Brand Recall [Step-by-Step] Easy Guide To Create An Influencing Brand!

If you are building your business and trying to build a good brand you should focus on brand recall. Just having people being able to remember your brand under certain conditions can immensely increase your sales.

When I was working for the world leading engineering firm I was always told how importantly this is for financial gain. However, there are many firms out there that do not spend enough time doing this.

Brand Recall is the process of building a brand imagine that is perceived well, and easily remember by potential customers. It is important to associate common things that happen in peoples lives which triggers them to remember your business and the benefits of what you sell them.

In this article, I will take you through some of the important academic theories that can help you understand brand recall.

1. What Is Brand Recall?

Brand recall is the ability for a person to be able to retrieve a brand from their memory (Aaker, 2011).

More specifically, there are two ways a person can retrieve a brand from their memory.

The first way is spontaneously or with a brand cue. A brand will pop into someone’s mind because of a sense or a feeling.

For example, if you are hungry and unable to cook, then fast food may seem like the ideal solution. When the thought of fast food comes into your mind, you immediately think of McDonald’s, KFC and Subways.

To get these results can take decades of training people’s minds through advertisements. A spontaneous memory is linking a feeling or a life style to a brand. We achieve this through the power of associating aspects of life with your business.

It becomes an instinctive event to recall the brand under specific circumstances.

This in my opinion is the result of the most successful branding exercises as it links directly to the subconscious.

The second way is interchangeably with brand familiarity. A brand will pop into someone’s mind because they see something that reminds them of that brand.

This could be brand names, non-word brand names, and other associated brand cues (Lerman and Garbarino, 2002).

This is a simpler form of brand recall, and it less expensive to achieve. However, it will not be as successful because it only engages a person on a conscious level.

2. Why Is Brand Recall Important?

It is especially important for a business to have achieved brand recall.

By thinking of a brand can:

  • Achieve a sense of credibility – by having, thought of a brand under a specific circumstance can actually provide a sense of status.
  • Activate a longing – seeing a brand can create a yearning and longing to trial that product. It can make you lust over them. For example, if you watch a Fosters advert and the setting are on a hot beach and a cold beer puts you in that frame of mind. This makes you want to be part of the experience you have just seen on your TV.

Achieving both credibility and longing will put you in a very competitive position which will give you the edge and furthermore the increased revenue.

3. Cognitive Processing In the Consumer

Information processing theories tell us that both content and experience form the preference of a brand (Keller, 1993, Higgins,1996).

3.1 Brand Messaging

This is when brands provide content to their customer about how they want them to see their brand. However, customers will process the information you give them against the information they already have in their mind. This will result in that person forming his or her own individual perception.

This means that the recalled knowledge content on the brand helps the consumer judge a brand. For example, let take the example of recalling the brand Nike. When people see content such as shape and colour, people will be able to recall benefits such as comfort and even the tagline “Just do it.”

3.2 Brand Experience

You can form brand recall through experience. The type of experience includes your previous involvement with the brand, and the ease to process the brand messages.

This type of brand recall helps a customer to judge a brand unconsciously. By this, we mean subconsciously, we make our opinions without us realising it.

When considering the shoes category, research shows us that the people retrieve the brand Nike with ease in their mind (Vijaykumar et al, 2013). This ease-of-retrieval is the experience that makes the consumer argue non-consciously, whereby they justify that: “It must be a good brand or else why will it pop-up so easily when I think about shoes?”.

In memory based choice situations, this relative ease-of –retrieval experience enhance the probability that a person will choose that brand over the competition (Nedungadi, 1990).


Brand recall is a phenomenon that accrues so that people remember your business under circumstances when they are in demand for your products.


Aaker, D.A. (2011), Strategic Marketing Management, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.

Higgins, E.T. (1996), “Knowledge activation: accessibility, applicability, and salience”, in Tory Higgins, E. and Kruglanski, A.W. (Eds), Social Psychology: Handbook of Basic Principles, Guilford, New York, NY, pp. 133-168.

Keller, K. (1993), “Conceptualizing, measuring and managing customer based brand equity”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 57 No. 1, pp. 1-23.

Nedungadi, P. (1990), “Recall and consumer consideration sets: influencing choice without altering brand evaluations”, The Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 17, December, pp. 263-276.

Vijaykumar Krishnan, Ursula Y. Sullivan, Mark D. Groza, Timothy W. Aurand, (2013) “The Brand Recall Index: a metric for assessing value”,

Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 30 Issue: 5, pp.415-426, https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-02-2013-0464

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