Your Brand in the Mind of the Customer

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By: Dr. David Bridwell, People Scientist and Jake McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer

When we talk about “brand” we’re often talking about the perceptions that our customers or audiences have about our product. And as marketers, we understand that the customer’s perception is shaped by many factors, like the logo, the packaging, the advertising, and the experience surrounding the product. 

These factors all come together to shape the perception of our brand in the mind of the customer, but how can we get a true read of something as fluid and intangible as human perception? Well, recognizing that it’s an important question is the first step, and we can begin to get at this question by considering the following:

Focus on mental availability and awareness. It’s important to understand the differences between mental availability and awareness. Awareness is often a simple yes or no question about whether the consumer has heard about the brand, while mental availability gets at when and how the customer is reminded about the brand as they go about their day (particularly when they’re in the mood to buy the product). 

If we use Burger King as an example, the majority of the population would answer “yes” when asked if they’re aware of Burger King as a fast food restaurant–it’s a measure that stays pretty constant throughout the year. What isn’t constant is the degree or strength of “Burger King” in the consumer’s mind on a shorter timescale. These changes are better captured by the concept of mental availability, so when we think about mental availability we’re getting a clearer picture of the brand in the mind of the customer.

Understand value of Effective Share of Voice (eSOV). Share of voice (SOV) refers to the proportion of advertising communications spent in relation to competitors. This is a useful benchmark to get started, but you can see that there’s a big difference between advertising spend and the degree in which the message reaches the mind of the audience. For example, how was the message sent? Did it appear on social media or TV? How effective was the creative? 

Effective Share of Voice gets as the limitations of the traditional SOV metric by attempting to answer these additional questions. And since attention differs so much across different media platforms, and since creative has a huge multiplicative impact on advertising effectiveness, you can see that Effective Share of Voice can help get closer to that elusive understanding of the brand in the mind of the customer

Overall, there are a lot of key concepts to consider when trying to understand the mind of the customer. At Intermark Group, we leverage psychological insights to help understand this question. Feel free to give us a call at 833-578-1314 or email us at [email protected] to discuss how we can help with your marketing challenges.