71% of consumers said it is vital to recognize a brand before making a purchase. Similarly, 82% of investors believe that name recognition is a crucial factor in making investment decisions.

In a market that’s saturated with competition, nothing is more critical than brand recall. With brand recall, you become the first thing that comes to mind when a consumer has a need for a product in your category. And that’s a powerful position for a company to have.

This guide will lead you through the definition of brand recall and the various ways of measuring and improving it, so you can build a business that’s scalable and sustainable.

What is brand recall?

Brand recall is the customer’s ability to remember a brand in association with a product or service. For instance, when you hear “athletic shoes,” you might envision Nike or Adidas. Similarly, when you think of technology, Apple or Microsoft might automatically come to mind.


Typically, a consumer is able to remember at least 3 brands when asked to think of certain industries or niches, and one to two brands of products or services that they don’t frequently use.

Brand recall is a component of brand awareness that is often considered the first stage of the marketing funnel. By creating brand awareness, you can guide more quality leads towards the buying process.

Every brand aims to be top-of-mind when target consumers are ready to research and make a purchase. If customers recognize your brand, they will be more likely to buy from your product over a competitor. Additionally, brand recall not only leads to increased sales, but also facilitates repeat purchases, referrals, loyalty, and positive word of mouth.

A consumer’s ability to remember your brand depends on several factors, such as product usage, brand knowledge, and brand loyalty. Through continuous exposure, engagement, and solid customer experience, you can put your brand at the forefront of your target demographic.

Types of brand recall

There are primarily two types of brand recall, aided and unaided recall.

Aided brand recall

Aided brand recall refers to a customer’s capacity to remember a brand name after being given an external cue or hint, such as brand names, products, packaging, and company logos.

For instance, a brand manager might ask respondents a question like, “Are you familiar with burger chain A?” If people can recognize your brand name right off the bat, that’s a result of aided brand recall and a good indication that your marketing efforts are paying off.

Unaided Brand Recall

Unaided recall refers to an individual’s ability to remember the name of the brand on their own, without any help or hints.

For example, the researcher might ask a respondent, “What fast-food chains are you familiar with?” A prompt answer from the consumer could be McDonald’s, In-n-Out, Burger King, or Shake Shack. It’s often easier for brands to score higher on aided brand awareness, but acquiring a high level of unaided brand awareness which brings more value and sales opportunities to your business.

Measuring brand recall

Brand recall is often measured through a survey or experiment. It can be estimated as the percentage of people who were able to recognize your business.

Brand Recall Rate = (People able to recall/Total people in the experiment or survey)*100

To calculate your brand recall rate, divide the number of survey respondents who accurately identified your brand by the total number of respondents. Then, multiply the resulting figure by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

A percentage below 50 indicates that you need to recover or improve your brand recall.

The importance of brand recall

Top-of-mind brand recall is an important brand awareness KPI as it lets you gauge where you stand in a sea of competition. It shapes consumers’ decisions when differentiating between competing brands and helps drive incremental sales.

Brand recall boosts conversions and market share

According to The Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment, 60% of consumers worldwide prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand instead of switching to a new brand.

While brand recall alone does not have a financial value, it plays an instrumental role in your overall marketing strategy, helping attract repeat purchases and incremental sales. By being more visible and memorable to relevant, high-quality audiences, you boost your chances of increasing conversions and dominating your market.

Brand recall creates a competitive advantage

77% of marketing leaders say a strong brand is critical to business growth and expansion. It’s what differentiates you in the market and ensures continuous profit.

Brand recall signifies familiarity and trust and helps you stay ahead of the competition. The more people recognize and support your brand, the more competitive your business becomes.

Brand recall simplifies introduction of new products

When you already have a loyal customer base, it is often simpler and less expensive to launch new products or services to the market. Loyal clients will likely be interested in trying out your new products and may even anticipate their release. More people looking forward to your new offerings can help create media buzz, which in turn expands your reach.

Brand recall builds credibility

Developing a well-known brand improves your credibility across your target audience, industry, and marketplace. Credibility is directly proportional to loyalty, recognition, and profitability. Customers are likely to do business with companies they know, like, and trust. You must strive to have a trustworthy brand; otherwise, you may drive away current and potential clients.

How to boost brand recall

Brand recall is central to any successful brand and drives referrals, repeat purchases, and overall brand affinity achieved among your ideal clients.

To improve brand recall in an oversaturated market, here are several proven strategies brand managers need to adopt:

Conduct a thorough brand audit

A brand audit is a great way to measure your brand’s overall market performance. It involves an in-depth review of your internal branding and all your marketing collateral.

A brand audit highlights customer perceptions as well as your marketing strengths and weaknesses. It can also pinpoint any problem areas, possible external threats, and new market opportunities. A brand health check will provide the data you need to optimize your next marketing move.

Keep track of your competitors

Successful companies keep track of the performance of their main competitors and industry leaders. By conducting a competitor analysis, you can identify other brands’ strengths and exploit gaps in their strategies.

Here are some questions to guide you in your competitor analysis:

  • Do their products or services have unique selling points (USPs) over yours?
  • What social media platforms or communication channels do they use to advertise these products?
  • What is their pricing positioning like?
  • What kind of online and offline campaigns are they running?
  • What kind of content are they posting?
  • What tone of voice do they use?

The results of your competitor analysis will enable you to outdo bigger brands and dominate your sector.

Build a solid brand story and proposition

Developing a strong brand identity helps you stand out from the competition and appropriately position your brand. Here are some guide questions you can explore when refining your brand identity:

  • What purpose does your brand serve?
  • What unique benefits do you offer that can enhance your customers’ lives?
  • How would you describe your brand in a single sentence?
  • What kind of tone, messaging, and personality does your brand convey?
  • How do you want to make prospects and clients feel?
  • What are the core values and attributes your brand should express?

Your answers to these questions help set the foundation for all future marketing decisions and communications strategies. Establishing what your brand stands for is crucial in determining your long-term success.

Invest in a memorable brand identity

Did you know that 94% of the world’s population recognizes the Coca-Cola logo? Successful brands like Coca-Cola, Apple, and Facebook prove market visibility and memorable logos can translate to a global reputation and billions of dollars in revenue.

A logo is more than just an image. It creates a first impression, gets you recognized, and communicates your brand promise and core values. Often, your company logo is the first thing that will come to people’s minds when they think about your brand.

Your logo needs to be unique, memorable, and appropriate to your primary audience. Elements like colors, shapes, and typography can profoundly affect how your brand is perceived.

Humanize your brand

86% of consumers say that authenticity is a major factor in deciding what brands to trust and support.

Avoid robotic marketing tactics and instead foster genuine connections by assigning your brand a distinct personality. Show the real people behind the work, admit flaws, personalize your campaigns, and infuse your content with wit, humor, and emotion. Humanizing your brand helps you become more relatable, interesting, and approachable.

Achieve sustainable brand recall with CRISPx

Successful brands are unforgettable and timeless. If you want customers to constantly trust and choose you over your competitors, then you need to give them something to remember.

CRISPx offers branding solutions carefully tailored to your business needs. We have helped companies across industries transform their brands using data-driven campaigns.

Get in touch with our team and achieve your branding goals in no time.