Ensuring that your brand stands out from it's competitors is essential for it's survival. With a dwindling attention span and an exponentially rising amount of brand choice, consumers are spending less time making decisions about what products to buy.
Brand Salience - defined as the degree to which your brand is thought about or noticed when a customer is in a buying situation - is essential in determining whether your brand will stand out and be remembered more than its competitors.
Brands with high salience ensure customers are driven by their desire and trust for the brand. Consumers don't want to think too much about what they need, they simply want a high degree of certainty and ease when making decisions.
Salience drivers are consumer neuroscience based principles used by marketers to ensure that their product delivers on the consumer's most heartfelt desires and needs.
What are these salience drivers?
Factors that affect the salience of a brand may be broken down into intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Here is a list of some of these factors (this list is not exhaustive, but it does represent some important examples).
Intrinsic factors include:
- Brand Trust. Related to brand equity and health, and includes reliability, consistency and integrity.
- Brand Values. What the brand stands for and what values it represents in broader society.
- Social Alignment. The historical and current relationship the brand and its associated products play in consumer life and the broader cultural context in which they are traded.
Extrinsic factors include:
- Product Placement. Where and how the product is positioned compared with competitors.
- Package/Design Features. The way the product is packaged, designed and represented compared with competitor products, the degree to which it represents the category, and whether it generates greater visual attention, interest and positive emotional responses.
For Brands that are well known and entrenched emotionally and cognitively (such as Coca-Cola and Apple), extrinsic salience features become less important than intrinsic factors.
However, for brands that are not entrenched in the hearts and minds of consumers, extrinsic factors such as product placement in-store and package design play a significantly larger role.
As brands continue to jostle to stand out from the crowd in the market place, those brands that are emotionally and cognitively entrenched should never underestimate the rapid change that can happen with their intrinsic brand associations and perceptions. It is well known that a brand can easily slip from grace and be replaced by either a more powerful competitor or a total shift in market choice.
A final note.
Brand salience is an abstract concept that can be challenging to tackle and often gets ignored by marketers. This is a tragedy, because it's a vital factor in ensuring your brand gets considered for purchase.
Now this wouldn't be a neuromarketing blog post if we didn't mention something about neuromarketing (which, of course, we love).
Neuromarketing allows brands to identify and optimise these salience drivers in the most efficient and unbiased way possible. Understanding how consumers respond to product and package design on a subliminal, subconscious level, and knowing how customers visually navigate a shelf space or what colours and shapes they find pleasing is all part of the invaluable insights that neuromarketing can provide for brands.