Moving shoppers past awareness of your brand
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
When thinking about getting people to shop locally, we can simplify the process into a basic conversion funnel.
The funnel works in the way that you can’t achieve a certain level in the funnel without first having those things above it. i.e. someone won’t purchase a product unless they are first aware of it, and would consider buying it.
There are circumstances where this may not be the case, for example, you could have ‘emotional loyalty’ to BMW cars, but have never actually purchased one. But for our purpose here, we will keep things simple and assume that shoppers move down the funnel in sequential order.
Thinking about local business, we can define each level of the funnels as follows:
Awareness – I have heard of that business.
Consideration – It is a business I would be willing to shop at. Most people will have a ‘consideration set’, which is essentially a number of different places that they would be willing to shop at.
Purchase – It is a business that I shop at on a regular basis.
Loyalty – I do the majority of my shopping in this category at this business.
I could split this funnel up even further by adding in a trial stage after consideration, and we could have several different levels of purchase and loyalty, as well as varying timeframes. Again, in the interest of keeping things simple however, we will stick with the four level approach shown above.
Obviously it is very difficult to get someone to buy from you if they don’t even know your business. And so making people aware of your business is the first step.
However, once awareness has been achieved in a market, the next focus needs to be in getting people into store to fully understand what is on offer, so that the business is considered next time a consumer needs to purchase something within this category.
One of my personal frustrations with smaller community advertising, is that it either focuses on awareness, or on purchase, and completely misses the consideration phase. Awareness advertising, in particular, is an area where I think considerable money is wasted in smaller communities.
In many instances, the majority of the community in small towns are already aware of most businesses by default, and so focusing just on general awareness is fruitless, particularly in the case of an established business. Yes, staying top of mind is important, and you continually have new people entering the local market, but I firmly believe that there is better 'bang for your buck' by focusing paid advertising, at least, on the lower levels of the funnel.
Sure if a business is completely unknown then top level brand awareness is going to be important. But if a business is already well known, then they need to focus on making people aware of what they can actually offer them, e.g. product range, additional service, price discounts, etc.
Many shoppers bypass local stores as they have the perception that what they require in terms of type or range is simply not on offer, or that the price will not be competitive. This could be due to a straight out lack of knowledge of a business, or rather a preconceived thought.
To help overcome this misconception, businesses need to either get people into their store, or have them engaging with their out-of-store platforms (i.e. website, social media, etc). And of course, once this interaction is achieved, they need to ensure that the customer has an informed positive experience, so that their business is considered again in the future.