A Link Worthy of Attention

I have really enjoyed the work Julian Cole has put into the Planning Salon. I thought I would share two of the more impactful interviews on the site.

The first is with Byron Sharp. I am a big fan of Sharp’s book, “How Brands Grow“. Julian and Byron’s discussion on mental availability is particularrly enlightening. In his book, Sharp, defines mental availability as “the propensity for a brand to be noticed and/or thought of in buying situations” (p.191). Mental availability relies on memories and the associations consumers have with brand. As memories and associations become linked, the information comes to resemble a network. Visuals, smells, memories and buying experiences become linked to brand. Check out Berger and Fitzsimons‘ work on environmental cues.

Sharp devoted an entire chapter to this concept, and he is quick to distance mental availability to top of mind- a metric I find much more useful, conceptually, than most awareness measures. The crux of the chapter is that consumers have a limited capacity for brand exploration across (and even within) product categories. Under this assumption much more energy must be placed to building strong brand assets. Distinctive brand assets help to build memory links and can increase:

“the number of people who think of a particular brand” and “the number of times each person thinks of a particular brand as an option to (buy)”

The second interview is with Adam Ferrier. Ferrier authored the recent book, “The Advertising Effect“. I actually threw out the chapter on advertising in the text book I use, and taught from Adam’s book instead. In his book, Ferrier created a beautifully simple model that aligns business goals and behavior change. The video outlines many of his thoughts that surround his book.



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