The Basics of Brand Recognition and Awareness

Brand recognition research helps companies understand how much the public can identify the company through visual cues or other brand attributes—colors, logos, specific advertisements and so forth. Brand awareness testing takes that one step further to understand how well individuals are able to recall your brand in general.

Here’s a closer look at the essential elements of brand recognition and awareness, and some market research strategies that can help you uncover hidden opportunities to grow your business.

There is a wide variety of factors that come into consideration with brand research. Ultimately, the goals overlap or reinforce each other. Companies are seeking to find out how well known they are, how effective their outreach and advertising is, and how their products and services are positioned vis-à-vis the competition. Often, terms like brand awareness, brand recognition, and brand recall are conflated or used interchangeably in general marketing discussions. However, each element has a precise meaning in the market research sphere and can give you important individualized insights about your brand’s health and performance.

What Does Brand Recognition and Awareness Tell You?

Measuring your company’s brand recognition and awareness in the market helps you determine several data points about your brand’s health:

  • How familiar are consumers with your company, product or service? (Awareness)
  • What attributes or visual elements do they associate with your brand? (Recognition)
  • Is your brand “top of mind” in a specific category, or is it being edged out by the competition? (Awareness)
  • How effective are your advertising campaigns? (Recognition)

Aided and Unaided Recall: Can They Remember Your Brand?

Aided and unaided recall help market researchers differentiate between unique levels of brand awareness. During an aided recall test, a consumer is able to choose your brand as a “known player” in your space. For example, if you are marketing different types of yogurt, a respondent would be able to recognize your name on a list of your competitors. Typically, this research also tests awareness levels for your key competition which can give you insights into market share and which companies you need to be paying the most attention to among competing brands.

In unaided recall tests, you’re able to determine much more definitively who is at the top of mind for customers. Instead of showing them a list, you might ask them to name the first brand that comes to mind when you mention a specific category or product, ask them to name all the brands that they’re aware of in a specific space or to recall which brands they saw on the shelf on their last visit to the store. When combined, aided and unaided recall can help you map the competitive brand landscape, understand where you fall vis-à-vis the competition and determine where the opportunities for growth exist for your business.

Developing Your Own Brand Awareness Campaigns

Here’s a closer look at some of the essential ways that brand awareness and recognition research can help your business:

Measure advertising success: Have you recently launched a new advertising campaign? A brand awareness campaign performed before the campaign and afterward can help measure whether your advertising raised your visibility and effectively engaged the market.

Deepen your understanding of the competitive market: Brand recognition plays an important role in helping you understand how you’re performing versus your competitors. Deepen your understanding of the market by learning more about how your brand ranks versus your competitors and how brand awareness is distributed across your category.

Refining you’re creative: Brand recognition research takes specific elements of your creative messaging and tests them. If you show a consumer specific elements of your branding such as your logo or tagline, will they recognize it as your own? Leveraging this information can help you in refining your visual and brand identity.

Are you ready to explore brand recognition for your company or key products and services?