Brand Recall v Brand Recognition

Brand awareness is one of the most important aspects of any marketing strategy, and one that many find difficult to optimize, especially when first starting out. It refers to the extent to which people are able to recognize and remember your brand, and knowing the difference between each type, as well as when to focus on them, can help in your strategies.

The two categories of brand awareness are, as mentioned above, brand recognition, and brand recall. Brand recognition refers to whether or not consumers can identify you when they see you. Brands that have mastered this have found a way to utilize a slogan, logo, or mascot in order to immediately associate their product or message with these images or phrases. Audiences may not immediately think of your brand when the category is brought up, but when shown one of those aspects, they will recognize you. Brand recall represents a stronger form of brand awareness; this means that your audience is able to remember you when only given a category. Without any prompting other than the mention of the product, these brands come to mind right away. When someone says soda, you probably think Coca-Cola or Pepsi, just as when someone says potato chips, you’re most likely to remember Lay’s or Pringles. These are just some examples of brands that have so closely associated themselves with their category that consumers have no problem recalling their name. This is a powerful advantage in the market; once your brand has reached such a strong level of awareness, consumers are likely to consider purchasing, or, at the very least, take the time to learn more about you.

Which of these two you should focus on will depend on your business and audience. If you are selling a service, it might be in your best interest to try to create a strong association with the category of service, that way when the consumer finds themselves in need of help in that category, you will come to mind without any more prompting. In this case, brand recall is invaluable. If you are selling a product, making yourself memorable, vibrant, and unique will catch their eye on a shelf, and this typically relies more on brand recognition.

Whether remembering or recognizing your brand, you want to carefully consider how best to increase brand awareness for your company, to ensure your audience knows just who you are.

What Makes a Memorable Brand?

When considering how to optimize brand recognition, it can be helpful to look to brands who have been successful in this aspect. The most powerful brands have made their logos, slogans, mascots, and therefore their companies, a part of popular culture. Think about the Coca-Cola polar bears, the McDonalds’ “I’m lovin’it” slogan, or the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign. Utilizing unique characters, memorable slogans, or issues relevant to their audience, these brands are cemented in our minds so that we think of them without much prompting when their product category is brought up.

One of the most important aspects when it comes to brand recognition is your logo or sign. Remember to be consistent and clear in your branding; make it obvious exactly who you are and keep colors, fonts, and verbiage the same no matter which platform they appear on. Be creative here as well; as mentioned earlier, some brands have found that adding a character or a memorable slogan helps them be stand out in the minds of their audience.

In order to keep your business out in front of consumers, start locally by sponsoring or speaking at events. Associating certain faces or spokespeople with a brand make it easier to create a sense of trust. Take advantage of social media platforms to create branded pages from which you can connect with new customers and interact with existing ones. Social media also allows you to share content from others in your industry, as well as creating your own branded content that can be shared and circulated easily, extending your reach even further beyond your usual audience.