Mental availability or emotional CONNECTION

September 8, 2016

 

The argument for brands focusing on mental availability goes something like this.

   

If you want people to choose your brand, it has to be available to be chosen.

   

That means first, it has to be physically available. People have to be able to find it.

   

Assuming they do, it then has to be mentally available to them. They must notice it. When they do, they’ll process the encounter. And when they do that, it must trigger some kind of memory.

 

There are different kinds of memories that can be triggered.

 

Some relate to the cues that make the brand distinctive – its name, the logo, a colour, a strapline, an icon, a unique characteristic, a perceived benefit, its advertising, its packaging, maybe even its view of the world, a purpose.

 

Others relate to the experience – what it does for you, who else buys it, where you come across it, when and where it’s consumed, with whom, with what.

 

In there will be rational and emotional reasons why people buy the brand. But what matters is keeping the memories alive. They are what create the intention to buy rather than persuasive arguments.

 

That’s because availability is a heuristic. Ultimately, it’s about minimising risk and saving time and effort.

 

So use multiple messages, the more the better. Let loyalty take care of itself. Concentrate on changing behaviour.

 

And you do that by making memories.

 

 

The argument for brands focusing on emotional connection goes something like this.

 

The main driver of behaviour is emotion. So start with people’s emotional needs.

 

Then decide on a target. To do that, you have to segment.

 

With a clear target, you know the specific need that matters most to those people.

 

So now discover the insight. What’s the real truth about your target and the category? How do they really want to feel? What gets in the way of that happening?

 

And how could your brand resolve that tension? That’s the opportunity. To build a connection with your target based on that insight.

 

Make sure you use everything that makes your brand distinctive – its name, the logo, a colour, a strapline, an icon, a unique characteristic, a perceived benefit, its advertising, its packaging, maybe even its view of the world, a purpose.

 

And if you use emotion to be memorable, people will pay more attention.

 

Because, in the end, one of the deepest needs we all have is for Connection. We want to know we’re not alone with our feelings.

 

Do all this and it may not lead to undivided loyalty. It also doesn't have to mean building a deep, meaningful relationship with your target. They have better things to do.

 

It simply means building a connection based on emotion.

 

And you do that by making memories.

 

Same objective, different strategy.

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