Top of mind branding is a long process. It’s not easy; it costs money, and it doesn’t create immediate traffic. Trust me, many times along this journey to a great brand; you’ll have to remind yourself why you’re embarking on this endeavor at all. So when those moments hit, just remember why a great brand is critical to your success.
Top of Mind Branding = Consideration Set
When it comes to making a choice to try a new business, you naturally run through your “consideration set” and choose from it. What’s a “consideration set” you ask? Try this, list three dinner spots off the top of your head. Got ’em? Good. Those three places you just listed were in your “consideration set.” It is important to be in your target audience’s consideration set because they are most likely to choose to go to dinner at one of the first three places they think of. If you’re not in the top three — you’re not getting their dinner business tonight.
Getting into the top three — that’s branding, creating a position for someone’s consideration set for your company so that when they are ready to go out for dinner, buy a new car, or find a new insurance agent; your business is thought about. There are no two ways about it; it’s a long-term investment. The good news is that if you’re doing the work, creating a compelling position, and creating alignment with the brand for your business, it will all pay off in the long run.
A Real World Top of Mind Branding Example
Back when I was doing marketing in the world of finance, I had the privilege of working with a brilliant marketing firm. The principal at this firm assured me that by the end of the year (it was January) everyone in the city would be able to name my financial institution in a list of three.
We spent a lot of money for the market on branding and fostered a great deal of what he called “likeability.” And at the end of the year, he was right — people did indeed list us in their consideration set. To be fair, we weren’t an unknown quantity in January, we were an established brand. And we didn’t have people knocking down our doors at the end of the year to open a checking account. But our business steadily increased, and the top of mind awareness we bought with our brand was critical to our ongoing growth and success.
Finance is a lot like other service-based businesses. It takes a lot to get someone to change to another business. It’s a hassle, it’s a pain, and often–you’re not improving your position much. So the key for a service-based business is to be on the consideration set. So that when the consumer is ready to make a change, they are ready to make a change to you.
That’s why you’re spending all this time, energy and money on creating a great brand. To reap the benefits the next time someone gets fed up with who they are doing business with now.
Feel free to re-read this post as often as necessary.