Brand recall describes the degree to which a consumer will instantly remember a specific brand name after exposure to a communication effort. Brand recall is an aspect of brand awareness, a form of un-aided awareness that enables customers to build a positive perception with the brand, and build a loyal audience.
Understanding brand recall
In world markets characterized by extreme competition, there are few things more valuable to a business than the space it occupies at the front of a consumer’s mind.
Brand recall is an aspect of brand awareness, though the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. There are two different types of brand awareness:
- Aided awareness – where the consumer remembers a company with the aid of a clue, and
- Un-aided awareness – where the consumer remembers a company in association with a particular industry or product. This is sometimes called top of mind awareness.
In essence, brand recall is a form of un-aided awareness that dictates how consumers think and feel about a specific brand. Brand recall strategies focus on creating positive associations between the company and the consumer, with the primary intention to build an audience of loyal customer advocates.
How is brand recall calculated?
Brand recall can simply be calculated as the percentage of individuals that can recollect a brand.
To arrive at the brand recall value, the number of participants able to recall a brand is divided by the total number of participants in a study and multiplied by 100. As a general rule, any score above 50% is considered desirable.
Data is collected from surveys or focus groups with written questions – but some businesses may also choose to use visual or auditory cues.
How can businesses increase brand recall?
Most experts agree that a memorable brand has to be consistent, defined, and differentiated. To encapsulate these qualities, it is useful to write a brand manifesto that declares the views, intentions, and motives of the brand.
Then, it is a matter of following these guidelines:
Create a memorable logo
The most effective logos are clean, simple, and evoke certain emotions. They must also be consistent in appearance across various channels.
Color is a core driver of brand recall, with different colors also responsible for evoking a wide gamut of emotions. The chosen color(s) should match the nature of the business. For example, consumers associate environmental companies with shades of green.
Create a memorable brand name
It stands to reason that the brand names consumers recall most often are short, simple, and easily spelled or pronounced. The holy grail for a business is when its brand name becomes a verb and enters everyday language. Examples include Uber, Google, Xerox, PayPal, and Photoshop.
Create a powerful unique selling proposition – what can the business offer the consumer that they can’t get anywhere else? Coca-Cola devotees understand that other companies offer comparable soda, but it is only Coca-Cola that they associate with fun and happy experiences they can share with friends.
Brand recall examples
While we cannot speak for everyone, there are a few brands in existence that are easily recalled by the majority of consumers. When an individual heads to the store to purchase soda, for example, there is a reasonable likelihood that Coca-Cola or Pepsi will be the brand they recall.
Here are some more examples:
- Luxury vehicles – BMW, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, and Audi.
- Technology – Apple, Google, and Samsung.
- Sportswear – Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas.
- Fast Food:
- McDonald’s: Globally recognized for its golden arches, the brand is synonymous with quick-service burgers and fries.
- Domino’s: Known for its efficient pizza delivery service and innovative order tracking technology.
- Pizza Hut: Remembered for its unique pan pizzas and family dine-in experiences.
- Amazon: The world’s leading online marketplace, known for its vast product range, Prime benefits, and fast delivery.
- Streaming Services:
- Netflix: Pioneered online content streaming and is associated with binge-watching popular TV shows and films.
- Search Engines:
- Google: The dominant search engine, its name is now used as a verb meaning “to search online.”
- Ride Sharing:
- Uber: Revolutionized taxi service with its app-based booking system.
- Lyft: Known for its pink logo, it’s a major competitor to Uber in the U.S.
- Nike: Recognized for its iconic swoosh logo and association with top athletes.
- Adidas: Identified by its three stripes, it’s a top brand in both sports and fashion circles.
- Reebok: Known for athletic footwear, particularly in the fitness and training sector.
- Soft Drinks:
- Pepsi: Coca-Cola’s main competitor, distinguished by its sweeter taste and blue branding.
- Dr. Pepper: Unique flavor profile, standing out with its “23 flavors” tagline.
- Canon: A leading name in the world of photography and videography.
- Nikon: Recognized for its advanced DSLRs and optical technologies.
- Sony: Known for innovative camera technologies and mirrorless camera systems.
- Home Furniture:
- IKEA: Swedish brand famous for flat-pack furniture, modern designs, and in-store experiences.
- Social Media:
- Instagram: Image-centric platform where users share photos, stories, and now reels.
- Facebook: The world’s largest social networking site, known for connecting friends and hosting various groups.
- Twitter: Microblogging platform famous for its 280-character posts and real-time updates.
- LinkedIn: Professional networking platform used for business connections and job hunting.
- Music Streaming:
- Spotify: Popular for its vast music library, playlists, and personalized recommendations.
- Apple Music: Apple’s offering in the music streaming space, integrated with the iOS ecosystem.
- Tidal: Known for high-fidelity sound and exclusive releases from top artists.
- Toyota: Renowned for its reliable and durable vehicles.
- Ford: An American legacy brand, particularly recognized for trucks like the F-150.
- Honda: Known for fuel-efficient cars and innovative engineering.
- Delta: One of the major U.S. carriers, known for its extensive network and customer service.
- Emirates: Luxury airline recognized for its high-end in-flight experiences and global connectivity.
- Southwest: Popular for its budget-friendly fares and unique seating system.
- Apple’s iPhone: Known for its user-friendly interface, design, and ecosystem.
- Samsung’s Galaxy series: Recognized for advanced features, quality displays, and versatility.
- Google’s Pixel: Lauded for its clean Android experience and camera capabilities.
- Brand recall describes the degree to which a consumer will instantly remember a specific brand name after exposure to a communication effort.
- Brand recall data is collected via surveys and focus groups with a range of written, auditory, and visual cues. Brand recall itself is expressed as a percentage, with any score above 50% considered desirable.
- Businesses can increase brand recall by creating a memorable logo and brand name and ensuring their unique selling proposition is truly unique. They should also consider their colors carefully to ensure consumers make the right association with their brand.
- Definition: Brand recall measures how well a brand is remembered by consumers without any prompts or cues.
- Importance: It is an indicator of brand strength, reflecting the effectiveness of advertising campaigns and consumer loyalty.
- Types of Awareness:
- Aided awareness: When consumers recognize a brand with some help or clue.
- Un-aided awareness (brand recall): When consumers remember a brand spontaneously.
- Calculation: Brand recall percentage is determined by dividing the number of participants who recall a brand by the total number of participants, then multiplying by 100.
- Strategies for Increasing Recall:
- Consistent branding: Maintain uniformity across all platforms.
- Memorable logo: Simple and evocative logos are more easily remembered.
- Effective color use: Colors can evoke emotions and should align with the brand’s message.
- Unique brand name: Short, simple, and distinctive names can enhance recall.
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Offer something that sets the brand apart from competitors.
- Examples of High Brand Recall: Brands like Coca-Cola in the soda industry, BMW in luxury vehicles, or Apple in technology have achieved high levels of recall in their respective markets.
- Outcome: A high brand recall often indicates strong brand equity, consumer loyalty, and effective marketing campaigns.
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