One of the best implicit and over-time achievements of a marketer is when his brand is chosen over a thought through process. A catchy packaging or an attractive promo might give you an edge over your competitors, but the probability of churn goes up as the decision was made hastily while picking up your brand. Whereas, if your brand is selected combining the behavioral and attitudinal measures, meaning based on your Brand Consideration, you are likely to gain more reliable purchase. Hence, marketers might want to put a long term effort on Brand Consideration to grow the brand further.
STEPPING ASIDE FROM TRADITIONAL KPI
Brand Consideration is not only a strong KPI (Key Parameter Index) for advertising; it is primarily a measure on Brand (Health) Tracking studies. It depicts consumer’s likelihood of purchasing a brand next, which is generated from their predisposition toward that brand. Research found out that Consideration did relate to sales. However, one of the reasons for putting less effort on Consideration in our market than on the traditional KPIs (like – Top of mind awareness, brand used most often, brand imageries etc.) might be for lack of understanding of its importance, especially in long term.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND CONSIDERATION
Consideration is a metric that shapes consumer expectation from a brand, and in turn is shaped by the experience of it. In that sense, it evolves with consumer relationship with the brand and market dynamic. Various communication from a brand creates expectation in consumers, which, if turns out to be more benefiting for them, creates consideration, hence leads to purchase. Upon experiencing the brand (or product from the brand), consumers make a revision to their initial stand on it, changing their consideration for future purchase. And the cycle goes on, without ending.
How to improve
Rumor has it, building awareness helps a brand grow certain consideration and it moves with the shift in spontaneous awareness. Well, news is, this relationship between unaided awareness and consideration varies market to market, category to category. The variation could be attributed to level of competition, size of the brand, importance of the category in consumer mind, and dynamism of the category and the brand itself. Marketers must recognize that targeting unaided awareness may not lead to a rise in consideration. It is rather generated more based on consumers’ usage, which should be driven by the brand’s positioning, value proposition and consistency between what is being communicated to the consumer and what is getting delivered.
- i) Brand Positioning: Positioning of a brand has to be meaningful to consumers; it has to serve a specific need in the market. If the need that the brand is meeting, is too generic, it won’t create any differentiation for the brand for consumers to consider in their next purchase. Furthermore, unique positioning today might not remain unique in the years to come. Hence, the brand needs to be dynamic as well. In short, the brand has to position itself in consumer mind as a provider of benefit that they clearly need and not being served by any competition. This brings in the importance of value proposition.
- ii) Value Proposition: Consumers do not buy a product or brand simply because someone put a lots of effort in building it, they rather buy believing the brand would serve their purpose. This belief is the value a brand offers. However, superior the value a brand proposes, it would not serve in the long term, unless it delivers at the level consumers expect it to. Managing consumer expectation is important in this respect, which could easily be taken care of through communication.
iii) Communication: The reason behind Brand Consideration being one of the major KPIs for advertising is because communication plays the first strike in creating the likelihood of purchasing your brand next. Now it could create how the usage experience of your brand would be or remind the consumer about the experience they previously had. So if the objective of your communication is to improve your brand’s consideration for next purchase, make sure it talks about the brand’s experience and ends the story with a lasting impression so that it stays in consumer mind while they would be making brand decision.
- iv) Consistency in communication delivery: As communication creates expectation, hence consideration for future purchase, experience of the brand could also be influenced through communication. However, there is a limit to influencing consumer experience through communication, and is a tricky business altogether. Manipulating consumer experience through communication requires thorough understanding of consumers. One quick fix to this challenge is consistency, linking with the consumer feedback of their experience. Communication must be aligned with actual product delivery or usage experience. In other words, Do NOT over promise. Intuitive this may sound, yet marketers often struggle and fail to maintain rational consistency.
WHAT TO EXPECT (SHORT OR LONG TERM IMPACTS)
Now that you know the importance of Brand Consideration and few measures on how to improve it, you must understand what are the impacts you are looking at and when. First and foremost, consideration takes time to build up, it is more of a long term equity measure than quick sales tool. Take time for creating consideration. Secondly, it is a high maintenance measure, once achieved; a brand needs to put effort in maintaining the position. Maintaining position is not just doing what it did to achieve, rather imposing improvement in its value and positioning through clearer understanding of the changed dynamic of the market.
BY Khandaker Haniya
Senior Manager, Consumer Insights
The Nielsen Company (Bangladesh) Limited