Brand awareness is a crucial strategic performance indicator for businesses as it plays an important role in the initialisation of a purchasing process. This is where consumer behaviour, the purchase decision funnel and the brand awareness set come into play.
Consumer behaviour is concerned with studying how consumers, e.g. individuals, groups or organisations, make purchasing decisions based on emotional, behavioural and intellectual influences.
Purchase decision funnel
The purchase funnel is a model based on consumer behavioural studies which depicts the customer journey through different funnel stages before purchasing goods or services. This decision funnel is subcategorised into four phases: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. The Action phase which represents the actual purchase is strongly impacted by the three preceding phases which lead a consumer from brand awareness to brand desire. These steps are the crucial contact points for businesses to win over customers.
Brand awareness set
Typically, when the need to purchase a product or service arises, consumers consciously or unconsciously search their memories for any known brands, called the awareness set
, which are then subdivided into suitable and unsuitable options depending on the extent to which these options satisfy the respective need at hand. Unsuitable brands move into the consumer's inept set
, indifferent brands into the inert set
and suitable brands into the evoked set
. In cases that an insufficient number of evoked brands are accessible in the memory, external research, e.g. search engine queries, product/service comparison web pages, recommendations from friends and family, can be used to round off the purchasing decision. Brands that are then rejected make way for brands that are finally purchased.
The goal for businesses is then to deliver an amazing product or service and provide an extraordinary experience to the customer to confirm his/her assumption that he/she bought the best option with the time and resources available.
If this process is successful, companies will be able to complete the purchasing cycle by remaining the top-of-mind awareness brand
which awards them the competitive edge needed for the next time the customer goes through the purchase decision funnel. The top-of-mind awareness concept refers to a brand coming to a consumer's mind first when thinking about a certain industry or product/service category.