June 27, 2017

How and Why Consumers Adopt Brands

By Norty Cohen

Turning the Conversion Funnel on its Side.

In the linear world of marketing, we’ve been jamming consumers through
the purchase funnel for at least fifty years. From mass media to targeted digital delivery the funnel always opens with a broad based reach strategy. Not a whole lot has changed in the way media is sold. Influencer companies are still selling reach. It’s the only thing they can guarantee even with a fraction of that actually delivered. MASS doesn’t equal MATH.

We know that despite the hype from the TV networks upfront parties this month, only 1/3 of TV is consumed live. Meanwhile, as marketers look at where they are spending their budgets, it’s still a tough sell to think about shifting from what has always worked. But ultimately the question needs to happen. How much mass is necessary? How can it get more cost effective?

As we studied how and why consumers adopt brands we found that word
of mouth, on line reviews – any third party conversation is 2.5x more likely to encourage
brand trial than TV, Facebook ads and You Tube ads combined.

top brands discover chart4 

So consumers talking about you is far more valuable than talking about yourself. And that means getting into their mindset. The opportunity? More awareness and a better shot at the conversion and loyalty side of the purchase funnel.

top brands one way to two way3

In this chart, we’ve turned it on its side. Currently awareness starts on the left – in the mass area. But what happens when consumers are talking? More awareness. And the kind that people pay attention to.

Brandon Rhoten – former VP Marketing at Wendy’s (now at Papa John's), gave us some great feedback that we’re publishing in our upcoming book, The Participation Game. They’ve been killing it by converting random social comments into mass awareness. The nuggets for Carter campaign reach 3.4 million retweets but did it in a way that truly transcends one way delivery. They just had a snappy answer to his question – “Hey Wendy’s – how retweets for free Nuggets for a year?” Rhoten’s team was on it – and within seconds said “18 million.” And the race for awareness was on. This openness to two-way consumer participation and not taking your brand too seriously – has propelled Wendy’s into legendary status with its target’s target.

That’s not a typo. Those retweets hit home with genuine messaging. Targeting your target’s target is hard. But the proof is in the nuggets. Can more brands begin to think this way? We’ve been working with our clients to create dialogue that transcends – and developing co-creation concepts that allow consumers to make shareable content with us.

The exponential reach of shared content implies endorsement. And loyalty ensues… 

Much of the Moosylvania studies and top 100 brand reports are included in the upcoming book, The Participation Game.

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