It used to be the acronym as to how we thought people ended up purchasing things.
Awareness. Interest. Desire. Action.
Digital has changed this. In fact, I would argue that the acronym is now something like this.
Awareness. Consideration. Consideration. Exploration. Purchase. Talk.
Why two considerations?
Because before a purchase can be made, the mind needs to move from unconscious consideration to conscious consideration.
If a brand is not new, we probably already have an opinion of it. This opinion can be favorable or unfavorable. If favorable, we’re open to messaging about the brand.
If unfavorable, we’re not.
This opinion is an unconscious, auto-pilot behavior, where 90% of human behavior comes from. It’s lightening-fast decision making. (I call it “monkey-brain.”)
For a brand to move from unconscious consideration to conscious consideration, the brand needs to be presented in a new light to that consumer.
It’s probably not something rational that will do this, but rather some sort of emotional trigger that makes the consumer say, “Hey, that isn’t what I thought about that brand.”
No more than that will happen in the mind of the consumer. But that alone will allow the brand to move from unconscious consideration to conscious consideration.
The brain doesn’t work in any other way.
This move from unconscious consideration to conscious consideration happens most frequently as part of the Awareness stage.
Awareness is created primarily in the mass media as the mass media is where “reach” is most easily obtained. The objective is how many of the targeted audience can the advertiser get to see the brand’s message.
Once the consumer has moved from unconscious consideration to conscious consideration, then it’s the consumer’s turn to reach out to the brand.
This is the exploration stage.
More on that next time.