Tiffany Joy Yamut Author
UpViral Team
April 3, 2024

What Is Top-of-Mind Awareness in Marketing? And How to Keep Your Business Top of Mind

What Is Top-of-Mind Awareness in Marketing? And How to Keep Your Business Top of Mind

Brand awareness is like the scent of a familiar perfume in a crowded room. Like the lingering fragrance that leaves a lasting impression, effective brand awareness lingers in the minds of consumers, influencing their choices even when surrounded by numerous options.

A brand that excelled in its brand awareness strategy and has reached top-of-mind awareness status is Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola's brand awareness efforts are evident in its iconic logo, distinctive packaging, and memorable slogans such as "Open Happiness" and "Taste the Feeling."

Through decades of strategic marketing activities, Coca-Cola has ingrained itself in the minds of consumers as the go-to choice for refreshing beverages. People often think of Coca-Cola first when they want to drink a soda, even though there are many other soda brands out there.

If you’re interested in learning more about the importance of top-of-mind awareness for businesses and how you can improve yours, keep reading!

What Is Top of Mind Awareness?

Top Mind Awareness (TOMA) refers to the brand or product that first comes to a consumer's mind when they are asked about a particular industry or category.

When consumers have top-of-mind awareness of a brand, it means that the brand is the first one they think of when considering a purchase within that category.

You might be wondering, “What is an example of top-of-mind brand awareness?”

Here’s one: If someone is asked about fast-food restaurants and immediately responds with "McDonald's," then McDonald's has achieved top-of-mind awareness in that person's mind for fast food.

Top-of-mind awareness can vary from person to person. Different individuals may have different brands that immediately come to mind within a particular industry or category.

Factors such as personal preferences, experiences, exposure to advertising, and brand interactions can influence which brands individuals associate most strongly with a specific product or service category.

Other top-of-mind awareness examples include:

  • Nike: Their iconic swoosh logo and memorable "Just Do It" slogan have become synonymous with sports and fitness.
  • Google: When it comes to internet search engines and online services, Google is typically the first choice for many users.
  • Amazon: For online shopping and e-commerce, Amazon is often the first platform that comes to mind for consumers looking to purchase a wide range of products.

Marketers typically strive to achieve top-of-mind awareness among as many consumers as possible within their target market because they understand that not every customer thinks of their brand first.

Why Is Top of Mind Awareness Important?

Brands that have high TOMA are inherently more favored by consumers, as they are the ones readily recalled and considered first. This makes TOMA an important factor in driving sales and market share.

For this reason, marketers work hard to make sure their brand is the first one people think of.

Moreover, a brand that consistently maintains top-of-mind status is perceived as more reputable, reliable, and trustworthy by consumers. This can lead to higher brand valuation and greater long-term success for the company.

Also, when a brand is firmly established in consumers' minds, it can rely on organic word-of-mouth referrals and repeat purchases, reducing the need for expensive advertising campaigns to attract new customers.

Two female having a discussion

6 Ways Your Business Can Increase Top-of-Mind Awareness

If you want to achieve a competitive edge, you can increase brand awareness through top-of-mind awareness marketing. Here are some ideas to get started:

1. Create valuable and relevant content.

Content marketing is a way of promoting products or services by creating helpful and interesting content that people want to read, watch, or listen to.

By telling stories, showing expertise, and keeping in touch with the audience, content marketing can make your brand easy to remember and more likely to be chosen when people need something.

Content can come in various forms, such as blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, ebooks, webinars, and social media posts.

Effective content marketing often involves storytelling to connect with the audience emotionally. It also answers their questions so they have more information to decide whether to purchase your products or try your services.

📖If you’re interested in creating quality content, you can read our article on “Content Marketing for Lead Generation: How It Works

2. Offer exceptional customer experience.

Customer experience can significantly improve top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) because it creates positive associations with your brand and encourages customers to remember and choose your brand over others.

There are many ways to improve customer experience. One is providing timely and effective assistance to customers whenever they have questions, issues, or concerns.

Another way is to encourage customers to provide feedback about their experiences with your brand and take action to address their concerns or suggestions. Showing that you listen to and value customer feedback fosters trust and loyalty, and this contributes to improved TOMA.

Design unique and memorable experiences that reflect your brand's identity and values.

Whether it's through events, workshops, or exclusive offers, branded experiences leave a lasting impression and reinforce your brand's presence in customers' minds.

3. Hold seasonal and holiday contests.

Seasonal and holiday contests offer a great opportunity to create memorable experiences for customers and boost brand recognition. When customers participate in these activities, they tend to remember your brand better and connect it with positive feelings.

Additionally, contests and giveaways usually include sharing on social media, which helps spread the word about your brand to a wider audience. This social sharing aspect further enhances brand visibility and engagement.

Contests and giveaways also allow you to collect valuable customer data, such as email addresses and demographic information, from participants.

This enables you to stay in touch with participants after the contest ends, maintaining brand awareness through email marketing and other channels.

Here are some real-life brands that used contests to improve brand awareness:

Back to school season: Tasha Mayberry from Damask Digital

Tasha Mayberry used UpViral to do a multi-brand giveaway for Order Out of Chaos, resulting in almost 10,000 visits to the contest landing page, 4300 unique leads, and 1579 referred leads.

To organize the giveaway, Tasha approached other brands to sponsor prizes relevant to Order Out of Chaos' audience.

By partnering with other brands with a similar audience, Tasha leveraged the social following and email lists of the participating brands, increasing brand exposure and generating a bigger email list for Order Out of Chaos.

The giveaway helped increase brand awareness by creating excitement, engaging participants, and encouraging social sharing, ultimately making Order Out of Chaos more memorable and recognizable to potential customers.

Father's Day: Gisèle Rebel, founder of Foodie Content Factory

Two man carrying a product from foodie content factory

Gisèle Rebel, founder of a marketing agency called Foodie Content Factory, helped a restaurant business get 2,599 new leads, with 1,768 coming directly and 831 referred by others. Plus, they made €8,000 in sales during this time.

Gisèle's client, a restaurant called Common Sense, aimed to attract more customers for their online BBQ shop. They organized a giveaway campaign around Father's Day, offering prizes including a Kamado Joe Jr.® BBQ Grill and a smaller table BBQ grill. Moreover, everyone also received a recipe magazine with a discount on the BBQ shop.

The campaign was strategically aligned with the occasion, targeted the relevant audience, and ensured every participant won a prize, driving engagement and referrals.

By engaging potential customers with a giveaway related to their restaurant business, they kept their brand at the forefront of people's minds.

Christmas: Shire Talk and Kurnell Christmas Market

Brett Whipp is the owner of a social media agency called Shire Talk. He organized a giveaway campaign using UpViral to promote a local event, the Kurnell Christmas Market. In just 13 days, his plan got 841 email leads, 777 social media shares, and a whopping attendance of 20,000 people at the event!

The giveaway involved giving away two "Golden Tickets," each featuring prizes from various stalls at the event. By encouraging participants to share the giveaway on social media, Brett was able to reach a larger audience beyond his immediate network.

sample image of golden ticket

This increased exposure helped to raise awareness about the Kurnell Christmas Market among people who might not have known about it otherwise.

Participants who entered the giveaway and shared it with their friends were actively engaging with the event and its promotion. This engagement reinforced the event's presence in their minds and increased the likelihood of them attending.

4. Collaborate with influencers or industry experts.

Influencers and industry experts often have a loyal following who trust their recommendations. By collaborating with them, your brand gains exposure to their audience, which helps increase brand awareness and recognition.

Their endorsement can lend credibility to your brand, enhancing its reputation and positioning it in the minds of their followers.

Look for people who align with your brand values, target audience, and industry niche. Craft a compelling pitch explaining why you want to collaborate, highlighting mutual benefits, and detailing how their audience can benefit from your brand.

Provide influencers with exclusive offers, product samples, or access to unique experiences to incentivize collaboration. For example, you can team up with a popular fitness guru to talk about your workout gear on social media and let more people know about your brand.

🤓Read more: Creating an Influencer Marketing Strategy for Your Giveaway Campaign

5. Improve community engagement efforts.

Active participation in the community fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty among community members. It humanizes your brand, making it more relatable and memorable to local audiences.

Positive interactions and contributions enhance brand reputation and word-of-mouth referrals, reinforcing TOMA within the community.

Find local organizations, events, forums, or social media groups where your target audience congregates. Engage with community members by offering valuable insights, answering questions, and contributing to discussions without overtly promoting your brand.

Moreover, you can also sponsor local initiatives, events, or causes that align with your brand values and resonate with the community.

An example could be a soda drink brand organizing a recycling campaign in urban neighborhoods, where they set up recycling stations and reward participants with discounts on their products.

6. Maintain a consistent brand identity.

Consistency in branding creates a cohesive and recognizable image that sticks in the minds of consumers. It builds trust and credibility as consumers associate consistency with reliability and professionalism.

A consistent brand identity reinforces key brand messages and values, strengthening TOMA over time.

Define key elements such as logos, colors, fonts, and tone of voice to ensure consistency across all marketing materials. Create templates for marketing collateral, social media posts, and other materials to maintain visual consistency. Periodically review your brand guidelines and materials to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with your brand over time.

One example of a brand with a consistent identity is Apple.

Apple is known for its minimalist design, sleek products, and innovative technology. From its logo to its product packaging, advertising campaigns, and retail stores, Apple maintains a consistent aesthetic that reflects its commitment to simplicity, elegance, and cutting-edge technology.

list of apple products

Whether you're browsing their website, visiting an Apple store, or unboxing a new iPhone, you'll immediately recognize the clean and modern design elements that are synonymous with the Apple brand.

Final Thoughts

Top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) is a must because it ensures that your brand is the first one that comes to consumers' minds when they think about a particular product or service.

Putting effort into TOMA helps solidify your brand's position in the market. As a result, consumers are more likely to choose your products or services over competitors.

If you’re interested in running contests to improve TOMA, you can use UpViral. Using an UpViral giveaway, people can easily share your campaign with their friends. This spreads the word about your brand to more people, helping them remember it better. 😊

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