Let’s start with a magic trick. I am going to write something that your brain will automatically play back in your mind and connect with a brand that we all love – “Ta-dum”. Netflix has worked smartly with its brand recall by immediately connecting the brand with a sound. It’s almost as if you’re Pavlov’s dog being classically trained to “Netflix and chill” whenever you feel like watching a movie. In an era where we say “let’s google it” instead of “let’s lookup on the internet,” brand positioning is something that brands all over the world try to do. In a world where newer brands are sprouting up in every corner of the world, it is necessary for companies to always be on the edge, compete with others in their industry and always stay relevant.
Ever wondered why customers prefer to say “let’s google it” instead of “Let’s Bing it” or “Let’s Yahoo! It”? It’s because Google has positioned itself that way and has become a very strong brand that positions itself as the ultimate search engine. Being a strong brand, the users automatically think of it as soon as they decide to use a search engine. This is where Brand Salience comes in.
Brand Salience is the degree to which a brand is thought of or noticed by users or consumers when they make a purchase decision. Adidas and Puma both sell shoes, but why do some customers buy Adidas and others buy Puma? Both are really strong brands, and customers are equally aware of them both. The difference is how they’ve been positioned and how their philosophies resonate with the customer.
It’s true that without brand salience, people would be confused between which brand to choose and might rely on their impulse buy or salesperson’s conviction to make a purchase decision. Brand Salience is developed in mainly two ways: Being memorable and building attention.
In an online shopping scenario, there is an array of brands to choose from. This is where memory salience comes into play when customers automatically think of your brand in their moments of choice. Attention salience, on the other hand, is when the brand captures the customer’s attention while making a choice. Brands can use these cues to disrupt a buying decision. To promote good brand salience, brands can build strategies to promote good memory structures. It’s easy to talk about it but, how can you make your brand more salient? Let’s find out.
Creating good memories for your audience is important to achieve brand salience. By using distinctive brand assets that promote attention in creative ways can also help. It can be observed that top brands often use positive storytelling or creating a meaningful philosophy for a brand to connect with its audience. Positioning your brand so it does not merge with other brands in your industry is key to achieve brand salience.
Look for emotional impact to drive ingrained memory structures
Does your content follow certain brand guidelines that make it unique and stand out from the competition? Can your users look at a creative and immediately say that it’s from your brand at first glance before seeing the logo? Making your brand have an identity of its own by highlighting your assets so your audience can pick you out from the sea of competition is a really good factor for brand salience.
Making your brand unique, bold, and authentic can help in positioning and building saliency. Differentiation is one thing, and Distinctiveness is another. Both fought from the currency of saliency.
Research conducted by Investpro suggests that 22% of consumers say that authenticity is the most important brand attribute. External cues that people see, hear, or feel can be correlated with memory that is in turn attached to a brand. You see a Netflix ad that starts and ends with the Netflix logo and the “Ta-Dum” and when you go to the Netflix app or website, the first thing you hear and see is the same. All your ads and brand assets should reflect this. Nowadays, most brands try to be as authentic as they can with their beliefs and philosophies. Those who dare to be different and unique are often more successful.
Find newer ways to reach other potential customers
With the increase in technology and brands taking to social media, new channels are abundant at your disposal. This allows access to reach audiences anywhere across the globe. There are newer and better ways to reach out and create memory structures with potential customers almost every day!
Be creative, increase engagement and try newer methods of communication that help you become more relevant to your target audience. Try doing podcasts, create a twitch channel, get creative with your emails, befriend technology, and don’t be scared to experiment with newer channels.
Be brave enough to be disruptive
Being brave and planning different marketing campaigns that stand out from the usual traditional conservative ones can get you good results. A report from AdAge suggests that out of 6000 marketing campaigns studied those who stuck to the usual ads performed lesser, had a lesser engagement, and reached lesser audiences.
Use the 60/40 rule on marketing effectiveness and take it up a notch
A report by Les Binet and Peter Field on Marketing Effectiveness in the digital era suggested the 60/40 rule on brand building and activation marketing. This ratio will help find the optimum balance between both that will secure a win for your brand.
According to the research, identifying your target, your position, and defining clear objectives become the backbone of your marketing strategy. Effectiveness comes from maintaining the balance between what is done in the long term vs short-term strategies for the brand. “Perfectly balanced…as all things should be”. Sadly Thanos was not talking about the effectiveness of a marketing strategy. Binet and Field found that 60% focus should be on brand building, and the other 40% should be focused on sales activation. This might differ with the type of brands and their requirements. They have suggested that for premium brands, brand-building needs to be pushed to 65%.
In a rapidly changing world with newer issues and problems arising every day, brands try to constantly change their context. This influences their approach of effectiveness. This affects the choices people make on the products and services they purchase. It also affects brand pricing, innovation, category, and development.
With a plethora of brands fighting to be different and stay relevant, it is time to achieve brand saliency using the multiple factors of marketing. Salience, distinctiveness, differentiation, and meaning together! With all these factors combined, I am captain BRAND! This sad attempt at a captain planet reference was to show that all these factors aid the brand to connect better with their audience and find a space in their minds permanently. In this manner, they become the first choice that comes to mind.