Thank you for this interesting piece of thinking. I remember David Aaker putting brand recognition and brand recall into a grid to tell if a brand is a niche or a dead brand. It’s called the graveyard model. The logic behind it is simple: if you have low recall levels while recognition is high, your brand is basically dead. Hence te name of his model.
There is something to it, and as any model, it’s not about being correct. It’s about structuring our thoughts about such concepts of awareness. 15 years ago, I would have argued that brand awareness = recall is a very important measure within the so called brand screen (=awareness, image, relevant set, usage and loyalty) because of the low probability someone would plan to buy a brand he/she does not know.
Meanwhile, Google (and of course all other search engines) have changed the importance of awareness/recall. Because you search within a category first before deciding on a product or brand.