When recognition unlocks brand meaning

According to a recent New York Times article few people can accurately draw the logos of well-known brands like Starbucks, Wal-Mart and Burger King. But the study conducted by may not be as important as it first appears. The important thing about a logo is that it be recognized and associated with the right brand, not that it can be recalled in detail.

We all know that growing physical and mental availability are important if a brand is to grow sales. But what exactly is mental availability? Professor Byron Sharp states,

“A brand’s mental availability refers to the probability that a buyer will notice, recognize and/or think of a brand in buying situations.”

So one of the ways that marketers ensure a brand is mentally available is to make sure it is easily recognized. When a potential buyer recognizes a brand it should trigger an instinctive response to the brand (a gestalt of all the ideas and feelings they have for that brand) and, if and when they deliberate their purchase, positive and motivating associations that will help encourage them to buy and pay the price asked.

To understand this aspect of brand performance Kantar Millward Brown measures the strength of brand assets, including the logo, and how well they cue the brand. This is the latest tool in our Neuroscience portfolio which uses reaction time methods to identify the strength of brand assets.

The approach measures three key qualities:

Fame: how many people are able to correctly associate an asset with a particular brand. This gives us an overall indication of how well-known an asset is in relation to the brand.

Speed: the speed of response (regardless of whether that response is correct or not) reflects how intuitively associated an asset is with a brand.

Distinctiveness: the strongest brand assets are those that are also distinctive and unique to the brand. We measure misattribution of an asset to other brands to help identify this distinctiveness.

Brands ranked in the top quarter on our Brand Triggers Index have an average Salience over 50% higher than those in the bottom quarter.

So does it matter that people cannot accurately recall and draw a brand’s logo? I would argue not. What is far more important is that they recognize it intuitively, without hesitation, and associate it to the right brand.


Written by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown.

Read 881 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 November 2017 04:16
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