What Is Brand Recognition? How to Build It for Your Brand

What is brand recognition? How is brand recognition different from brand awareness? How does brand recognition add value to a business? At HatchMark Studio, our goal for every branding client is to set them up with a brand that is instantly recognizable and ownable. The truth is, once we hand over a branding package to a customer, their work is just beginning. In this article, we will discuss what branding recognition is, review some examples of recognizable brands, and give you some tips for how to increase your brand recognition and maintain it for years to come.  

Brand Recognition vs Brand Awareness

You can think of brand recognition and brand awareness as similar, but they are certainly not the same thing. Brand recognition is your customer’s ability to recognize your brand through visual and audio elements without actually seeing your brand name or logo. (We will go over a few examples of what this might look like in the section below.) Brand awareness is the measure of whether or not customers, without being prompted with any visual or sound stimuli, are aware that your brand exists. For example, Apple has tremendous brand awareness. Most people in the world, if asked a simple yes or no on a questionnaire, would agree that they are familiar with the company Apple. On the same questionnaire, far fewer people would be aware of a brand for a local food truck in Pensacola, Florida. However, both of those businesses have very different target audiences. You can read more about target audiences in this article.

Brand Recognition Examples

Sometimes it helps to have a few examples, so let’s dive into some recognizable brands.

Taco Bell: This is an easy one. If there’s a Taco Bell commercial playing from the TV or a radio ad, hearing their iconic bell sound instantly lets you know that it’s Taco Bell. You didn’t have to see the logo, you didn’t even have to hear the name if you came into the room at the end of the commercial. That’s an example of strong brand recognition. 

Coca-cola: Those iconic polar bears during the holiday season. You don’t have to see the logo. You don’t have to hear a jingle. As soon as you see them, you know it’s Coca-cola. Ownable visual elements can be foundational for brand recognition. 

Nike: One of the world’s most popular sports and athletic brands, Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline is iconic. Whether it’s in an ad or someone is making a pop culture reference or joke, you know it’s Nike as soon as you hear the tagline. When a tagline can stand on its own without any visual elements, your brand recognition is on point. 

Why Does Brand Recognition Help Business?

Brand recognition can add serious value to a business. Your brand’s goal is to make sure that as many people as possible can pick up on your brand elements fast and without even having to think about. Think about the last time you saw someone with a bag of your favorite chips or you saw a new model of your favorite car brand drive by. You knew what it was without having to look at the details. This quick recognition can add fuel to your company’s bottom line and empowers you to focus your campaigns on what’s new instead of having to tell your entire brand story every time.

How To Increase Brand Recognition & Maintain It

Making your brand instantly recognizable is no easy task. It takes commitment and determination from your entire company, big or small. Below are a few tips to consider to ensure you’re always working toward building your brand recognition and making sure you maintain it once you have it. 

Be Consistent With Branding Elements

Whether you’re putting together a piece of printed collateral or designing a social post, it’s imperative that you maintain consistency with your brand. If you have brand guidelines, you should be consulting them every time you create any external-facing material, campaigns, or packaging. If you are constantly changing colors and fonts or using a different tone of voice, people will have a much harder time recognizing your brand unless you put the logo right in front of them. The goal is to not have to do that.  

Make Strategic Marketing Moves

From launching a paid social media campaign or putting together a billboard design, you should always be looking at the big picture. Think about what the strategy is for your next big marketing push and make it memorable. Meet with your team or your agency partner to brainstorm ways to get your brand message to the masses in a way that is effective. This is where you can have a lot of fun and take some chances. Today, there are more opportunities than ever to get creative and hit a massive audience with something unique. 

Listen To Your Customers

Although you live and breathe your business every day, your customers are on the other end of it. The side of the business you might not get to see as often as you’d like to. Customers will let you know if you’re falling short on a brand promise. Whether it’s through reviews or face-to-face interactions, you can leverage that feedback to triage certain areas of your brand that may or may not be slipping. Even better, positive feedback might illuminate an area of your brand that you didn’t even know you were excelling in. If everyone is talking about the great customer service and it’s not in your marketing, use it! 

Stay Flexible & Adjust When Necessary

Your brand is by no means set in stone for eternity. Brands are meant to evolve overtime as your business and the world around it changes. What was working 10 years ago might not work now, and that’s okay! Maintaining flexibility and making changes at the right moment are key ensuring your brand has staying power throughout the years. It is also advantageous to recognize when to engage a branding agency for either a brand refresh or a total rebrand, both of which can inject excitement and intrigue into your brand. 

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Rebrand?

There’s no canned answer for the rebranding question. It’s often a gut feeling. One of those “you know it when you see it” situations. If you feel like your business could use a brand refresh or rebrand, it’s best to engage a branding agency. They live in the branding world and can help you identify the areas that need work and what you’re already doing well. They also know all of the right questions to ask to spark those “ah-ha” moments to help you start leveraging your brand more effectively. If you’re curious about taking the next steps with branding, get in touch with us to see how a partnership with HatchMark Studio can help! 

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