Top of Mind or Brand Awareness? The Choice is Clear

When you’re asked in a recall test about brands in a specific category, and you list three or four, you’re indicating your brand awareness.

When you need a product or service fast and your mind quickly goes to ONE firm, you’re indicating that company is top of mind.

Which spot is better for your company to occupy in the minds of others?

Top of Mind, without a doubt.

The smart business owners I work with have learned that keeping their companies Top of Mind no matter what the buyers buy, and how often, makes a huge difference to the top and bottom lines. For companies that rely heavily on referrals, being Top of Mind with their referral sources is equally critical.

On the other hand, the business owners I’ve talked to who practice hit-or-miss Top of Mind efforts, or don’t do anything at all, have hit-or-miss sales and profit and few referrals. I’ve even worked with some firms who respond to my recommendations for staying top-of-mind by telling me they’re “too busy.”

How can any owner be too busy pay attention to the people who have chosen to buy from them? This boggles my mind.

Tactics to Be Top of Mind

Are you ready to be Top of Mind with your buyers? Here are my top tips. Start with one or two immediately and add the rest over the coming 4-6 weeks.
Email communication

  • You can use an e-newsletter platform to quickly and easily create weekly newsletters. Write one original article, 500 words, and of interest to the reader. Pick a regular day and time and never miss a week! Long time readers of this newsletter know they’ll see it every Monday at 11:45 AM Eastern Time.
  • Another email practice that augments the newsletter platform is to use the mail merge function of your word program to share a relevant article or report with your list. I recommend about 4 times per year, on a different day from your newsletter.
  • You can also use email based invitation apps to invite people to appreciation events. No matter how much people complain about their in-boxes, email is very useful for getting and staying top of mind.

Blogs/Articles/Commentary and Letters to the Editor

  • Share your expertise via these different online content options. You can publish on your own blog, or blog for other sites. Find media that your buyers and prospects read and write letters to the editor or commentaries on hot topics. Be a bit contrarian to really stand out.
  • To boost your top of mind position with your buyers and good prospects, once published, use your email platform to send the link to everyone. Put links to your pieces on your website.

Gifts, Appreciation and ‘Why Stay?’ Messages
Nothing is as effective for keeping your company top of mind than to be appreciative, a lot.

  • Write a 12 month program that includes gifts, thank you notes and “Why Stay?” messages 6 times per year. That’s one every other month. You cannot be too busy to do this, or you’ll find yourself not busy at all as other companies become top of mind for the buyers you ignore.

The point of all this
Forget brand awareness. That is aimed at the vast universe of people unknown to you. It’s extremely hit-or-miss.

What does matter is that the right people think ONLY of your company when they have a need that your company can fulfill.

One lawyer told me that “all the guys” at one very large firm know him. He didn’t feel the need to work on keeping top of mind with them.

We did a brief survey of the lawyers at that firm asking if they could refer us to a lawyer in this person’s field. Only 15%  mentioned him. He got the point and began a thoughtful effort to become the only firm they thought of when his field comes up.

Being known is not the same as being top of mind. Where are you?

Are you feeling less than Top of Mind with your buyers and referrals sources?

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