Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.
Who Comes First?
Let's play a word association game. I'll mention a few categories and you write down the first brand that pops in your head. Ready? Go!
- Facial Tissues
- Fast-food restaurant
O.K., grab your list. Do your answers look something like this: Coca-Cola, Kleenex, Walmart, Apple, and McDonald's? No, I'm no mind reader, but I'm guessing your list is pretty similar, with maybe a few variances for things like your favorite smartphone brand (perhaps you're a Samsung person) or soda (prefer Pepsi?).
So, how did I know a majority of your top answers? Because all of those brands have worked hard in their marketing strategies and advertising tactics to make themselves frontrunners in their particular industry, a concept known as top-of-mind awareness.
What is Top of Mind Awareness?
Top-of-mind awareness, what all brands want, is to be the first brand or product consumers think of in a particular category. Imagine if someone were to ask you the first company that comes to mind when you think of greeting cards; your answer would probably be Hallmark.
Top-of-mind awareness is generally measured by asking consumers open-ended questions about the brand that first comes to mind in a particular category, like automobile manufacturers (Ford or Chevrolet), ketchup (Heinz) or cell phone providers (perhaps Verizon or AT&T). Market researchers are then able to take this data and turn it into a percentage to figure out who is leading the way in top-of-mind awareness.
How Does It Work?
When consumers make buying decisions, they tend to purchase based on brands that are most easily recalled or brought to mind. Experts are quick to point out that doesn't mean that brand will always be the one purchased, but that the more remembered and favored a brand is, the better off it is. But, how does a brand get there?
1. Be memorable, even if it means being different or thinking outside the box.
2. Keep your brand in front of people - television, print, online, social media, all of it.
3. Build relationships with your audience by connecting with your buyers and potential buyers.
4. Sell without selling; that is, promote your brand without being annoying.
5. Focus on content. Sure, selling or push marketing (pushing your brand out to consumers) is part of the game, but so is pull marketing (getting your customers to seek you out). Content, especially timely, relevant, engaging content can make you more appealing - whether a customer purchases today or six months down the road.
Companies that focus on building brand awareness, developing relationships and being present in front of consumers, without always going for the hard sell, can climb the mountain of competitors to lead the pack in consumers' minds.
Top-of-mind awareness is about being the first brand consumers think of when they consider a certain product category or industry. Top-of-mind is measured after asking consumers for their most remembered brands and then calculating percentages based on which brand earned the most votes. Brands that want to lead these categories can focus on being memorable and building brand awareness by being different; staying in front of consumers in all available channels; and by building relationships with its audience.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack