A long-acknowledged influence on the capacity to respond to questions about brands is the past experience of the consumer, specifically direct brand experience (Bird, Channon, & Ehrenberg, 1970; Romaniuk, Bogomolova, & Dall'Olmo Riley, 2012). This influences brand health metrics (Barwise & Ehrenberg, 1985; Driesener & Romaniuk, 2006; Hoek, Dunnett, Wright, & Gendall, 2000; Winchester & Romaniuk, 2008) and advertising memorability assessments (Harrison, 2013;
Romaniuk & Wight, 2009; Vaughan, Beal, & Romaniuk, 2016). The link to advertising memorability (ad-memorability hereafter) suggests that there is a relationship between an individual's past experience with a brand and their propensity to notice marketing activity from that brand.
If brand users have a higher propensity to notice advertising for the brands they use, this confers a big advantage for larger share brands (who have more users) over smaller brands (who have fewer users). Thus, for these smaller brands, a potential strategy to get more impact from advertising is to partner with another brand, thereby expanding the user base more likely to pay attention to the advertising (as was suggested by Nguyen, Romaniuk, Faulkner, & Cohen, 2017). Cause-related marketing (CRM), which involves co-branded advertising of a for-profit with not-for-profit brand (Adkins, 2007), is a marketing activity that could potentially leverage off this empirical generalization to the advantage of both partner brands.