How Brand Grow (Pt 2) by Byron Sharp


“Brands can enjoy higher loyalty, but only if they very substantially improve their penetration. A loyalty-first strategy is simply not a growth strategy.”

Double jeopardy law – smaller share brands have fewer sales because they have lower customers  (1st  jeopardy), who are less loyal (2nd jeopardy)

To grow penetration, brands need mental availability (i.e. be considered) and physical availability (be there at the buying moment).  Larger share brands are thought of by more people in a category-buying situations and are available to buy in more places

“It is not possible to grow market share without reaching category buyers who never or very seldom buy your brand.”

“A growth-oriented strategy has to be a market penetration-oriented strategy. And tactics aimed at reaching out to new customers usually can’t help to also reach existing customers, who have a heightened tendency to notice the brand’s marketing activities.”

Are people loyal to the brand or to the category?  “A brand’s heaviest customers are already highly likely to be heavy buyers of the category so it is unlikely that they will increase their category buying rate”



“Any successful marketer develops a product range to take into account the heterogeneity among category buyers.  It’s essential to do this if you want to reach all people in all buying situation (that is, target the market).  But this does not require targeting specific buyers with each offer, as advocated by a segmentation strategy.  Instead, a better options is for an ‘anyone, anytime’ sales approach.”

Competitive brands will likely have similar audience profiles.  That means that your customers will also likely buy other brands in the same category and their rate of purchase will likely be reflected in market share of brands (i.e. your customers are likely to buy brand with higher market share than yours more often than they’ll buy you in that same way that your customers will buy brands with a lower market share fewer times than yours)



Important to understand cues that drive to category considerations – e.g buying coffee could be for pick me up; but then again that cue could also spark thoughts of a Red Bull can.


Key for brands is to then build links to as many meaningful cues as possible so that the brand is considered is as many different situations as possible.

Category Entry Points (CEP) are pathways to the brand.

Framework for creating CEPs are: Why, When, Where, With Whom?, With What?

“Large share brands are linked to a broader range of CEPs than smaller brands”

Metrics to consider: mental market share (brand’s % of CEP associations of the total CEP association for the brand and competitors); mental penetration (% of category buyers who link the brand with at least one CEP); network size (how many CEPs the brand is linked to)

“strong brands don’t rely on a single proposition but are mentally available across a wide range of category needs”

An advertising effectiveness metric is whether a brand is better known for a specific attribute than it should for its size

When looking at messaging strategy, worth considering (a) which CEP the execution will build & whether it will be obvious to light brand/category buyers; and (b) if this is a useful/common CEP for a large number of people.



In terms of emotions for the brand, non-buying doesn’t mean brand rejection, just as most people don’t love the brand – they are more likely to be indifferent. A watch out for research.



Distinctiveness is critically important so that people know what brand they are buying and can find you on the shelf when in channel

When looking at Distinctive Assets, need to consider how many people link the brand name to the element and how unique that is (i.e. do people attribute that asset more to you than to your competition)

Using Distinctive Assets:


Distinctive Assets can help a brand gain attention by:

  • Increase the branding within an ad
  • Braoden audience for brand exposure
  • Provide script independent branding
  • Improve quality of brand execution
  • Increase neuro-richness of brand
  • Connect executions across platforms
  • Connect past campaigns to current
    • Note of caution: when launching a new campaign, everyone’s attention is on the new; new message, new look and feel, new talent, and new media. But we need to also be confident that category buyers who see the new campaign know which brand it is for.



The first ad exposure has the greatest sales effect – that means that instead of planning for OTS, plan for reach first; grab as many people as you can rather than repeatedly communicate to fewer people

Double jeopardy law occurs in media consumption too – i.e. heavy media buyers will likely use widest channels and therefore likely to be exposed across channels; however this may not be desirable give the above point



Three questions to build physical availability:

  • Are you where you should be?
  • Are you buyable? Can people buy you (i.e. packaging size/price) and do they want to (right product extensions)?
  • Are you easy to find?



Heavy category buyers will generally buy new brands first as they are more aware of the category and are in market more often.

New products have lower loyalty because they buy mental/physical availability with a short burst of activity (advertising, incentives).  However, once those are gone, the things that drove people to purchase are now gone with them.  Rather than plan for bursts, plan for sustained support to maintain mental availability.

The most essential memory to build it what is the brand and what does it look like so it can be found.

Might be worth considering attaching brand memories to established category memories.



“Creativity helps your brand gain cu-through but without quality branding any advertising budget is quickly wasted.”

To make the brand obvious to everyone, consider:

  • Making the branding early
  • Is visually frequent
  • Is spaced throughout the ad
  • Has both audio and visual components to it

A CEP that is rarely used by rivals is usually less commonly used by category buyers.  And being less common means that typically they will be less relevant to light category buyers who have more general needs.


Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: