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Brand recall: Does your brand stand out?

It’s complicated to stay top of mind in a competitive market. Hundreds of brands fighting to attract the attention of shoppers both in-store and online. Depending on their strategies, some brands manage to remain the first choice of thousands of people. 

In this article, we are going to focus on an important metric: brand recall. How many people can distinguish between your brand and the ones of your main competitors? 

Brand Recall + Brand Recognition = Brand Awareness

The first thing that any brand manager wants to achieve is high brand awareness. However, this is not an easy task, especially for smaller companies that are fighting with big brands for market share. 

Brand awareness refers to the level of familiarity (awareness) consumers have with a certain brand. But what is brand awareness composed of? The main components of brand awareness are brand recall and brand recognition

What is Brand Recall

Brand recall, also known as “top-of-mind awareness” is a metric that measures the likelihood of a customer remembering your brand when asked an unaided question. For example, asking the customer a brand of ketchup without presenting different options. They can either recall the logo, the name, or other distinctive elements. 

A great example of strong brand recall is the one from Heinz. In one of their most recent commercials, Heinz asked people to draw a bottle of ketchup. Most of the people who participated in this “experiment” drew a bottle of Heinz ketchup without even noticing. 

What is Brand Recognition

Unlike brand recall, brand recognition is a metric that measures the ability of a consumer to identify or recognize the name of a particular brand among other brands. To measure this metric you must as an aided question. For example, showing a customer four bottles of ketchup and asking them to state the name of one (or each) of the products. 

Brand recognition is a weaker link to the final purchasing decision. However, it plays a key role in-store, when customers can see all of the products on display. Then, they will select the product/brand they recognize or use frequently.

Brand Recall vs Brand Awareness

These two terms get confused because they both focus on a similar measurement. While brand recall shows how well your customers can remember your brand, awareness of a brand is a more complex metric. As mentioned above, brand awareness is composed of both brand recall and brand recognition.

The Impact of Brand Recall

Becoming top of mind when the shopper thinks of a product category is the ultimate goal of any brand. Here are the ways in which a strong brand recall can impact your business: 

  • Increases market share and sales

When customers recall your products easily they are more likely to make a purchase. Brand recall also has an impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  • Competitive edge

Imagine a shopper entering the store thinking they need to buy shampoo. They have tens of products and brands to choose from. However, if they already recall the name of your brand, they will go straight to the shelf and add your product to their cart.

  • Increases brand equity

Brand equity is the value of the brand. When more shoppers recognize your brand the brand equity increases.

How do you measure Brand Recall?

Wondering how to measure your brand’s recall? Here’s the formula: 

Percentage Brand Recall (%) = (Survey Respondents who correctly identified or recalled your brand/ Total number of respondents) X 100.

One important thing to keep in mind when measuring this metric is to compare it aid it with other KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and suitable industry benchmarks. For example, you can’t compare the brand recall of a small brand that produces bio drinks to a giant like Pepsi. 

Enhance Brand Recall

Now that we know the importance of brand recall and we’ve discovered how to measure this metric, let’s see a few strategies that can help you enhance brand recall. 

  1. Brand purpose and proposition


    Apart from revenue, why does your brand exist? How does it positively impact the lives of shoppers? By answering these questions you can find out the real purpose of the brand. While we all know that business is business, a brand needs to offer much more than a product, it needs to fill a gap in its customers’ lives. 
    Focus on sharing the brand’s purpose and your customers will be more likely to have a stronger brand recall and a better brand perception.

    The brand proposition needs to state the problem the brand or product is solving for the consumer. When you include the brand purpose, you manage to connect with consumers on a different level. 

  2. Focus on the brand personality


    A brand is not just a business, it’s perceived as a living entity with a personality. That’s why you need to focus on showing and promoting the brand’s personality. Think of your brand as a person. How would you describe this person? Is it funny or serious? Is it ironic or calm and tempered? Depending on the products you sell you can shape the personality of the brand. 

  3. Storytelling


    Storytelling in retail plays a major role nowadays. Customers want to connect with brands and storytelling offers this bridge between the shopper and the business. We all know that customers make emotional purchases. Storytelling manages to trigger those emotions in shoppers. Apart from increasing sales, storytelling leads to a better brand connection.

  4. Strong visual elements


    Visual elements are extremely important for brands. This is what sets them apart. While most products in a certain category use the same colors, the logos and other visual elements are different. Logos and colors are the ones that we recall the easiest. Consumers are 81% more likely to recall a brand’s color than remember its name. Just think of a big yellow “M”. Are you hungry already? 

  5. Brand image and reputation


    The way customers perceive your brand, how they feel about it, and their beliefs make up the image of your brand. It is important to maintain a good brand image and reputation. Avoid greenwashing and rainbow washing because these are the ones that can negatively affect your brand in the long term. Be honest with your customers and they will appreciate it. 

Brand Recall: Make your brand top of mind

When customers remember your brand it’s easier for them to make a purchase. They instinctively trust your products and are more willing to try out any new product you want to release. Cultivate the personality of your brand, select strong visual elements, and include storytelling in your strategy if you want to enhance brand recall.  

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