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Brand Recognition

Brand recognition: definition and benefits

June 2023 · 9 Min Read

Have you ever seen a bottle of Jack Daniels bourbon without a label? Chances are that even if you had, you might not have noticed. Jack Daniels’ uniquely shaped bottle is as much a part of its branding as the fonts, colours and graphic design that catch your eye. Each of these attributes directly relates to Jack Daniels’ brand recognition and plays a big part in their brand marketing and brand awareness.

If all those terms sound confusing, read on. You’re going to learn what brand recognition is, how it relates to brand awareness, why it matters and how to increase it. You’ll even go on a short brand recognition holiday. Let’s get started!

Brand recognition definition

Brand recognition is a measure of how easily a consumer can identify a company or product through visual and audio cues such as a logo, slogan, jingle or packaging. For example, a bottle of Jack Daniels is recognisable to many consumers before they even see the name, Intel have a very distinguishable sonic (short sound) that’s heard in every ad and McDonalds have their famous arches.

Brand recognition and brand awareness

Brand awareness and brand recognition are often seen as the same thing. They’re not but they are closely related. Brand awareness measures how familiar a consumer is with a company or product. If a consumer can identify a company or a product with a visual or audio cue, they are showing both brand recognition and brand awareness but brand awareness can be as simple as knowing a brand exists.

For example, if you were asked what industry McDonalds were in, you’d likely say “fast food” or “restaurants”. That shows brand awareness as you know McDonalds exists and the industry they’re in but you haven’t showed any brand recognition. If you were asked which brand the “I’m lovin’ it” slogan is from and you said “McDonalds”, you’d be showing brand awareness and brand recognition.

Brand recognition benefits

The biggest benefit of brand recognition is the increase in your brand equity, which is the extra value given to your business or products for having a recognisable name. If that isn’t enough, here are a few more:

Build trust

Trust is hard to gain and easy to lose but strong brand recognition can do a lot of work for you. When potential customers see your brand more, they start to understand you more. Very few people place full trust in someone they don’t know. When we become more familiar with a brand, we’re more willing to give it a chance. This opens the door to learning about their values, personality and anything else that makes them stand out. All of this eventually leads to a relationship built on trust.

Increase prices

Have you ever been to the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes? Make sure you visit if you like your cheese. You get to enjoy free tasters, discover a history cheesier than the best (worst?) dad joke and watch a fascinating demonstration. The care and attention put into making each block is quite remarkable. Every step is considered and the result is a consistently crumbly, creamy and tasty cheese. That’s worth a lot but the bit that grabbed our attention the most was the moment our guide said “this is the part that makes a £5 cheese worth £10” and attached a Yorkshire Wensleydale label. Brand recognition on a product that has positive brand equity instantly allows you to increase your prices so it’s well worth investing in. More cheese Gromit?

Wensleydale Creamery. Wallace and Gromit. Brand Recognition.

Make product and brand marketing easier

Both product and brand marketing are all about making your business or products visible and desirable to the people you want to buy from you or work with you. Businesses do it to improve their brand equity by becoming more recognisable and gaining trust. When a customer recognises a brand, they form an opinion on it. This means that two products with no discernible difference will appeal in completely different ways to different audiences. When you market a product to an audience that already aligns with your brand, they’re more like to choose you. If you improve your business’ brand recognition, you make it easier for customers to associate you with the parts of your business you want to stand out.

Make your brand inseparable

When was the last time you googled something or hoovered the living room? Have you written on a Post-it note recently or facetimed a friend? Some brands are able to create such a strong brand recognition that they become synonymous with task they help to complete. Getting to this stage for most companies is extremely difficult but the better your brand recognition, the more likely it is.

Outlast the competition

Having a recognisable brand doesn’t automatically mean you’ll have longevity but it helps. Brand recognition is only a part of the puzzle. To really gain trust and outlast the competition, your branding needs to be connected to your values, your vision and your reason for existing. When your brand is clear, consistent, relevant and stands out from the crowd, your customers will keep coming back. Brand recognition helps to make your brand visible so the things that matter to you and your audience are always at the top of mind.

5 Brand Recognition Benefits Infographic

How to increase your brand recognition

Now you know why brand recognition matters, you probably want to increase it for your business. Many businesses jump straight to the branding: colourful logos, quirky websites and trendy content. That can work for a while but customers will quickly notice if that’s not really who you are. The best way to gain brand recognition is to define your brand.

A brand recognition holiday

A man travelled from the UK to the Netherlands for a break and to see some friends. He was excited to be there and to discover the differences between the two countries. There were many differences but the man noticed that there were so many similarities too. The weather, the food, even the humour were closer than he could have ever expected.

Someone once said that to really get a sense of a country, you need to visit their shops. The man stopped in his tracks as he walked past the anti-perspirants. His usual deodorant was on display but it didn’t have its usual name. He was sure it was Sure but it said Rexona. He needed deodorant and he trusted Sure so he bought it anyway.

When he went back to his friend’s house, he decided to help with the washing up. “Where’s the Fairy?” he asked, meaning the washing up liquid, of course. His friend handed him something which both was and wasn’t Fairy. Everything was the same, the logo, the shape of the bottle, even the smell but the name said “Dreft”. He was happy to use it and continued to ask for Fairy in the future as it was just like a hoover or google. Each one of these products has such a strong brand recognition that the name didn’t really matter.

How to measure brand recognition

Certain metrics are hard to measure. We’ve written a whole article on how to measure brand awareness and it’s possible to measure brand recognition too. The best method is to conduct brand tracking surveys. This allows you to test how familiar a consumer is with your brand through unaided or aided brand recall. If a consumer can name your brand when they see a logo, hear a slogan or through another area of branding, they have brand recognition. Keep measuring in regular time periods to see how it changes.

Increase your brand recognition by defining your brand

You know what brand recognition is, you know why it matters for your business and you how to increase it, so why not get started? Your first task is to define your brand so that every area of your messaging is clear, consistent, relevant and stands out. You can do that by taking part in a Puck Creations’ Define Your Brand Workshop. Get started today.

Brand recognition FAQ

Q.) What is an example of brand recognition?

A.) An example of brand recognition could be the Golden Arches you see when you’re driving towards a junction of the M1. You instantly know they represent McDonald’s even if you don’t see the McDonald’s name.

Q.) What is the meaning of strong brand recognition?

A.) Strong brand recognition means consumers and stakeholders know your brand through visual or audio clues alone. If people recognise your brand without seeing your name more frequently than they recognise your competitors, you have strong brand recognition.

Q.) What is brand recognition and why is it important?

A.) Brand recognition is how consumers and other stakeholders identify a brand solely through audio and visual clues, like slogans, packaging, jingles or logos. It improves brand loyalty, brand awareness, brand equity and ultimately increases sales.

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