Is Brand Recognition Different To Brand Awareness?

Jan 22, 2021 | B2B PR Blog, Brand Awareness

So far, we’ve dedicated January to all things brand awareness, covering the basics in our blog posts, and releasing the awesome, if we don’t say so ourselves, ultimate guide to increasing brand awareness.

Now it’s time to dive in a little deeper and get to the more complicated elements of your brand strategy. We’re starting by separating out a few terms that often get misused or mixed up when talking about brand awareness.

We’re talking brand awareness versus brand recognition; two terms we often see used interchangeably but shouldn’t be.

What is brand awareness?

We already wrote an article explaining brand awareness but here is a brief recap.

Brand awareness is the level to which people in your target market are familiar with your brand. Can people identify you amongst your competitors and remember key elements of your brand?

Can customers remember why you’re so well-known and what makes you so brilliant? When they have a particular need or problem, are you the first business they think of?

This is all brand awareness.

Increasing brand awareness is taking action to ensure as many people as possible get to know everything about your company, and products or services.

Brand awareness eventually turns people into customers as they become familiar with your values and what problems you can solve for them. Brand awareness also encourages repeat business and turns customers into advocates.

pink fishing nets

 Brand awareness eventually turns people into customers as they become familiar with your values and what problems you can solve for them. Brand awareness also encourages repeat business and turns customers into advocates.

What is brand recognition?

Brand recognition is one aspect of brand awareness and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. It’s an important element of brand awareness but is a much simpler concept, brand recognition is how recognisable your brand is.

The most obvious brand recognition elements are your company name and logo – important visual markers when it comes to recognising your brand. Brand recognition can also include your tone of voice, company colours, even a personality.

Brand recognition is great because it’s the shiny stuff that catches people’s attention.


“The first lesson of branding: memorability. It’s very difficult buying something you can’t remember.”

– John Hegarty

The more recognisable elements your brand has, the more likely it is to be remembered.

We’re sure you’ve played one of those quizzes before where you must guess the company name just by seeing a snippet of their logo, hearing a catchphrase, or seeing their brand colours?

Those types of quiz demonstrate how powerful brand recognition can be and why great branding is vital to your business.

Brand recognition vs brand awareness

Hopefully, the above demonstrates the key differences between brand awareness and recognition but this isn’t a ‘take one or the other situation’.

Arguably, brand awareness does play a larger role in your brand strategy because it makes your customers familiar with you on a deeper level than brand recognition. If recognition is the shiny thing that grabs attention, then awareness creates a lasting familiarity that eventually leads to sales, loyalty, and customers championing your brand.

But on the other hand, have you ever heard of a mega-successful company where customers don’t know the name of the business, recognise the logo, or know one detail about the brand? Not really!

In summary, Brand recognition needs to work alongside awareness to give a well-rounded picture of your company!

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If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

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READ this blog: what is branding and why is it a key component of your PR strategy?

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At EC-PR we are passionate about B2B communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.

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