Brand Recognition: What It is and Why It Matters

Brand Recognition

What is brand recognition? When people think of brand recognition, they may think it’s the same as brand awareness. But there are subtle differences between the two. The goal of brand recognition is to create a positive image or feeling about your business in the minds of consumers so that when they need your product, you’re one of their first choices.

In this article, I’ll discuss what brand recognition means and why it matters for your business success.

What is a brand?

A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or design which is used to identify the goods of one seller or group of sellers and differentiate them from those of competitors.

What is brand recognition?

Brand recognition refers to your business becoming known by consumers as offering quality products/services which they’re willing to buy again (and often). It also means brand awareness.

Brand recognition is crucial for any business, but it’s especially important to new businesses that don’t have a brand history or brand equity (yet). The goal of brand recognition is take your company from unknown and unestablished to known and preferred by consumers.

Are brand recognition and brand awareness the same?

Brand recognition and brand awareness are not the same. Although brand awareness is an important part of brand recognition, it’s only one element in the process.

Being aware that your brand exists doesn’t necessarily mean consumers like or want to buy from you (yet). The goal of brand recognition is take your business from unknown and unestablished to known and preferred by customers. To achieve this, brand awareness is just the first step. The other three stages of brand recognition must be completed, as well: brand consideration, brand trial and brand loyalty.

Brand awareness refers to consumers knowing that your business exists. This means they’ve heard about it through advertising or word-of-mouth (and can identify your company logo).

The next step is brand consideration. Consumers are now thinking about buying from you, but they’re still comparing your brand to others in the market. They may be looking for more information or asking friends and family if they know anything about your company before making a purchasing decision.

The third stage of brand recognition is brand trial, which means consumers have bought something from your brand and are willing to do it again. However, this is still a trial purchase (i.e., they’re not completely satisfied yet).

Brand loyalty means consumers have formed strong brand loyalties–they like you and want to buy from you because of their positive experience with your brand so far. This stage also means that brand loyalty is likely to continue in the future if they need more of your products or services.

The fourth stage, brand preference, means consumers prefer your brand over others and it’s where brand recognition starts to become a reality.


It takes time for customers who know about you (through brand awareness) but don’t like or trust you yet to become brand loyal. It’s important to keep reminding them of your brand name and what you offer throughout the stages of brand recognition, but it’ll take more than this for them to commit themselves to buying from you again–and only then will brand loyalty start taking hold.

What is needed to convert brand awareness into brand recognition?

At least four elements are needed in order for brand awareness to convert into brand recognition and brand loyalty:

  • Effective branding: Brand awareness is useless if your brand name, logo and marketing materials aren’t recognized by consumers.
  • Great product/service: You can have a great brand, but no one will buy from you if they don’t like what you’re selling. Great products are the most important element of brand success because it’s what customers ultimately want–and why they give brand recognition to your company.
  • Customer service: A positive brand experience isn’t complete without great customer service. If customers have a negative or frustrating brand experience, they’ll be turned off from buying from you again and this is also likely to affect their friends’ opinions of your brand as well.
  • Marketing activities: Brand awareness can only be effective if brand recognition and brand loyalty follows. Marketing your business to potential customers is crucial at every stage of brand awareness, but it’s especially important in the final stages (brand preference and brand loyalty).

These four elements work together to create a customer-centric brand experience that will help you achieve brand recognition. However, even with these tools there’s no guarantee brand recognition will happen. You can also be known by customers and still not achieve brand loyalty (or vice versa).

What are some strategies you can use to increase brand recognition?

There are many ways you can increase brand awareness, including:

  • Advertising/promotion: You can use traditional advertising and social media to raise brand awareness.
  • Sponsorship: If you have a brand with an interesting story, it might be of interest to certain organizations or groups who will underwrite your brand in exchange for exposure at relevant events/festivals.
  • Events: You could hold special events designed exclusively for your target market that offer brand-related benefits.
  • Brand partner/affiliate programs: You could affiliate with brand partners who have the same target market as you and offer a joint promotion or discount to your customers.
  • Public relations (PR): Through press releases, media interviews, blog posts and social media content, you can increase brand awareness by getting brand stories in front of potential customers.
  • Brand ambassadors: You could hire brand ambassadors who are passionate about your brand and spread brand awareness by word of mouth or through social media campaigns.
  • Incentives/promotions: If you have a sale, offer rewards for referrals, hold contests or run other promotions to encourage brand recognition among consumers.
  • Customer service: Through excellent customer service, customers will spread brand awareness through positive word of mouth.
  • Turnover rate: If your business succeeds in retaining customers and gaining repeat sales, they may be more likely to recommend you or become brand ambassadors than if they had never purchased from you before.
  • Content marketing: Content marketing is a strategy that involves using original brand content to build brand awareness, educate customers and keep them engaged with your brand over time so they develop brand loyalty. Content can include blog posts, videos, webinars, infographics and ebooks among other things. There are several benefits of using brand content to increase brand recognition. For example, brand awareness is boosted by links back to your company website from the content you publish on third party sites. Brand visibility also increased when people share and link to brand-related material they’ve read or viewed online.

Why is brand recognition important?

Brand recognition is important because it can affect brand loyalty and how much customers are willing to pay for your products or services. The more brand awareness you have, the less likely they’ll be able to compare you with competing companies or understand what makes your brand different from others in the market. This means that they may not feel confident about switching brands when they need to make a purchase. Having an established brand means you’re more likely to gain brand loyalty and repeat sales, which can translate into increased profits for your business.

What is brand presence?

Brand presence refers to how well your brand (and business) is known by consumers in terms of awareness and preference. Brand recognition means that people are aware of you; brand presence means they’re willing to do business with you because they trust you and your brand.

What are some strategies for increasing brand presence?

You can increase brand presence by being where your target customers are. For example, if you’re a restaurant brand targeting young professionals in Atlanta, then it makes sense to have a strong social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. Along with that, you could set up an event at a local co-working space or bring food into the office for catering during lunchtime. You could also offer brand content, such as an ebook or recipe book.

How is brand presence measured?

 brand presence

Brand presence can’t be directly measured, but it’s possible to measure brand awareness indirectly by asking consumers questions about your brand or measuring how many people have visited your website from a particular source in the past month, for example. You could also look at social media data on brand mentions and brand sentiment (i.e., how people feel about your brand).

What are some examples of brand recognition?

Olive Garden, Starbucks and Apple are examples of brand recognition because they’re household names. These brands have been around for a long time and consumers know exactly what to expect from them.

Successful MLM companies have strong brand recognition.

Successful MLM companies have brand recognition because they’re household names. For example, Avon and Amway are examples of brand name direct selling companies that people know about. This brand awareness is a result of years of effort from the company to spread their message both online and offline in order to gain trust from consumers so they’ll buy products.

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