Photo Credit: Female Videographer by Jacob Lund on Shutterstock

Brand recognition is an important goal for any company, especially when you’re first starting out. Consumers are swamped with hundreds of options for services and products, so making your mark on the industry is vital. But how can video be used to reinforce your branding? Here’s our guide to growing brand recognition with video and leveraging it for your business.

What Is “Brand Recognition” & Why Is It Important?

To understand why it is important, we first need to define “brand recognition”, and how it affects a company. The goal is to have customers recognize your brand or company based on a visual or audio cue. For instance, the specifics of a logo, the beginnings of a jingle, or a particular catchphrase associated with your brand.

Brand recognition is slightly different from brand awareness. While recognition falls under the umbrella of brand awareness, it focuses on the ability to identify based on cues. In contrast, brand awareness is typically defined as the ability to pluck your brand from memory based on a product category.

Building brand recognition helps to form a positive reputation for your company and grow brand loyalty – and trust – in return. Here are our top three reasons to keep brand recognition top of mind regardless of your brand’s stage of growth.

1. Effective Promotions and New Offerings

Having specific traits (such as colors or musical jingles) associated with your brand will make it easier to promote. Ideally, consumers will be able to instantly recognize the company and the services or products you provide. That also means advertising can be as minimal or outlandish as your company desires.

This in turn lets you introduce new offerings in a quick, hassle-free way by simply refreshing the recognizable and well-known identifiers to promote the new products.

2. Business Reputation and Customer Retention

If your customers will recognize your specific branding and associate positive experiences, brand recognition can easily lead into brand loyalty. Consumers may form personal and emotional connections with your brand – whether it is a logo on a shirt or the particular matching aesthetic of your products.

Brand recognition is also crucial in forming a trust bond with consumers. Even if they have not used your service before, many people who come to recognize your branding will likely associate positively with your company. This means that they will remember and recognize you when they perhaps do need a service or product you provide, and will recommend you as an option to their friends.

3. Differentiation

Honing a unique style or producing fun and easily recognizable advertising campaigns can help to differentiate your company from other competitors in the same field. Consumers will recognize your brand amongst the crowd and lean towards trusting your business over others that they do not know quite so much about.

Building Brand Recognition with Video

There are many factors that go into a video, which plays to your advantage when using it to build your brand. From the color schema, to the fonts and music, you have many opportunities to subtly cue your audience to buy into your branding.

1. Consistent Font and Logos

Think of this as a way to tie together every single piece of branding or marketing you put out into the world. While using the same logo is pretty straight-forward, you might think remaining consistent in the font you use in your videos is not as important. After all, who even really pays attention to that?

While viewers may not consciously notice it, a lack of consistency undermines their ability to recognize your brand.

A consistent aesthetic is reassuring to customers because it helps them gauge their expectations. Further, they will begin to associate even the smallest details (such as fonts) with your company even when they are used elsewhere.

Perhaps the most iconic use of brand font is the Disney logo. Disney uses their specific font on all of their marketing, including, a launchpad-type domain.

They use to direct customers to anything and everything Disney-related. There, they also offer various “advice” and information videos, distinctly recognizable based on consistent use of Disney-branded logos and images.

After all, it’s almost impossible to see castle spires or a pair of mouse ears without associating them with Disney in some capacity. Thanks to their consistency, they certainly enjoy an incredible level of brand recognition.

2. Create Familiar Characters People Can Connect With

If you want to build up your brand recognition, it’s imperative to decide what your recognizable ‘features’ are to be. Besides logos and music, using a memorable character in your videos or advertising campaigns can be an effective choice.

Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World

Take Dos Equis’ The Most Interesting Man in the World campaign for example. This character was wildly popular for over ten years and his catchphrase “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis” was adapted to become a popular internet meme. Even consumers who don’t drink beer would recognize the character and are likely to associate the brand with a positive memory (whether it be imbibing on the beverage or simply being entertained by the clever commercials).

Old Spice

Old Spice used a similar tactic with their “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” advertisement to market their new body wash line. This character was popular and the commercials continued to include him for awhile after this particular campaign, and many consumers are likely to recognize him or references from the 30-second clip. It was even parodied on shows such as iCarly and to advertise the 2011 film Puss in Boots.

Ronald McDonald

Of course, children’s advertising frequently rely on characters to build brand recognition. Whether it’s animated characters from their favorite cartoons or Ronald McDonald as the face of McDonald’s, character-based advertising works. It’s no wonder most children can easily recognize the brands they like, often becoming lifelong fans.

There’s no question that a good character can build up your company’s reputation and help with consumers’ brand recognition, whether a comical animation or a mysterious, aspirational person a la Dos Equis.

3. Familiarity

It isn’t all about characters though. Familiar faces and voices can also be used to great effect in videos.

To use them as an example again, Old Spice have created a variety of characters in their ad campaigns over the years. The company went on to use Terry Crews (and other NFL players) as a face for their 2012 campaigns in a variety of videos.

Similarly, until recently, VISA had been using the voice of Morgan Freeman in their commercials. His voice is undeniably distinguishable, and is now associated with VISA’s branding.

Depending on your company’s size and budget, you may not be able to hire Morgan Freeman to voice your ad campaigns. However, that doesn’t mean this tactic is beyond your reach. Anyone with an interesting, memorable voice could be a good fit. Ultimately, it help you create a recognizable commercial video.

Even better, create a character behind the voice that viewers can relate to or will easily pick out in a line-up of voiceovers. Then, start building your level of brand recognition for consumers old and new.

4. Strategic Partnerships

When strategically planned and executed, you can partner with another brand to help build each other’s brand presence. This works particularly well when you have different offerings, but similar or complementary target markets. There are some considerations to keep in mind, though.

  • Ensure you do your research when looking into potential partnerships. Make sure that your brand aligns with whoever you’re partnering with to create a video.
  • Remember that relying too heavily on a brand you don’t control can go wrong. For example, if they suffer a public relations (PR) crisis, it could adversely affect you.
  • With that in mind, be sure to partner with a brand that is consistent and not risky. Bonus points if they have run successful video partnerships in the past.

Buzzfeed and Best Friends Animal Society

A great example of this is big-name video producer Buzzfeed’s partnership with the Best Friends Animal Society, as well as other animal rescues and adoption centers.

This creates plenty of content with adorable animals for viewers to enjoy. In addition, Buzzfeed frequently makes these videos with celebrities (primarily on their channel “Buzzfeed Celeb”) to promote the adoption of animals in need.

The appeal of both a well-loved celeb and a room full of puppies boosts Buzzfeed’s video views. In turn, the animal rescue gets more attention from viewers across the country.

In this example, Buzzfeed’s brand recognition focuses more on the format of a celebrity questions-and-answers “interview”. For the Best Friends Animal Society, viewers are likely to remember and recognize the rescue center thanks to its inclusion.

Don’t fret about finding a huge partner to make a video with. While you do want to grow your company’s customer base and increase brand recognition in the eyes of consumers, it’s okay to do this gradually and at a manageable pace.

Find a business that seems equally matched, with a similar target audience. Ideally, partner up with one offering a service that complements rather than competes with you and let the ideas flow.

5. Referral Programs

People are very likely to trust the opinions of their friends. They tend to use brands recommended by those close to them.

You can use videos as a call-to-action via social media to encourage customers to recommend your services to a friend. You could even include a sign-up link or code that will grant both customers some form of small benefit or a free gift as a thank-you.

Short videos posted to your Twitter or Facebook feeds make it easy for your community to share and recommend you to their followers, friends, and family by re-posting or tagging them. Over time, they will become familiar with your branding on social media, and recognize you elsewhere, too.

The social media culture around online influencers allows for you to connect a partnership and referral program to widen the audience watching the videos and learning about your brand. For instance, companies such as Audible, online educational site Skillshare, and even smartphone game Best Fiends, sponsor YouTube videos. For instance, here is an example from Audible featuring Wanda Sykes:

Though this is often in association with an affiliate link or discount code, the repeated logos or mention of the brand name builds up a reputation and is easily recognized.

Note: ensure the audience demographic is suitable, and that the influencer themselves is trustworthy. Similarly to partnering with a company you do not control, any controversy could adversely affect the reputation of your brand!

Final Thoughts

Building a good reputation and strong brand recognition is important for any company. You need to stand out to consumers who will recognize and trust your business over competitors.

Compelling video marketing could be the key to success. Whether a memorable character, a well-known face, or partnerships with other companies, visual cues are critical in creating a brand people will recognize amongst the crowds.

Did we miss any iconic examples of brand recognition? Any Oscar-worthy ideas for your own advertising campaigns? Or, do you have a burning question about getting started? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @sproutvideo.