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Inciting Brand Recognition

How Organizations Can Incite Brand Recognition

What makes an organization, product or service unforgettable to customers and what does it represent to them? In this post, we point to why brand recognition comes from a unified brand experience and by not wavering at any brand touchpoint, and is reinforced by company culture and every single customer interaction.

Through a combination of color, sound and a signature visual identity, brands across all industries and sectors have established customer perceived value and have increased brand recognition. A few examples of this include Intel’s unique two-second sound ID at the end of every commercial, Tiffany’s signature blue packaging, and the recent collaboration between Nike Off-White and the late Virgil Abloh.

Granted, recognition of several of the largest globally recognized brands—e.g., Apple, Coca-Cola and Disney, to name just a few—has been built on billions of dollars of television and digital media to market and shape these brands, which have also invested heavily in consistency by associating the brand with experiences that are ownable to them and only them.

“People experience your brand through ‘moments’ in time.”

For example, when you enter an Apple or Nike retail store, you’re immediately immersed in their brand world. Apple stores are clean and bright, and the products are displayed as if you have walked into an art gallery. In Niketown stores, you feel the energy and the inspiration to “Just Do It.” From the product to the packaging, there is never a disconnect. The digital experience with each of these two brands brings the customer experience to another level, while each of their corporate headquarters are designed not only as a reflection of their purpose, but to continue to embody the brand, its mission and its culture through form, texture and architecture.

The brand equity or recognition comes from a unified brand experience and by not wavering at any brand touchpoint, and is reinforced by company culture and every single customer interaction, which not only makes it memorable, but unforgettable in the minds of consumers and what the brand represents to them. As expressed here, “People experience your brand through ‘moments’ in time.”

“Branding is often undervalued due to pressure from leadership looking for immediate results, or where branding was implemented, only to be consistently misused, resulting in a diluted brand at a significant financial cost to the brand and its equity with customers.”

This is further explained in this example: In July 2020, Qantas retired its final 747. Having flown more than a quarter of a billion Australians, the plane’s final goodbye was a big deal. Flying out over Sydney Harbour Bridge, supposedly on its way to the airplane graveyard, the 747 took one unexpected turn, then another and then another. Over a period of 40 minutes, the plane’s flight path created the outline of the “flying kangaroo”—one of the distinctive brand assets of the Qantas brand. When it comes to associated memorable moments, this was clearly a grand one, but still a great example of brand recognition.

The use of the flying kangaroo ensured that you associated it with the brand

The scale and unexpected nature ensured that it was memorable

It was a moment in time that surely demanded attention and caused a reaction

Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to consult for a branding firm whose client was Morgan Stanley. I was involved in developing the strategic positioning and overall look and feel of a new high-net-worth credit card and rewards program. Prior to this, the design firm had just rebranded Morgan Stanley, impacting every area of the organization, from interior and exterior signage to the website and all employee materials. It was critical that this new consumer product I was developing be synonymous with the new branding, but that it did so in a way that continued to elevate the brand and its message, and were embodied in the new credit card design and rewards materials so that it would appeal to a high-net-worth customer.

Too often I’ve seen branding (both visually and verbally) be undervalued due to pressure from leadership looking for immediate results, or where branding was implemented, only to be consistently misused, resulting in a diluted brand at a significant financial cost to the brand and its equity with customers.

Inciting brand recognition has to start with understanding what your brand means to your audience and what facet of the brand will be most memorable to them. Brand recognition is your biggest asset, so why not take advantage of it?

Questions? Or if you’re looking to find ways to make your brand more memorable, email me here. As always, thank you for reading.

Photo by Eduardo Alvarado on Unsplash