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Why I keep coming back for you: what gets certain brands chosen more often than others

When you hear the resounding chant of “pah pah pah pah pah!” on the radio, it most likely means one thing – the self-proclaimed Dancehall King, Shatta Wale, is about to drop a verse!

A trip down memory lane

Just as good artistes use striking ad libs or tweak their vocals in certain ways to remind us that it’s them, good marketers also use distinctive and clear branding to play on our memory, creating what we call ‘the recall factor’. If someone was to walk up to you right now and ask you; “what’s the first brand of cheese that comes to your mind?”, you’d probably be able to easily give an answer.

In fact, unless you’re some really big, picky cheese fan, we’d bet that most people reading this are probably thinking about “The Laughing Cow” brand of cheese. It’s cheese with a huge red cow on it that’s laughing right at you! What’s more distinct than that? Now try and think about a second brand of cheese, then a third, then a fourth… well, you get the picture.

The point is, the farther down the line of brands (of a particular product) you try to remember, the harder it gets.

Y’ello, I’m right here!

Let’s bring this phenomenon of the recall factor to an example right here in our backyard. In Ghana, there’s one brand that’s like the Shatta Wale of Telcos; using a combination of bright yellow and blue like their very own “pah pah pah pah pah!” We’re not even going to say their name because the point is we really don’t have to.

The yellow guys (we’ll call them that for now) have done such a great job at being easily recognized, they even managed to incorporate the colour “Y’ello”; a play on ‘hello’, into their messaging, so it not only evokes a visual stimulus, but an auditory one as well. It’s clearly, important that people are able to easily recognize your brand, but
that alone doesn’t bring home the big bucks.

Being easily recognized is one thing, but what’s the point if you’re not available or easily accessible when you’re needed?

Second date? Not a chance!

Imagine you’ve been craving tea and bread for some time and decide to go buy some, only for you to get to the store and find out that they’ve ran out of your favorite tea. At this point you’re super frustrated.

Now you have two choices: Buy a less favoured and less recognized brand of tea, or go home tea less. Obviously, brands wouldn’t want to put you in that situation so it’s in their best interest to be on those shelves. Not being available in stores (the presence factor) or in other buying situations is like showing up late for a hot date over and
over again.

Yikes! Very soon, no one is going to want to take you up on your offer, no matter how good you look.

Everywhere You Go

Let’s go back to the case of the yellow guys. When it comes to Telcos in Ghana, they’re undoubtedly the “top dog”, sitting high on their throne with the largest slice of market share of more than 50%, (more than double that of the guys right behind them). Sure, they have their issues now and then, but what they do get right though, is being at the right
place at the right time. They’re the guy who’s face you can’t forget (easily recognizable), who always shows up on time for a date.

He might not be the most romantic, but he’ll always reply your texts, always pick up your phone calls and is the guy who made a good enough impression to go home with the girl at the end of the night. In the case of ‘mobile wallets’, the yellow guys have managed to make themselves synonymous with the service in one of the fastest growing mobile wallet markets on the continent. Every small yellow kiosk you see at the corner of a street or by the side of the road reminds you of their national dominance. In fact, go ahead and like this post if you’re a loyal account holder, or have had to open one because it was getting too difficult performing mobile wallet transactions with another network.

In a nutshell, the yellow guys have understood the presence factor so well, their tagline is literally “everywhere you go”.

Good Enough & Easy to Buy

If you’re a marketing manager at the end of the day, your job is really to make sure people think of you when they need to buy a product in your category. Someone hungry and in a hurry might think “Let me just grab some Papaye really quick”, so guess which brand is doing a good job? Just ask yourself honestly, how many times have you ever seen a Papaye ad?

If you can build strong enough brand assets and make yourself easily available, that really does all the talking for you and you’ll see the money start rolling in too.

All we’re really trying to say is, if you have a good enough product that easily comes to mind and is mostly available when needed, then in the words of many love struck boys and girls who can’t get over an ex – “That’s why I keep coming back for you”.

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