Brand engagement

How does brand marketing work - the key stages to engagement

My friend and fellow MD2MD speaker Barnaby Wynter always challenges my thinking.  

He suggests that many businesses are today burning the bulk of their marketing spend on outdated, demographically inspired media.   Very few businesses can have a real Unique Selling Proposition when the web has given consumers much more choice. It's suggested that average consumer now receives an average of 18,000 marketing messages every day.

Today it’s about psychographics, not demographics.  We want to buy from people like us that we can relate to. We need a clear Emotional Value Proposition –  How will buying this improve my quality of life and a story that makes the prospect think I need this more than I need to keep the money in my pocket. Brand is Key is the experience that is key to the relationship between a product or service and its consumer.  To say ‘I’ve heard of you’ simply isn’t enough any more.

He suggests that customers develop an affinity for a brand step by step through six stages in a refinement of the widely used AIDA model as set out below and with more detail further down the page. There is even more detail if you’re interested in his book: The Brand Bucket : Make Your Marketing Work

And as a tiny but powerful aside that I love he also says: We should never stop treating customers as prospects.  Competitors will be treating them as prospects so you should be too. They are paying prospects!!


The natural first step of the process.  Nothing can happen without a person becoming aware of you somehow.  A challenge in itself that keeps many PR, SEO and other agencies in business.

Image match

People begin to engage with you emotionally when they feel that your image is compatible or develops theirs.  Who doesn’t want to be seen driving an Aston-Martin or wearing Gucci? (Me but that’s the point.  Their image doesn’t match my self-image – but it may match yours!)

Facts match

Only AFTER they have begun to engage emotionally, are they open to considering the logical analytical process that traditional sales and marketing focuses on of buying benefits resulting from features.

Test drive

Wherever possible, it is a good idea to make it easy for a potential buyer to buy something low cost and low risk. Basically to test drive the brand and check it lives up to their expectations.  A great technique for doing so is Seminar selling, covered by another MD2MD speaker.


If all goes well, they move on from the test drive to become an established customer buying repeatedly, regularly, everything they need that you can supply.


And finally if everything continues to go well, they will want to recommend you to others.  A chance for them to develop their relationships with others and with you.