Are You Shocked by Poor Brand Recognition?

Good brand recognition translates right down to the bottom line.

What Is Brand Recognition?

Brand Recognition is a measure of how well customers can identify a particular brand against other brands in their category. Visual and verbal expression contribute to this identification. For instance, names, slogans, colors, and typography are the kind of signals that drive recognition. Even architecture and interior design can be important recognizable factors. Customers look for these signals that differentiate one brand from another in a meaningful way. Most importantly, you want customers to remember you. That’s what good recognition will achieve.

What Makes Up Good Brand Recognition?

Recognition is, of course, a good thing. But sometimes recognition can be counter productive. For example, a very memorable name might be memorable for the wrong reason due to negative connotation. Or a strong distinctive color palette might not be very appealing. And clever slogan might be offensive to some customers. On the other hand no recognition at all would be like you didn’t exist. Consequently take care to create the right kind of recognition. So a good first step is to understand the strength of your own brand and how that compares to your competitors.

Recognition strength can be measured. It’s a matter of knowing what to look for. It is characterized by the ability of customers and the public to:

  • Distinguish a brand from its competitors
  • Understand what the business does and the category it is in
  • Recall a brand over its competitors.
  • Associate a brand with positive, universally appealing attributes
  • Value, even on a subconscious level, the contribution of design that balances function and aesthetic considerations. Most notably legibility, system coherence, hierarchy, contrast, and other key principles.

Recognition Versus Awareness

The difference between brand recognition and brand awareness could be confusing. But it is pretty simple. Brand Awareness is knowing that you exist. Brand Recognition is identifying how distinctive and relevant you are. And that you will be remembered. Both have an important role to play in brand building. Brand Management is the discipline that helps maintain the integrity and essential tenets of the brand to strengthen recognition. In contrast, advertising and other promotional initiatives are intended to build brand awareness.

Recognition Value

Brand recognition can be the difference between business success and failure. Good recognition will ensure competitive distinction. This will keep you in the consideration set. And you can increase the odds of becoming the brand of choice due to being recognized and remembered for the right things. Alternatively, poor recognition may result in a forgettable brand and probably take you out of consideration. Brands with exceptional recognition are also some of the world’s most valuable brands. According to Kantar’s BrandZ, Top 100 Most Valuable Brands companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and Starbucks are the most valuable. And they are the most recognizable. But, of course, they have made untold investments in both brand building and brand awareness. But you don’t have to be a Fortune 500 Company to afford good brand recognition

Brand Matters for Small Companies Too.

Many small and medium-size companies under-invest in recognition. They make the mistake of putting all their efforts towards building awareness. But awareness of a low recognition brand will not get the kind of results or a high recognition brand. Companies with generic names and logos that lack distinction are the kind of companies that customers forget. And that’s the last thing you want. But, the good news is that companies with limited budgets don’t have to sacrifice good brand recognition. Any company of any size can reach its recognition potential. But it starts with self-awareness.

Measuring Brand Recognition Strength

Measuring recognition strength is a good place to start in acknowledging where you stand relative to your competition. But it is equally important to understand what you can do to improve that standing. We will be releasing a small business brand recognition study very soon. In this study, we evaluated brand recognition across a small business industry from which we selected 20 representative brands. This included family-run businesses up through national franchises. An assessment of 20 different verbal and visual recognition attributes was conducted to arrive at a recognition strength score. There were several fascinating insights. For example

55% of the companies in the study had no or a generic slogan. As a result these companies are missing out on leveraging key messaging that would increase both recognition and differentiation. That’s an easy fix.

Taking advantage of all opportunities to reinforce your brand is how any great brand works.

Keep on the lookout for our full study on small business brand recognition.

The goal of How Brand Works is to share our experience, perspectives and philosophy on the different facets of branding intended to enable an effective brand management strategy.