The smell, the feeling, the colour of the box. I just love Tide! But Why?! Why does my mum buy it, why do I buy it, why does my housemate buy it?
In this blog post I am going to tell you exactly why I just can’t stop buying Tide and how much it would take for me to even consider another brand.
We all have it, that one brand that we just always choose, whether it be your favourite brand of tennis shoes, the toothpaste you can’t go without or even the toilet paper you use. Marketing is a powerful tool, my friends and we are all susceptible to it.
The AIDA Model
In the past, many marketers believed that consumers systematically narrowed the initial-consideration set as they weighed options, made decisions and bought products. The post-sale phase then became something of a trial period that determined the consumer loyalty to the brand and their likelihood of buying their products again. This ideology was named, the AIDA Model or more commonly known as the Funnel Analogy.
AIDA is an acronym for the model’s 4 steps:
- The “A” representsawareness, and the ability to attract the attention of the consumers.
- The “I” is interest and points to the ability to raise the interest of consumers by focusing on and demonstrating advantages and benefits(instead of focusing on features, as in traditional advertising).
- The “D” represents desire. The advertisement convinces consumers that they want and desire the productor service because it will satisfy their needs.
- The “A” is action, which leadsconsumers towards taking action by purchasing the product or service.
The AIDA Model is used to guide marketers to target a market effectively. It is implied that as organisations move through each step of the model, a percentage of initial prospects are lost throughout the sales cycle; hence the funnel shape.
The Consumer Decision Journey
The decision-making process is a more circular journey, however. It is now believed that there are four primary phases representing potential battlegrounds where marketers can win or lose the consumer: Initial Consideration, Active Evaluation, Moment of Purchase and Post-Purchase Experience. It’s now understood that if marketing has one goal, it’s to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions.
What’s interesting is that we can place any of our favourite brands into this cycle and analyse exactly how the two-way communication between brand and consumer looks.
Let’s take a look at each step using my favourite laundry detergent, Tide for example.
Initial – Consideration
I am exposed to a handful of detergent brands: Tides, Gain, Cheer. At this point, I have all of these brands to consider based on brand perception, personal experience and exposure.
After compiling a list of brands that I know/trust, I now evaluate each brand and what the positives and negatives that are associated with it. I (the consumer) begin to gather information on the brands through the firm’s website, online comparison sites, magazines, TV commercials and others media. By actively evaluating the market, I begin to see there are more brands than I initially know of; Fab, Wisk and Purex, for example. The ‘funnel’ has actually widened as opposed to the AIDA Model that narrows as you move through the model.
Moment of Purchase
This is where I come into the store knowing what I need; Laundry detergent. However, I have yet to decide on which brand I am going to purchase; this is where my brand loyalty is tested. I now have the choice to build upon my previous loyalty to Tide and happily buy from them again (known as ‘Active Loyalty’) or else I come into the store, willing to trade my old brand for another (known as ‘Passive Loyalty’). Often passive loyalty will come into play when a brand does something that you cant refuse, they might: have a coupon on the bottle, add an extra 20% for the same price or even have a ‘Buy one get one free’ sticker. These are just some examples that may lead me astray from my beloved Tide.
DISCLAIMER: A brands worst nightmare is a consumer’s passive loyalty. Brands desperately love you buying their product every single time, whether you are exposed to their marketing strategies or not.
Post – Purchase Experience
Ok, so now I have walked out of the store with my laundry detergent in hand. Does the firm then just forget about me? No. This Is where many believe the marketing function is valued most. How is the brand going to turn me from a passive to an actively loyal consumer of their product, I’ve already betrayed Tide?
Check your email; how many advertisements, ‘thank you’ messages and surveys do you have from the brand. Check your post; did they send you a free sample? What about that coupon that made you set your old brand back down on the shelf; does it get you 30% off your next bottle of detergent? All of these are desperate attempts for me, the consumer to keep coming back for the same product. They want us into the loyalty loop.
The Loyalty loop
This is where a brand hopes the consumer will be found. The brand wants you to bypass the comparison stages and come straight back to them. All brands value this customer highly because these consumers are inexpensive to maintain and are actively loyal to the brand now. The brand wishes to focus on the actively loyal while the passively loyal continue to ‘mindlessly’ buy from them.
After analysing the AIDA Model and Consumer Decision Journey we can see the flaws. We don’t start off with all the knowledge, thats why we need brand to market towards our wants and needs. When marketers understand this journey and direct their spending and messaging to the areas of maximum influence, they stand a much greater chance of reaching consumers in the right place at the right time with the right message.
Court, D., Elzinga, D., Mulder, S., Vetvik, O.J., McKinsey Q. (2009) ‘The Consumer Decision Journey’, Business Source Premier, (3),
(2017) AIDA Model, Available at: https://www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundless-marketing-textbook/integrated-marketing-communications-12/introduction-to-integrated-marketing-communications-81/aida-model-406-4060/ (Accessed: 5th September 2017).
Egan, B. (2017) Media Planning Essentials. [Online]. Available at: https://library.stukent.com/ (Accessed: 5th September 2017).