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What is Top of Mind Awareness (TOMA)?
Top of mind awareness (TOMA) is a brand awareness metric that is used to measure how well various brands rank in the mind of consumers. It is simply the first brand that comes to customer’s mind for a particular product category or industry.
For example if I say “toothpaste” and the first brand that comes to your mind is Colgate, then Colgate has the top of mind awareness for you.
Every brand strives to achieve top of mind awareness and campaigns that results in top of mind awareness are considered to be highly successful campaigns. Of course, if the product category is competitive then top of mind awareness is built gradually over a period of time with heavy advertising and branding consistency.
How to Create Top of Mind Awareness
The following 2 step process has been generally accepted to be effective in creating top of mind awareness. No rocket science here!
Step 1: Differentiate your brand proposition – This is the holy grail of branding and is easier said than done. In an ideal world, there would be a handful of brands with their own unique set of benefits and with their own strong bunch of loyalists. All these brands would have top of mind awareness in their niche. But the world is not ideal and we have a plethora of me too brands vying for your attention every day. If you can break the clutter by showing your uniqueness, half your job is done.
Step 2: Be consistent with your branding efforts – Once the people know clearly what you stand for, don’t confuse them or break your promise by being something else. And ensure that your customers get your brand message regularly and if possible, more than your competing brand. It’s all about winning the race for maximum brand exposure. It’s not without reason that biggies like Coke keep pumping billions into their ad campaigns, even though everyone who can buy a Coke already know about the brand. Just knowing is not enough, they have to remember Coke better than Pepsi!