The unknown, as mentioned at the start, is synonymous with unease. An unheard of brand not only fails to generate interest, it also tends to be regarded as dubious. Curiosity, interest and desire begin with awareness. According to the salience model, the more it resides at top-of-mind, the greater the likelihood that the brand is purchased.
This has implications on both the nature and the quantum of advertising. Brand awareness or salience increases with higher frequency of advertising and the use of brand cues, i.e. shortcuts that link to the brand via visuals, sounds or expressions. A brand name, icon, mascot, slogan, music, jingle, colour, celebrity etc. can serve as a cue. Coca-Cola, for instance, uses multiple cues including its brand name, logo, mnemonic, red colour, the shape of its bottle, and a slew of slogans over the years, such as “It’s the real thing”.
Advertising memorabilia is littered with catchy slogans that bring the brand they represent to mind (see Exhibit 22.3). For example: “A diamond is forever”, “Just do it”, “Have a break”, “Because you're worth it”, “Eat fresh”, “Be stupid”, “Think small” and many more.
Salience is likely to be important in low involvement, habit driven categories where consumers are less likely to make comparative assessments. In the context of behavioural loyalty, awareness is also important wherever purchases are made over the counter, as is the case with traditional retail channels in many developing countries.
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