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Mental Availability: A key secret to brand growth

March 13, 2024

Karen Chandler

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With the world in constant flux, building a strong brand presence is essential for companies looking to grow. One crucial aspect of this is understanding and harnessing the power of Mental Availability. But what exactly is it, and why should brands focus on it in 2024?

What is Mental Availability?

Mental Availability refers to the extent to which a brand occupies space in consumers’ minds, influencing their purchasing decisions. It encompasses the strength of associations consumers have with the brand and how readily it comes to mind when they consider a product or service category. Unlike traditional brand tracking metrics, which often focus solely on current buyers, Mental Availability metrics also consider non-buyers and brand rejectors. This provides companies with insights into potential growth opportunities and barriers to purchase.

Why should brands care about Mental Availability?

Simply put, it’s about how easily a brand comes to mind in different purchase situations within a specific product or service category. Unlike physical availability, which focuses on accessibility and ease of purchase, Mental Availability emphasizes the brand’s presence in consumers’ minds during relevant purchase moments. It’s akin to being a familiar face in a crowded room.

In today’s competitive market, where consumers are bombarded with choices, being top-of-mind is crucial for brands. Tracking Mental Availability involves measuring metrics such as mental penetration, network size, mental market share, and share of mind. These metrics provide valuable insights into brand recall across different Category Entry Points (CEPs), helping brands understand their positioning and increase their likelihood of being considered by consumers in relevant purchase situations.

For instance, while many people may be aware of a brand like the National Lottery, not everyone immediately considers it for specific needs, such as buying a gift to put into a card. This specific need represents a Category Entry Point (CEP), a key measure of Mental Availability. Understanding these CEPs and measuring the brand’s share of them allows brands to gauge how likely people are to consider their brand compared to others in relevant purchase situations.

Strategies for success

Understanding Mental Availability is only the first step; brands must also take proactive steps to enhance it. Strategies for enhancing it include:

Messaging alignment
Ensuring that brand messaging aligns with the Category Entry Points (CEPs) identified through research. Messaging should resonate with consumers in specific purchase situations, increasing the likelihood of brand recall.

Standing out from competitors by leveraging distinctive brand assets (DBAs) that make the brand memorable and easily recognisable in consumers’ minds.

Targeted marketing efforts
Direct marketing efforts towards reaching consumers during relevant purchase moments. Utilising channels and tactics that resonate with consumers in specific contexts, will increase brand visibility and recall.

Continuous monitoring and adjustments
Regularly monitoring and analysing Mental Availability metrics to track progress and identify areas for improvement. Brands should adjust marketing strategies and messaging as needed to maintain and enhance Mental Availability over time.

In today’s competitive marketplace, understanding and enhancing Mental Availability is crucial for brand success. By focusing on strategies to increase brand recall and presence in consumers’ minds during relevant Category Entry Points, brands can strengthen their positioning and increase their likelihood of being considered by consumers. Through continuous monitoring and adjustment of marketing efforts, brands can stay top-of-mind and drive growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Nepa’s Mental Availability offer

Because we believe Mental Availability is so important, if you sign up to one of our Brand Tracking packages before the end of March 2024, we’ll boost your insights with our Category Entry Points module free of charge. Plus, we’ll throw in a complimentary data deep-dive meeting so you can really make the most of your investment (altogether worth 12,500 EUR)!* Find out more here.

* For Brand Tracking packages over 3,000 EUR / month for a minimum of 12 months, purchased before 01/04/24