‘A brand that captures your mind gains behavior. A brand that captures your heart gains commitment.’

– Scott Talgo, Brand Strategist

Beyond Share of Mind

“Share of mind” is an approach to measuring the way consumers think about specific brands within a product category. If a consumer thinks about brand X more frequently than brand Y when considering a purchase of soup, for example, brand X has achieved a greater share of mind. Marketers aim to build and protect share of mind through effective positioning and communication.

Share of mind can also be defined as “the mental space a brand should occupy in the minds of the target audience.” To maximize share of mind, the marketing team needs to convince consumers that the brand offers the best combination of features and benefits that meet their needs.

The challenge for marketers is to build a brand that is “top of mind.” Consumers think of a limited number of brand names when they are considering a product category. Building a category-leading brand means achieving top of mind status with the greatest number of consumers. Some brands, such as Hoover, Aspirin or Kleenex, have achieved such strong top of mind status in their sectors that they have become generic terms for their categories

5 Dimensions of Brand Identity

BrandXpress  discusses the 5 types of “shares” that comprise brand identity. It seems appropriate to draw an analogy between brand equity and shares. As BrandXpress puts it: “the more shares a brand has, the stronger and more positive the relationship with consumers.”

Share of Mind

Creating mind share at the cognitive level of the consumer awareness means that the brand “evokes an internal neural representation in the minds of consumers, leaving behind certain brand impressions.” This relates to the functional utility of the product or service. It is the  lowest level of awareness because, as studies have shown, intellectual understanding is not a reliable motivator.  The importance of share of mind is that it places the brand on the “consideration list” or the mental list of brands that the client associates with a product category. For instance, if you are asked to name 5 face tissue brands among the 54 or so that you might find at retail stores, your list might include such well advertised brands as:

  1. Scott
  2. Kleenex
  3. Puffs
  4. Angel Soft
  5. White Cloud.

You’d be inclined to pick one of these over an unknown brand simply because you’ve heard of them.

Share of Heart

For a consumer to chose among those brands that are top of mind, such as those 5 above-listed tissue brands, it helps if there is an emotional relationship with the brand. Heart share moves the consumer beyond the product’s functional utility and functional attributes to its symbolic attributes – the beliefs and values associated with the brand.  If share of heart is established, the brand moves up in the consideration list. In addition to being on the consideration list – the list of products the consumer associates with the product category, it is also high on the list because a personal connection has been established with that brand.

F0r example, of the 5 tissue brands you’d be inclined to choose among, what would cause you to favor one over another? Here features and attributes vie against emotional connection.  If you were actively involved in environmental causes, you might be inclined to chose the one that is most eco friendly.  This is not really a product function so much as an expression of the consumers beliefs and values.

Share of Purchase Desire

Beyond an understanding of the functional utility of a brand and a heartfelt affinity for it,  unless there is a buying intention – a desire to buy the product, conversion can’t occur. BrandXpress refers to the inclination to buy as “buying intention share.”  Marketers use calls to action to provide a desire to purchase. Even if a product registers in the mind and heart, if there is no need or desire to own it, then there is little likelihood that the consumer will actually buy it.

An example of this is what Kellogg’s has done in it’s marketing approach to Crunchy Nut Cereal, which I wrote about here. The concept behind the ‘It’s morning somewhere” campaign is to create a craving for the product aside from its functional use as a breakfast time belly filler. Kellogg’s succeeded in this aim by extending usage occasions beyond breakfast and inventing a new high end category places the product in a category by itself as a satisfying consumer experience.

Share of Self Image

“Self share” indicates that the brand functions as a tangible expression of self-image within a larger social context, differentiating the individual within the social group. The brand bolsters self-image.

An example of this is Gillette’s “the best a man can get” campaign. Even though no one but you will know what razor you shave with in the privacy of your bathroom, the experience of shaving with a luxury brand shaver makes you feel more important, which reinforces your psychological sense of self.

Share of Ideal

BrandXpress calls this one “share of legend,”and explains it this way:

The brand shares in the existential search for meaning conducted by a consumer in a world enlightened to the point of meaninglessness and takes on a virtually religious character.

In other words, this aspect of brand identity gets to the root of the consumer’s sense of humanity, the consumer’s sense of the larger meaning of his or her existence is. It encompasses ideals such as honesty, decency, love, integrity and personal strength in the face of the vicissitudes of life.  It has often been remarked that Ideals like Democracy, Freedom and The American Dream are nothing more than mental constructs, notions, and yet, people give their lives for them.

When the Berlin Wall fell, and when President Obama, became the first African American elected to the presidency, the streets of Berlin and Brooklyn and were filled with jubilant celebrants. Deeply felt beliefs moved these people to spontaneous expressions of joy and brought them together in common action.

It is a rare brand that can tap such an emotional wellspring. The closest to this that I have seen is the long lines that form to buy the next generation of i-phone. Technology has become a god. As one i-phones fanatic wrote:

A friend who’s an Anglican minister recently suggested to me that Apple was somewhat like a secular religion, and there’s something in that. They promise to make your life better, they idealise a departed, prophetic leader and have a network of impressive temples around the world. (And unlike any church I’ve ever been to, Apple Stores offer free WiFi.) And both Apple’s logo and the Garden of Eden involve a fruit with a bite taken out of it. I reckon I could really get on board with an iReligion if they promised eternal battery life.

I think the underlying problem is that I genuinely believe that each new gadget will enable me to achieve the things I want out of life. That if I only had a really nice laptop, I would make myself sit down every day and do the novel writing that I wish I hadn’t fallen behind on. That if I had the latest model of Kindle, I’d read many more important books. And if I got a phone that had a snazzier camera, the life I captured with it would be that much more amazing. (I think that’s why people love Instagram.) And I keep telling myself these things even though every time I give into the temptation, the belief’s always immediately proven untrue.

No wonder Apple is the brand that everyone looks to emulate – they have delivered on all 5 dimensions of brand identity.