My wife ran for state senate last year. And after she won the race, the competing party kept saying she had high name recognition. High name recognition does not work. What works is high positive name recognition.
Adolf Hitler has high name recognition, but you would never want to associate yourself with that name. Positive name recognition, high likeability, is what wins in politics and business. Arthur Anderson had high name recognition, but after a little issue with Enron’s auditing, no one in their right mind would use the name. A division of AA is now called Accenture.
AFLAC had a problem with high name recognition but in a different way. It had high name recognition, but no one understood what they did—so now you see ads that explain the “transaction” part of the business.
Positive name recognition is built brick by brick. It doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen with one ad. It doesn’t change with one campaign. It is the total approach to your brand including advertising, service, public relations, community relations, Internet reviews, sales and buzz. Build your name recognition, but make sure it is positive and matches your brand promise.