What exactly is Brand Salience?

Every brand aims to create its own identity and stand out from their competitors. To achieve this goal, brands should be able to shape the decision making of the consumers especially when it comes to choosing among multiple brands. It’s the Salience that is a vital factor for the success of the marketer. Let’s understand what exactly is brand Salience and what can brand do to attain higher salience.

A brand can be defined as what people feel about it.  It’s the emotional connect of the consumers what makes the brand. 

Brand Awareness: People often use brand salience and awareness interchangeably but these are entirely different. Awareness focuses on how much the consumer is able to recall the brand either by name, logo or product. If the consumers know about the brand and have they heard about it is all about Brand awareness.

Brand Salience is how much the brand comes in the mind of consumers while they are out shopping. It’s the degree of being considered by consumers during the purchase scenario. Salience builds with consistency.  
If the buyer doesn’t think about the brand while purchasing, it’s almost as if the brand doesn’t exist for him.  We often tend to be biased towards a particular brand which may happen because of our familiarity with the brand or we had a pleasant experience while interacting with the brand in the past.  So, it’s our memory and past experiences about the brand that plays a key role in shaping the salience for a brand. A brand with higher salience often remains at top of the mind of their consumers during purchase.

Brand salience is a psychological phenomenon which depends on the perception that we have in our brain about the brand. The human mind is most powerful especially when it comes to holding past experiences. Memory structure often drives our inclination towards a specific marketer. Quantity and Quality of memory structure hold the key. 

  • Quantity of memory structure: Quantity of memory refers to the degree of memory linkage with the brand. A brand with more memory structures linked to it have greater salience and have a higher probability of appearing in the consideration set of consumers at the time of purchase.

For e.g. – A person on a diet is more likely to think about the salad at subway as compared to someone who prefers junk food. 

  • Quality of memory structure: Quality of memory refers to how strong is the customer’s association with the brand and is it relevant to him.

For e.g. – Subway Salad contains fresh vegetables and fruits which is a healthy and appropriate meal for someone on diet. The benefits it has for human body strengthens consumer’s association and is highly relevant to them.

What builds Salience?

Enhancing brand salience takes time.  It doesn’t happen overnight for the brands.  There is a number of factors which play a key role in helping brands elevate their salience.

  • If users are aware about the brand:

The most important factor that contributes towards building salience is user’s awareness towards the brand. User must know that the brand exists and what it does. Having insights into products and services offered by the brand would certainly entice the users to get connected with it.

  • If brand is visible to consumers:

A brand must aim to stay in front of its users, be it through social media or via other forms of advertising. Social platforms are the most preferred avenues for reaching out to a large audience and brands must have their social profiles and remain active. Quick resolution and effective delivery often result in higher salience for the brands. 

  • If a brand is relevant for consumers:  

Each brand holds a different level of importance for different consumers. Relevancy of brand for end-user largely depends on their interest area. Brands must target the customers keeping in mind their customer’s interest and needs. They should know certain parameters about their end users like age-group, gender which largely consume their product. For example, trying to sell whey protein to someone who never goes to the gym is not going to bring any salience for the brand.

  • If the brand has positive feedback in the market:  

Brands must encourage their existing users to spread positive reviews about their products. People tend to trust word of mouth a lot more especially if they come from their family and friends. Influencer marketing can also help a brand.

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