Brand Salience is the degree to which your brand is thought of or noticed. Strong brands have high Brand Salience and weak brands have little or none. Without brand salience people would not be choose your brand at the moment of truth.
At the moment of choice brands are retrieved based on both memory & attention salience:
- Memory salience: the mental network a brand has in a person’s mind as well as the mental availability of the brand (will people even have your brand in mind at the moment of choice?).
- Attention salience: the ability of the brand to capture people’s attention at the moment of choice.
In a typical decision cycle, routine decisions based on mental networks are disrupted occasionally by cues or stimulus demanding our attention. Brands need to act at both levels, reinforcing positive memory structures to aid memory salience and capturing attention e.g. through the use of distinctive brand assets or through more dissonant approaches designed to challenge people and force them towards a more cognitive level of processing to aid attention salience.
According to this philosophy, communication should not try to persuade, but to refresh memory structures and build on them, i.e. enrich the quality and quantity of associations between the brand and what it stands for, what it looks like, where it's available, when it's consumed, where it is consumed, by who, with whom and so on". E.g. Coke does not try to persuade people, it constantly reinforces associations with positive attributes (joy, fun, sharing), situations (beach, nightclubs, parties…) and properties (Coke red…Coke swirl…).
An integral part of this is to create consistent & constantly used, easy-to-remember iconic assets which will over time create familiarity with the brand and bring it front-of-mind when a consumer is shopping that category. Distinctive iconic assets are ones that are memorable through rich sensory & semantic cues. Examples include: logo, tagline, jingle, colour, packaging, iconic situations.
NB Within the Ipsos brand equity measurement approach – Brand Value Creator (BVC) – the level of brand salience a brand has is represented by the brand’s consideration level, defined as the percentage of people who use or consider the brand