1) When a person goes into a shop to buy a product, will they be able to recognize your brand as one which they have already been exposed to? Yes? No? Maybe?

2) In which situations do they see themselves using your brand? For example are your sausages for the BBQ only? Or are they used for a mid week quick and easy dinner?

The two questions above address the concepts of 1)Brand Recognition and 2)Brand Recall.

Brand recognition is the consumers ability to confirm prior exposure of a brand when given the brand as a cue. Generally brand recognition is more important if the consumer is making a decision at the point of purchase where brand name, logo, packaging and so on will be physically present and visible. If consumer decisions are made away from the point of purchase, on the other hand, then brand recall will be more important. For this reason creating brand recall is very important for service and online brands: Consumers must actively seek the brand and therefore be able to retrieve it from memory when appropriate.

Establishing Brand Awareness

So how do we create brand awareness? Increasing brand awareness means increasing familiarity with the brand through repeated exposure, although this is generally more effective for brand recognition than for brand recall. The more a consumer “experiences” the brand by seeing it, hearing it, or thinking about it, the more likely he/she is to strongly register the brand in memory.

Anything that causes consumers to experience a brand name, symbol, logo, character, packaging or slogan- including advertising and promotion, sponsorship and event marketing, publicity and public relations, and outdoor advertising- can increase familiarity and brand awareness of that brand element. And the more elements you can reinforce, usually the better.

 

Improving brand recall will also require linkages to appropriate product categories or other cues which lead to purchase or consumption. Jingles, logos, symbols and characters aid brand recall. The way you pair the brand and its product category with advertising and slogans will help determine the strength of product category links. Strong links between the brand and the category or other relevant cues may become especially important over time if the product meaning of the brand changes through brand extensions, or even company mergers and acquisitions.

Product Category Structure

To fully understand brand recall we need to understand product category structure, or how product categories are organized in memory.

The beverage market is a good setting to examine issues in category structure and the effects of brand awareness of brand equity. The diagram below illustrates one hierarchy that might exist in consumers minds.

Consumers first distinguish between flavored and non flavored beverages (water). Next, they distinguish between non alcoholic and alcoholic flavored beverages. They further distinguish non-alcoholic into hot drinks like tea or coffee, or cold drinks like milk, juices, and soft drink. Furthermore alcoholic beverages are distinguished by whether they are wine, beer, or distilled spirits.Consumers will often make decisions in a top down fashion. Finally, consumers might then choose a particular brand within the product category in which they are interested.

The depth of brand awareness will influence the likelihood that the brand name will come to mind, whereas the breadth of brand awareness describes the different types of situations in which the brand might come to mind. A good general example is soft drinks- soft drinks have great breadth of awareness in that they come to mind in a variety of different consumption situations. For example a consumer may consider drinking Coke anytime anywhere.

Summary of Ideas

We create brand awareness by increasing the familiarity of the brand through repeated exposure (for brand recognition) and forging strong association with the appropriate product category or other relevant purchase or consumption cues (for brand recall). It is important to understand the product category structure of your market so that you can begin to examine the breadth of usage and depth of recall that your brand holds within its respective market.

Heavy Reading I know- refer back to this post every now and again when discussions on advertising, brand promotion or brand awareness pop into your mind or the office.

Now you know.

Ollie W

 

PS Next article I’ll look at brand image and ideas which will influence how you strategically position your brand.

Thanks to:

Keller, K L (2001).Strategic Brand Management: Building, measuring, and managing brand equity (3rd ed.).New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

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