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What is Brand Salience and Why Does it Matter?

September 29, 2022

In a world where there are thousands of brands competing for attention, it's more important than ever to make sure your brand is top of mind for your target market. But what does that mean, exactly? That's where brand salience comes in.

Brand salience is the degree to which a brand comes to mind spontaneously in a purchasing or consumption situation. In other words, it's how easily customers can recall your brand when they're thinking about making a purchase.

In this blog post we will be discussing the different types of brand salience, what factors influence it, why it's so important for businesses to focus on it and how it can be implemented in your business.

Types of Brand Salience

Functional Brand Salience

Functional brand salience occurs when a customer thinks of a particular product or service when they need it. For example, when you're thirsty, you might think of Coca-Cola because it's a drink that will quench your thirst.

Functional brand salience  is important because it can directly drive sales. If customers think of your brand when they need a particular product or service, there's a good chance they'll purchase from you.

Emotional Brand Salience

Emotional brand salience happens when a customer has a positive association with your brand that goes beyond just the product or service itself. For example, someone might think of Nike not only because they need new running shoes, but also because they associate the brand with feeling strong and empowered.

The Importance of Brand Salience

Brand salience is far more than just customers being able to recall your brand name. In fact, it's been shown to have a direct impact on customer behavior and purchase decisions.

Impacts behavior & purchase decisions

A study by McKinsey & Company found that brands with high levels of salience are twice as likely to be considered when making a purchase decision and three times as likely to be purchased as brands with low levels of salience.

And it's not just potential customers who benefit from high brand salience. The same study found that employees of companies with high brand salience are more engaged and productive, and that these companies see a higher return on their marketing investments.

Customers will think of you

If your brand is highly salient, that means customers are more likely to think of you first when they're ready to make a purchase. This is  because your brand name is top of mind, which gives you a huge advantage over competitors who are not as salient.

Customer loyalty

High brand salience can lead to customer loyalty; if customers have positive associations with your brand, they're more likely to stick with you instead of switching to a competitor.

Customer loyalty is key  for any business, as it's far cheaper to keep existing customers than it is to acquire new ones. In fact, a study by Bain & Company found that increasing customer retention rates by just 5 percent can lead to an increase in profits of 25 to 95 percent.

Weather though times

Another reason brand salience is so important is because it can help you weather tough times. For example, if there's an economic downturn and people are cutting back on spending, they're more likely to continue doing business with brands they're already loyal to rather than taking a chance on a new one.

Higher profits

Finally, high brand salience can also lead to higher profits; if customers think of your brand first and are loyal to it, they're more likely to spend more money with you over time. Having a high brand salience is an investment that will pay off in the long run!

Steps to creating brand salience

There are many routes you can take to create brand salience, but here are a few that we found most effective:

Create an emotional connection

One of the best ways to create brand salience is by creating an emotional connection with your customers. This can be done in many ways, such as telling stories, using humor, or evoking certain emotions in your advertising.  

Apple's "Get a Mac" ad campaign was extremely successful not only because it was funny, but also because it created an emotional connection with viewers. The ads depicted PC users as being boring and uncreative, while Mac users were cool and stylish. This resonated with many people, who then became loyal Apple customers.

Think about how you can create an emotional connection with your customers, and you'll be on your way to increasing brand salience.

Build customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is key to creating brand salience. There are many ways to build customer loyalty, such as providing excellent customer service, offering discounts and promotions, and making it easy for customers to do business with you.

Amazon is known for its exceptional customer service; they make it easy for customers to return items they're not satisfied with, and they're always quick to respond to questions and concerns. This has made them one of the most trusted and beloved brands in the world.

Be consistent

It's important to be consistent with your branding across all channels. This means using the same colors, fonts, logos, and messaging in your marketing materials, website, social media, and any other place where customers might interact with your brand.

Consistency will help customers easily recognize and remember your brand, which is crucial for increasing brand salience.

Create a strong visual identity

Creating a strong visual identity is another important step in increasing brand salience. Your visual identity should be unique and easily recognizable, so that it stands out from the competition.

Creating a strong visual identity is crucial  for any business, but it's especially important for small businesses. That's because small businesses often have less name recognition than larger ones, so they need to find other ways to make their brand more salient.

Some ways to create a strong visual identity include using unique colors, fonts, and logos; creating an iconic symbol or character; and using eye-catching visuals in your marketing materials.

Use advertising to reach a wide audience

Advertising is a great way to reach a wide audience and increase brand salience. There are many different types of advertising, so it's important to choose the right one for your business.

For example, if you're selling products online, you might want to use Google AdWords or Facebook ads. If you're selling products in brick-and-mortar stores, you might want to use print or television ads.

Sponsor events and causes that align with your brand

Sponsoring events and causes is a great way to increase brand salience, especially if the event or cause aligns with your brand.

For example, if you sell environmentally-friendly products, sponsoring an Earth Day event would be a great way to increase brand awareness and connect with potential customers.

Sponsoring events and causes will also allow you to network  with other businesses and build relationships that can benefit your brand in the long run.

Get involved in social media

Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and increase brand salience. There are many different social media platforms, so it's important to choose the ones that are most relevant to your business.

For example, if you sell products for women, you might want to focus on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. If you sell products for men, you might want to focus on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Make it easy for customers to do business with you

Making it easy for customers to do business with you is an important part of increasing brand salience. There are many ways to make it easy for customers, such as offering free shipping, providing easy returns, and having a user-friendly website.

Making it easy to do business with you will open up  your brand to a wider audience and build trust with potential customers. It's also important to remember that customers have many choices, so it's important to make sure they choose your brand.


As you can see, there are many good reasons to focus on increasing brand salience for your business. By making sure your target market thinks of your brand first, you can increase customer loyalty and profits while weathering tough times better than your competition. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start building that brand awareness!

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