The word mindshare can be found floating around in marketing and business circles these days. What is it? How does it relate to the practice of marketing?
Mindshare relates to the extent to which a brand holds the collective attention of a given populace. The more a brand has, the stronger and deeper are the associations that people form between that brand and a particular product or service. High mindshare for a brand means that the said brand comes to mind, on average, more quickly or at a higher rank than do other brands.
This is something like the notion of popularity. However, a brand can have a high degree of mindshare without being purchased or even preferred by those who are aware of that brand. For example, in response to the word ‘cola, ’ a given person might first think of a Cola Brand A before thinking of Cola Brand B, even though they would personally rather buy Cola Brand B.
In general, though, higher mindshare for a brand is a desirable thing. In addition to whether people are aware of the existence of a brand, it is preferable that consumers also know what function or features the product or service has (in other words: it is better if people actually know what the product is or does). And, it is preferable still that people associate that brand with a given set of favorable identifiable traits or characteristics.
Companies selling various top brands collectively spend billions of dollars per year on advertising in order to maintain or increase awareness of those brands in a given market. However, even small or midsize businesses on small budgets can compete successfully for mindshare within a given, narrow product niche through advertising, PR, and other marketing activities.
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