Brand Recognition – What, & How To Use It To Increase Sales?

What do people think of when they first hear your business? Do you know, or do you not think it is that important…

First impressions are one of those things people can spend years to develop, yet do you develop this for your brand?

Brand recognition is how a person perceives your business. This includes what images appear in a persons mind when they hear your brand name.

In this article, I will take you through some of the aspects so that you can get to grips with your branding.

1. What Is Brand Recognition?

Brand recognition is the features that stimulate a brand, business, product or service to be familiar in a person’s mind.

It is how we can identity a particular brand.

We can identify brand recognition by:

  • A logo
  • Sequence of colours
  • Font Style
  • Tag line
  • Life Style
  • Advertising campaign

1.1 Logo

This is the most common way we identify a brand as our brains can process images faster than text. The logo that is simple with a unique feature lets us remember and recall it even faster. For example, if you see a bright yellow letter M, with rounded edges you we instantly think of McDonald’s.

1.2 A sequence of corporate colours

By cleverly distributing a set of colours alongside each other can create a distinct image in a person’s mind. This will become familiar and can even create a personality as colours have their own emotions attached to them.

1.3 Font style

Font style, or more professionally know as Typography can make a brand easily recognisable. The type of font we use can create a strong sense where it belongs. For example, apple and eBay are two fonts I always recognise when I see an advertisement that belong to either of these brands.

1.4 Tagline

A punchy tag line can be ever so powerful for any business. Nikes, just do it, or red bull gives you wings are just two examples of recognisable brand.

1.5 A life-style

This is very clever way of recognition and can be very expensive to leverage. However, it is very effective if you are able to achieve it. When I think of a life style, such as extreme sports, I always think of Red bull.

1.6 Advertising campaign

A successful advertising campaign always has a particular message associated with it.

Back when I was working for world leading engineering firm, the Chief Commercial Officer always told the marketing team that when designing something we have to be able to identify the brand without the logo or business name.

For example, if you go to the McDonald’s website you can identify the websites brand. This is a combination of corporate colours and font type.

2. Why Is Brand Recognition Important?

Brand recognition is important because being able to recognise a brand, increases the chances of being able to recall a brand amongst competitors.

It is one of the distinct elements of brand recall. This is because if you are familiar with a brand you will recall at a higher rate than unfamiliar brands (Marti-Parreno et al, 2017).

If someone recalls your brand positively in his or her memory can create a sense of longing or craving for your product. A longing and craving is a sense of dissatisfaction and so this person will want to make a purchase so that they feel satisfied again.

This phenomenon is explained through the effect of classic conditioning, which positively stimulates a feeling or desire. This can be a feeling of hunger, refreshing beverage or the need to own the latest iPhone so you feel cool and more confident with those people around you.

3. Does Recognising A Brand Impact The Way We Feel?

The way we recognise a brand may affect the way we feel about a brand.

The way we feel about brands significantly impacts purchasing behaviour.

There is a lot of research on this topic. However, to give one example: Volkswagen sales massively dropped in the US after the emissions scandal.

The amount of time it takes to process information of the brand features can affect brand recognition.

The simpler a brand the easier it is to remember which results in higher brand recognition.

Two factors help us to remember brands:

  • How complex the branding is
  • The size of the branding communication and advertising

3.1 How Complex Is Your Brand?

Some other factors determine how we recognise brands faster. A study showed that billboards with fewer words in the copy were the main contributing factor for brand recognition.

3.2 The size of the branding communication and advertising

Driving studies have shown that traffic signs need to be larger to be noticed and effective (Hendon, 1973). In advertising research, it showed that people are more likely to pay attention to and recognise larger ads (Homer, 1995). This was because a noticeable placement is more deeply processed in a person’s mind which leads to increased memory (van Reijmersdal,2009, p. 151).

However, in certain circumstances prominent brand placement can lead to negative brand attitude (Cowley and Barron, 2008).


In this article I took you through some of the factors that are essential for making first impressions, and ever lasting impression for your business, and your brand.


Chaney, I., Hosany, S., Wu, M., Chen, C., & Nguyen, B. (2018). Size does matter: Effects of in-game advertising stimuli on brand recall and brand recognition. Computers in Human Behavior86, 311–318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.05.007

Cowley, E., & Barron, C. (2008). When product placement goes wrong. Journal of Advertising, 37(1), 89e98. Spring.

Hendon, D. W. (1973). How mechanical factors affect ad perception. Journal of Advertising Research, 13(4), 39e46

Homer, P. M. (1995). Ad size as an indicator of perceived advertising costs and Effort: The effects on memory and perceptions. Journal of Advertising, 24(4), 1e12.

Marti-Parreno, J., Bermejo-Berros, J., & Ald ~ as-Manzano, J. (2017). Product placement in video games: The effect of brand familiarity and repetition on consumers’ memory. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 38, 55e63.

van Reijmersdal, E. (2009). Brand placement Prominence: Good for memory! Bad for attitudes? Journal of Advertising Research, 49(2), 151e153.

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