if it’s part of your brand story, it can still resonate with consumers.
Consider the outerwear company, Patagonia. Patagonia has implemented a project called Footprint Chronicles, which provides complete transparency of its supply chain. This project ensures that none of their products cause a negative social or environmental impact throughout the manufacturing process. Each product on the website links to videos showing its specific journey along the supply chain. This way, consumers know exactly how it was produced.
Patagonia’s target market is people who love the outdoors with an affinity for nature. By taking this into consideration, Patagonia has taken on sustainable efforts that reach consumers on a personal level that creates a connection to the company. This alone can be enough to convert new leads.
06. Maintain a consistent marketing strategy
This goes hand-in-hand with keeping your brand top of mind. Your tone, feel and look should always be aligned and remain uniform (unless you are rebranding). By maintaining an unwavering brand image, you’ll convey your business as dependent and reliable. Consumers will also be able to recognize it across all channels and at all touchpoints.
07. Make your business stand out
As Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” These words will continue to ring true as long as businesses exist. Remember: the key is to stand out. The last thing you want is to blend in with the sea of brands already out there. If you are starting your business, make sure all elements of your brand are unique to you. Then, you can use these elements to ensure you are noticed, grab people’s attention and begin your journey as a successful business owner.
By Talia Cohen
Small Business Expert and Marketing Blogger