brand recognition

Brand recognition is the extent to which a consumer can correctly identify a particular product or service just by viewing the product or service's logo, tag line, packaging or advertising campaign. Brand recognition can also be triggered via an audio cue, such as a jingle or theme song associated with a brand.

Brand recognition requires the consumer to recall prior knowledge. To build brand recognition, an organization must repeatedly provide consumers with a consistent visual or auditory learning experience. Consider the case of television advertising. A brand who spends millions of dollars on a single television commercial during the Super Bowl may be forgotten weeks after the game. However, a brand which uses a Super Bowl commercial to reinforce a years-long advertising campaign will have higher brand recognition.

Brand recognition is developed by reach, frequency and consistency. A useful tactic in advertising is for a brand to develop a campaign around a concept or a character.

Examples include the “Can you hear me now?” campaign from Verizon. The Verizon commercials featured the same “Test Man,” who would test wireless coverage by asking callers on the other end if they could hear him. Other examples include “Flo,” a fictional salesperson who represents Progressive Insurance and the GEICO Gecko, a fictional reptile who helps sell car insurance.

Examples of concepts or slogans that helped with brand recognition include “Just Do It” from Nike, “Got Milk?” from the California Milk Processing Board and “Where’s the beef?” from fast food chain Wendy’s. The “Got Milk?” campaign focused the branding on a beverage (e.g., milk), rather than the associated Processing Board.

Brand recognition can be contrasted with brand awareness, which means the consumer knows that a particular brand exists. Brand recognition has several advantages over brand awareness, including consumer preference, loyalty and, in some cases, trust. Brand recognition can stem from positive or negative associations. To gain confidence and advocacy from consumers, brand recognition should be combined with brand equity. Brand recognition associated with negative opinions or feelings can serve the opposite: decreased preference, adoption and loyalty.

See also: co-branding, rebranding

This was last updated in March 2019

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