Brand recognition is the extent to which the general public (or an organization's target market) can identify a brand by its attributes. Brand recognition, also known as "aided brand recall," is most successful when people can state a brand without being explicitly exposed to the company's name, but rather through visual or auditory signifiers like logos, slogans, packaging, colors or jingles as seen in advertising. It differs from brand awareness, which is merely the knowledge that a brand exists.

Breaking Down Brand Recognition

Brand recognition is often paired with "brand recall," which is the ability of customers to think of a brand name from their memory when told to think of a category of products. Brand recall tends to indicate a stronger connection to a brand than brand recognition. For example, people tend to think of more brand names when prompted by a product than by a category. Brand recall is also called "unaided recall" or "spontaneous recall."

To measure brand recognition and the effectiveness of promotional campaigns, many companies will perform experiments on study groups. Both aided and unaided recall tests may be used. With similar products, brand recognition will result in higher sales, even if both brands are of equal quality.

Brand Recognition Tips

Small businesses and big corporations alike can do much to build and maintain their brand recognition, to be "top of mind" with customers who are ready to buy online or in the store. 

For one, a company should utilize a unique, touching, or heartfelt story that lets customers know why it's in business. Customers tend to remember brands that reach them on a personal or emotional level. Another way to build and maintain brand recognition is by providing exemplary customer service. Customers are more likely to recommend and buy products from a company they know values their patronage. Businesses should also aim to exceed their customers' expectations and also seek to educate their customers. Being known as an expert in a certain field or being able to relate to customers and how they use the products and services they buy goes a long way in ensuring consumer loyalty. One way to accomplish this is through email newsletters or blogs that ensure that customers or prospective customers have your company in mind. Small businesses and large companies can also utilize social media to make sure that their names and products or services are in constant circulation. Of course, a company's logo or visual theme should be used in all communications.