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Brand salience - an unsung hero

Brand salience is very much the unsung hero of brand metrics and a crucial thing for marketers to build. Now, I know that building brand salience is not the only thing that matters. You do need competitive products, slick technology, service that delights and excellent people.

But without strong brand salience, all these other things must work a lot lot harder.

What is brand salience you ask?

Well it is a crucial part of marketing cognition. In cognitive psychology, “salience” refers to what is most prominent or noticeable. As humans we notice things that stand out – perhaps it is an innate survival instinct, who knows?For marketers, brand salience is the degree in which your company is thought about, or noticed, when someone is at a particular buying stage. when a customer is in a buying situation. This is not the same as brand awareness, which if often the more frequently used metric. No. Salience is all about the probability of your audience thinking about your brand at the time when it matters most. You may have the most competitive products, slick technology, first class service – but that matters not if your brand is not thought about or considered. That is brand salience. And the great thing about this is it can be measured and as your brand salience grows, so will your sales volume. Emotional Connections

The brain has a great ability to filter out messages that are not relevant to us. When not buying a new car, most people filter out car ads. But when we are in the process of buying a new car, we notice the ads more. And even more so post-purchase, where we also tend to see lots of cars like the one you just bought on the road, which you never noticed before.

Building Salience

Therefore your messages have to be relevant – relevant to where your audience is in the sales funnel. And those messages have to be delivered and talk in a way that is relevant. You need consistency too. You need to say it, say it and say it again. Political parties have always been good at this – one big message delivered with consistency.

Timing is crucial too. The good thing is that there is now lots of smart CRM systems that can generate relevant messages in real time. For example, someone has been on your website showing interest, your marketing automation kicks in and delivers the right message right then.

Brand salience in the modern world.

Consistency is crucial as it helps build memory structures. If you have to many messages, structures are harder to build. Memory structure increases your chances of being considered at the buying point. Your job as a brand is to stay permanently visible by being exactly what your audience needs, right when they need it.

It’s A Competitive Airspace

You are competing with so many other companies though, so building brand salience is not easy and takes time. Therefore, you need to stand out. People once talked about USPs – they are old hat. We had differentiation too. But the key is to be distinct and stand out. Be a bit different. You need to cut through the noise out there. And if you can connect at an emotional level, so much the better. Is your design unmistakably yours? How can you make your look and feel unforgettable?And find new ways to reach your audience to build those memory structures, such as podcasts and video.

The Best Thing To Be Is Remembered

I know that building brand salience is not the only thing that matters. You do need great products, great technology, great service and excellent people. But without brand salience, all these other things must work a lot lot harder.


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