99.9% of the time, people don't give a shit about your brand' is a famous quote from Adam Ferrier. All the more important to know how to make sure your brand is top of mind in that short period of time that a consumer does consider a brand important. In this article 4 must-do's on the road to more brand growth.

  1. Increase your mental availability

To grow as a brand, you want to make it as easy as possible for consumers to buy your brand. The first way to do this is through mental availability. The more associations you can build as a brand in the mind of the consumer, the more paths there are to your brand. And the greater the chance of being bought.

The importance of this mental availability finds its origin in the Associative Network Theory and the Weak Theory of Advertising. The Associative Network Theory states that memory is a network consisting of 'nodes' connected by 'associative links'. Brand information is stored in these brand associations. In order to maximise the chances of being bought, the consumer should think of your brand in as many of these relevant buying situations as possible.

The Weak Theory of Advertising assumes that advertising does not so much directly encourage a purchase, but works by strengthening associations with a brand or product. Advertising is thus cognitively processed at a higher level. Advertising therefore consciously or unconsciously builds and strengthens associative links in the consumer's brain.

  1. Be physically available

It may seem like a no-brainer, but it's far from it: your product or service must also be easy to buy. This is more than just being in the right place, you also need to be visible and affordable. Both online and offline. A brand that does this well off-line is Cup-a-Soup, for example. Their strong recognition and the fact that they can often be found next to the coffee machine in the office, make it very easy to choose a Cup-a-Soup in the afternoon, when you are looking for a pick-me-up.

But good online visibility and findability also helps to increase your physical availability. The better you can be found online as a brand in the relevant purchasing situation, the easier it is to be considered and bought.

Take a brand in food supplements. Depending on the need, you might categorise it as 'health', 'beauty', 'self-care' or 'natural food'. The most important thing is that you claim search terms that meet the various needs of consumers. It is also important that you fall into the right product categories in a webshop.

A positive product review then gives just that little push in the right direction. And if, as a brand, you can also deliver today or tomorrow - because people prefer to start living a healthier lifestyle today - then all barriers have been removed.

  1. Take your time

Building an association network around your brand takes time. So make sure your message is carried over a longer period of time, and doesn't change with every annual plan or change of marketers. Take car brand Volvo. The brand has been communicating the importance of safety since 1927. For example, when people with children are considering a new car, safety is an important factor in their decision.

Because Volvo has always prioritised safety, it has a high mental availability among parents. They will therefore certainly consider the car brand in their customer journey.

  1. Be consistent

Finally, you boost your brand by communicating consistently. Let's stay with Volvo for a moment. The car brand communicates very consistently: everything you see, hear or read about the car brand relates back to the theme of safety. They also provide proof. Volvo's mission is to have no more fatal accidents involving a Volvo. The brand has thus created the opportunity to buy a Volvo consciously.

For example, by communicating the same message consistently over a long period of time, Volvo has firmly anchored the associations with safety in the minds of consumers, allowing them to benefit in the long term.

In short, in order to grow as a brand, it is important that people think of your brand in relevant purchasing situations. You achieve that by communicating consistently over a longer period of time. Then, through good physical availability, make it as easy as possible to be bought in those relevant situations.



This article also appeared on Frankwatching.

On 16 June Marceline will give a session about this topic together with colleague Noud Schartman at Nima Marketing Day.


Marceline Veen is Brand Specialist at Validators. Every day she gives marketeers tools to sharpen their communication. With the use of innovative tools and pragmatic advice, she helps brands to grow. Do you have a question? Please feel free to contact her!


Marceline Veen

Marceline Veen

Brand Specialist

06 13 22 97 67