Recognition effect

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The term recognition effect (also recognizable or ( Brand ) Recognition is called) in particular in the area of marketing , especially in connection with advertising needed. Here it serves as a measure for the effect of advertising material and advertising language as well as for the target group-specific cognitive link . Usually he is questioning of target groups recovered and in percent specified. The aim is to increase the recognition effect with the help of predominantly communication-political marketing strategies in order to influence the purchasing behavior of the consumer in the direction of a purchase decision for the advertised product . A positive change in the recognition effect is often assumed to be a successful advertising campaign . The term is still closely related to brand awareness and recall and can be assigned to the tasks of market research .

The term also stands for all causalities in which a perceived property is classified as known and therefore familiar. This can relate to both a person and their voice, a thing, a place, a film and the like, which are perceived audibly or visually , for example .


When measuring the recognition effect, psychological test methods from advertising research are used in particular . In general, a subject an advertising medium , often presented one to be tested newspaper or magazine. He is then asked, usually with the help of a standardized questionnaire, which product he remembers. The declarative, explicit memory performance is to be measured . This is possible both as a cross-sectional study compared to other products and as a longitudinal study over a longer period of time. While the person being examined should remember freely in recall tests, a preselection is already made in recognition processes and the test only relates to the given material. This results in higher recall values ​​for recognition and the forgetting curve for retention is flatter than for recall (reproduction).

One possibility to process complex phenomena is the recognition heuristic . Different types of recognition tests can be distinguished. In brand recognition, what is known as passive brand knowledge is measured. The consumer then remembers when he sees the brand himself or its name and does not have to actively remember it himself, as with the recall. For this purpose, the respondent is presented with the brand or name (either in standard font or with the respective brand lettering) together with other brands. Another variant is image recognition. The test person receives visual stimulus templates in the form of picture puzzles, picture assignments and picture masks, which they should recognize or assign based on their knowledge. While brand recognition tends to fall back on conscious knowledge, attempts are made to capture less conscious visual knowledge in image recognition. Further methods for measuring the recognition value are, for example, the copy test and the Starch test . Criticism of the measurability of the recognition effect arises, among other things, from the difficulty of objectively recording memory performance, because every retrieval process already changes the memory.

Measures to increase

The recognition effect can be increased by improving the corporate design . This is done, for example, through the uniform design of packaging in the form of repeated use of characters, shapes and colors. Even bizarre impressions and expressions of liveliness and outlook promote recognition. The reason for this is that the perception of images is assigned to the right half of the brain, so that recognition specifically addresses this hemisphere . Images are considered to be low-involvement messages that do not require deep cognitive information processing . The recognition of names and lettering can also activate consciousness processes in short-term memory . In addition to elements of visual branding , acoustic branding measures such as recognition melodies can also increase the recognition effect.


The recognition effect plays a role in particular in the case of low-involvement products in which the customer shows habitual buying behavior . This finding goes back to research by Edward P. Krugman . He investigated why television advertising, although highly recognizable, causes almost no change in attitudes. He explained this with the model of so-called passive learning, in which the viewer practically memorizes the television entertainment with a low deductible , so that recognition is possible, but almost no recall. In the case of low-involvement products, the communication strategy is therefore designed to achieve a kind of preliminary development. Targeted recognition is sought through planned placement on the shelf in order to reach the consumer in the event of a potential information overload. The end consumer then intuitively reaches for the brand he recognizes in the sense of brand loyalty . The recognition effect is not only important for products, but also, for example, for personalities such as athletes, in city ​​marketing , websites and the like.

Individual evidence

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