Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why "Top of mind" works

Few people dispute the value of "Top of mind awareness."  Essentially, when someone needs something you offer, if you have managed to stay engaged with them or at least keep your advertising in front of them, you will be the first person they think of.  Being a prospective customer's first thought is great, but what is it that makes it so much more valuable than say, their second thought?

Just like in group decision making, it is difficult to know where to begin even for our own personal decisions. For this reason, we take the short cut of basing our decision criteria off of the first possible solution.  

If you're looking for lunch, the obvious criteria is, it has to be good and fill you up.  That's a very general criteria making it difficult to come to a decision.  Once you have a first suggestion, regardless of quality, you will see that your criteria quickly starts to take real shape. 
McDonalds?  No, I don't want a hamburger.  I want something healthier, like maybe a salad or a nice sandwich with a decent place to sit and a nice atmosphere for under $10.

When you are a customer's first thought, you are the yardstick that they measure every other option with.  This gives you the power to not only satisfy their needs, but sell your unique offering that few can measure up to.  
Panera? Hmmm, they have sandwiches, salads, soups, a nice atmosphere, and amazing cookies all for under $10.  Sounds good.  Other places have soup, salad, and sandwiches, but they don't have the same cookies.

The goal of most advertising is being in front of the customer when they need you; to be at the top of their mind.  If you combine that with a unique offer, you have the power to guide your customers' decisions.