consumer buying process

How brands can stay top-of-mind throughout the consumer buying process

For brands, establishing a connection during the consumer buying process is critical for gaining sales. By being at the top of the consumer’s mind as they select given products, brands gain an edge on the competition. However, achieving this top-of-mind spot can be difficult in the shopping aisle, as consumers are viewing the brand’s products right next to its competitors. Mobile can be a powerful way to guide consumers to a product in the store, and in turn help brands drive sales and expand their market share.

The consumer buying process has changed exponentially since the development of smartphones. This change has impacted both online and in-store sales, as consumers are more frequently relying on their smartphones to assist them in making purchase decisions. As that’s the case, brands that wish to remain at the forefront of the consumer’s mind during the buying process must be prepared to leverage mobile options.

How Top-of-Mind Awareness Impacts the Consumer Buying Process

Top-of-mind awareness is possibly the highest level of recognition a brand can achieve when it comes to consumer purchase behaviors. This type of awareness indicates consumers can spontaneously recall a brand’s name when asked about the products they offer. The brand and the product are intertwined, increasing the likelihood that the consumers will purchase that brand when they need a product.

In some cases, the brand’s name becomes synonymous with its categories of products. Consider products like Band-Aids or Q-Tips. When a consumer goes to the store to purchase either of these items, they’re not thinking they need “adhesive bandages” or “cotton swabs.” Instead, they are thinking of the brands most known for producing these items.

the consumer buying processAchieving top-of-mind awareness requires extensive marketing, as one message will not be enough to create that ongoing recognition. There is a marketing rule designed to underline this need for repetition called the Rule of Seven. The rule states that consumers must see a brand’s advertisements, or interact with them at least seven times during an 18-month period before they’ll be able to remember a brand consistently. Most marketers agree this is a relatively good estimate. However, it is possible to reduce this number by reaching out to consumers when they’re in a purchase mindset.

Using Mobile Marketing to Connect With Consumers

Mobile marketing offers a better opportunity to improve top-of-mind awareness by allowing brands to market to consumers when they are near a product. The benefits of leveraging mobile marketing include:

  • Increased sales potential: Non-mobile marketing typically occurs when the consumers are not near a product. As a result, by the time the consumer sees the product in the store, they’ve likely forgotten the marketing message. By marketing to a consumer during the purchase process, the brand can strengthen product awareness and increase sales potential.
  • Better product visibility: Certain mobile apps, like Shopkick, can be used to direct consumers to products in the store. This is accomplished by incentivizing engagement through rewards points (or in Shopkick’s case, kicks) which consumers earn for interacting with the product in the store. This process familiarizes the consumer with the product’s location, so if they are in the market for that product in the future, they’ll likely remember the brand. Additionally, as the consumers physically handle the product, they are primed to recognize it on a subconscious level, again boosting automatic recognition of the brand.  
  • Improved customer understanding: Data obtained through mobile apps allows brands to gain greater insight into their target markets, as well as what motivates them to buy. Brands can discover points along the purchase path where consumers may stop and reconsider, and find ways to resolve those issues and push them through to sale. Brands can also use this data to strengthen their future marketing decisions by getting a better understanding of what the consumer likes, their interests, hobbies, and needs.
  • Stronger brand awareness: Mobile marketing, in conjunction with in-store advertising, can improve the consumer’s ability to remember a product and brand, which can eventually lead to that top-of-mind awareness so many brands desire. It creates context for the marketing message which helps the consumer remember the brand.

Brands should consider a variety of mobile marketing options when taking advantage of the medium to connect with consumers. Leveraging both third-party apps along with branded apps helps to expand a brand’s audience, and increases the number of marketing messages the consumer sees.

Brands should consider a variety of mobile marketing options when taking advantage of the medium to connect with consumers.

Short mobile marketing messages can be even more impactful than more expensive campaigns during the consumer buying process. These messages allow the brand to connect with consumers as they’re about to make a purchase, and share their message in the shopping moments that matter. This encourages spontaneous recollection and helps to keep the brand at the top of the consumer’s mind as they shop.

Shopkick helps our partners stay at the top of the consumer’s mind as they’re in the shopping aisle and while they make purchases online. To learn more about how our innovative mobile app can improve brand awareness, contact us.

Image courtesy of Gorodenkoff



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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.