Is there a difference between brand awareness and brand recognition?
Hungry for attention?
Every brand is. No matter your industry, what kind of customer you’re trying to attract, or what type of business you run, all brands need attention to thrive. After all, the only thing worse than bad publicity, is no publicity at all…
Brand awareness is the lifeblood of your digital strategy. It’s the foundation on which you’ll build your future campaigns, and the way you’ll announce your personality, voice, and values to the world.
Now listen up, because here’s where things start to get a little complicated. Brand awareness and brand recognition might sound like the same thing — but they’re actually two different elements in your branding strategy.
Brand “recognition” is an ingredient of brand awareness. It’s the thing that pairs up with brand recall to transform your company into a memorable household name. On the other hand, brand awareness relates to your market position, and the ability of your customers to recognise what makes your company different.
Confused? Don’t worry, it will all become clear by the end of this article.
The difference between recognition and awareness
Let’s start by covering the term “brand recognition” in a little more depth.
Brand recognition is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s what makes sure that your customers and other members of the public can pick your company out of a line-up. Far more than just your business name, brand recognition are all the elements that come together to define your brand, from your logo, to your title, and even your tone of voice.
When used properly, a great brand recognition strategy can even help the name of your product or company to become synonymous with whatever it represents. For instance, you don’t ask someone to pass you lip balm, you ask if you can borrow their chapstick.
Brand recognition focuses on making sure that your company stays in the eyes and minds of your customers, by ensuring they have a consistent idea of what makes you, you. Brand awareness, on the other hand, is a little bit more refined. It means that your customers won’t just be able to remember your logo and name, but identify what your product is, what makes you special, and why you’re the best solution to their problem.
Brand awareness and recognition go hand-in-hand
It’s easy to see how brand awareness and recognition can go together so well.
After all, it’s hard to make someone feel loyalty to your company, if they can’t recognise your logo or name.
Although it’s worth remembering that these two features are different, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t combine your efforts to make your overall branding campaign all-the-more effective. In fact, the very best campaigns often emerge when companies learn how to use both awareness and recognition side-by-side.
Here are just some of the strategies that you can use to optimise both things at once:
1. Start by finding the right audience
No matter what you do in the world of branding, or marketing, you’ll find that you always get better results if you start with a good understanding of your target audience. Though you do want as many people as possible to notice your company, wasting your budget on people who aren’t interested in your product is just bad business. By learning who your ideal customer is, you can start to develop campaigns that are personalised towards their needs, ensuring that all of your messaging resonates with the right people.
2. Think about social media
Whether you’re trying to spread brand recognition for the first time, or boost brand awareness, you’ll need a social media presence. Today, countless companies have turned towards social media platforms as a way of building stronger relationships with their customers. Remember to use the targeting we mentioned in the point above to find the platforms your customers use most, and connect with them on their own terms.
3. Differentiate yourself
A brand that’s the same as every other company in their industry, isn’t very memorable. Regardless of whether you’re building recognition or awareness, you’ll need to make sure that you’re taking steps to highlight your unique position and value to your customer.
4. Work on word of mouth
One of the best ways to enhance your brand recognition and brand awareness strategies at the same time, is to use word of mouth advertising. Influencer marketing, customer testimonials, and brand advocates can help you to expand your brand reach, and ensure that you develop trust among your customers, thanks to the humanising benefits these techniques give your brand.
5. Consistency is key
Last, but not least, remember that consistency is crucial to any branding strategy. If you want your customers to recognise your brand, then you need to give them a consistent tone, and image that they can grow familiar with. At the same time, that familiarity will help to improve brand awareness, and develop the loyalty you need from your customers.
Don’t choose between brand awareness and brand recognition
While brand awareness and brand recognition might not be the same thing — they complement each other perfectly. If you can plan a strategy that pairs your recognition and awareness measures together, you can deliver more efficient marketing campaigns, and develop long-standing loyalty in your consumers.
While brand recognition ensures that your business gets the attention it craves, brand awareness will help you to keep your customers coming back for more. The good news, is that if you’re still struggling to understand how you can use these two tactics for branding success, we’ve got just the thing to help.
To learn more about brand awareness and brand recognition, from the promotional strategies that you can use to earn your customer’s attention, to the awareness strategies that will improve your customer retention, click through to our comprehensive guide.
All brands need the attention of their customers. Start building your strategy today.