Suppose you wake up in the morning debating about whether or not to go for a run, but that check mark on your sneakers scream “Just Do It”.
Later you are in a meeting with a supplier when they set a Frappuccino on the table; the green and white mermaid on the cup makes you think about getting a coffee too.
As you run some errands, you quickly pick up some laundry detergent from a store with “everyday low prices”.
WHAT IS BRAND RECOGNITION?
That ability you had to recognize each brand above is brand recognition. Any design element: shape, color, illustration or graphic can be used to identify a brand. Having a powerful brand allows consumers to recognize your brand right away, beating out the competition. Providing a quality experience can tie your brand recognition to great customer service. Brand recognition is power, it keeps your company in front of the market and money in your pocketbook.
While it is often easy to think of brand recognition in large corporations, small handmade businesses can utilize it as well. When I am craving a good New York style slice of pizza or calzone, I think of Namoli’s NY Pizza in Apex, North Carolina. When I want a beautiful and functional handmade bag I look for Hawks & Dove. When I am needing some amazing body products I contact Lo & Behold Natural Body Care. What companies come to mind when you think of your favorite independently owned brands?
Brand recognition starts with awareness.
Imagine you are shopping for peanut butter at a grocery store. The brand you would normally buy is not stocked. After looking up and down the aisle, you decide to examine a few organic brands you may have not considered before. From trying the new product, you would then feel familiar with the new organic peanut butter and may look for it again when you're craving a good PB&J.
If we break it down to its bare bones your brand creates a set of expectations, and set standards for your customers to associate with. Any experience your customers have with your product, people, or personal interactions, creates your brand. Branding is simply, designing and developing a framework for what your brand does, what you stand for, why you do it and how you do it. Doing this stuff consistently will allow you to carve out a purposeful, differentiating, and secured position in your marketplace.
The more consistently your audience is seeing your brand the more likely they are going to be to reach for your product.
The next step is to do what businesses do best. Grow.
By expanding to new opportunities, new categories, new markets, and new product extensions, the benefit is every time people see your logo or every time they see your packaging they automatically bring those set of expectations with them.
SO WHY DO YOU NEED BRAND RECOGNITION?
It's simple, you need brand recognition so you can get people thinking about your company.
I recently had the experience of browsing for furniture. Through my search visiting showrooms and various online sites, re.dwell struck out to me as they pride themselves on selling products crafted from reclaimed materials. I love that! Each of their wooden tables are unique, made with care, and the detail is perfection. They also hail from my home state, which I love and that makes them that much better. For someone looking for one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture, I would refer them to re.dwell.
Customers are a powerful asset in spreading awareness of a brand.
If you have a specialized niche, they will often think of recommending you to their friends and family. You can differentiate your company with your story. Are you known for carrying out traditional production methods? Do you use organically sourced materials? Promoting what makes your business your unique puts you in the minds of customers. After all, the more people thinking of your brand helps boost sales.
Do you know how many small businesses there are in the US?
30.2 Million small businesses. Who knows exactly how many are selling a product similar to yours. I mean a quick search on Google or even on Etsy will tell you. Try it, I dare you. Go search your products general terms on Etsy and see how much competition you have. Did you know there are a ton of other makers selling the exact same thing as you? No? Well, now you do. Brand recognition will help you stand out and differentiate your product. Be consistently different.
LOOKING TO BUILD YOUR BRAND RECOGNITION?
The best way is to be consistent with your branding. Use the same photo style, typography treatments, patterns, colors, and logo marks on your newsletters, e-signatures, marketing materials, and packaging. Find a color palette that differentiates your brand, and be sure to stick with it throughout your website and communication materials.
For example, Lo & Behold Natural Body Care does this well on their website utilizing an easy to read san serif font throughout both their webpage and product packaging. You could own a face mask, body butter and lip scrub from Lo & Behold, but be able to distinguish their brand among other skin and body care products in your household because their distinct hand drawn and watercolor style graphics throughout their product line. And by displaying nature graphics, it reinforces the idea that their brand is 100% natural. Repeating a message is an effective form of brand recognition, in which Lo & Behold does well through consistency in their imagery style.
Carry out actions that reflect your branding.
Do you want customers to think of you as a friend? Find ways to add personal touches to your sales such as personalized handwritten notes. If people associate sustainability with your products, find ways to use recyclable packaging. Reflect on what values make your business unique and think of ways to share them with your customers.
Brand recognition is a super powerful thing. Put your company at the forefront of your customers minds and they will always return to you, especially if you make the customer experience and service memorable, unique, and authentic. As a small handmade business you HAVE to start thinking about your products ability to be found, noticed, and picked out of hundreds, maybe even thousands of competitors.
It's simple, you need brand recognition so you can sell more products.