The bottom line of branding is to achieve Top-Of-Mind Awareness (TOMA) for your business. It simply means to position your brand or specific product and have it occupy the topmost position of customers’ minds when they think of your industry. In marketing, Top-Of-Mind Awareness is a way of measuring how well brands rank in the minds of consumers. TOMA when defined in marketing metrics, is the first brand that comes to mind when a consumer is asked an unprompted question about a category. It is the percentage of customers for whom a given brand assumes the topmost of their minds.
Let’s illustrate TOMA with an example. We walk into a supermarket with the intent to buy a jar of peanut butter; Brand X flashes in our minds; in a jiffy we move towards the shelf, locate it and make the purchase. It doesn’t just happen. We were exposed to consistent branding efforts of Brand X; we were told of their unique selling proposition and brand promises; we liked the messages and experiences that we had received and placed the brand at the topmost position of our minds. Achieving TOMA is beneficial for businesses. How do brands achieve TOMA?
1. Increase Your Brand Exposure
When a business increases its brand exposure, it builds brand awareness. Your business can never achieve TOMA if nobody knows of your existence. Lets do a simple test. Shout out the first brand that comes to mind when I say cola? How about running shoes? And yes, our answers are all based on the brands that we know and have been exposed to. Those brands that we have never come across will not be mentioned in our answers.
There are many ways to make brand exposures. Your brand can be exposed to the public when you engage in community work. A marketing campaign that carries your brand identity is a brand exposure. A social media platform can be the place where your brand is exposed to the online community. The list just doesn’t end. There are countless ways to increase your brand exposure.
2. Make Brand Promises
Make promises that a consumer can connect with your brand. Brand promises are the audience expectations of a brand. They are the benefits that marketing campaigns try to associate with a product or service in the audiences’ minds. Brand promises can be communicated through visible or audible mediums. Brand promises are relevant even in the case when consumers do not immediately heed your call to action which may include buying your product or acquiring your service. Promises reside in the mind of consumers and collectively, they inch your brand towards the topmost of their minds.
3. Deliver a Positive Brand Experience
We have to be mindful that brand exposure is like a double-edged sword. Every brand exposure creates an experience and finally forms a perception to the consumers. A poor experience or design creates negative brand sentiments. A good experience or design makes positive impressions. It is therefore important for companies to produce quality experiences out of the brand exposures they make. The next time when you decide to settle for poor designs, think again! Poor communication design is detrimental to your brand.
Top-Of-Mind Awareness is the end goal for branding. Businesses of the same industry vie for the same topmost spot in consumers’ minds. It is the prized throne that is sought after by many. How well is your brand ranking? Start vying for the throne if you haven’t already!