GLOBAL: Brand consideration is a useful but often misunderstood metric and one that may not always be the best measure to assess advertising, according to two industry figures.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, Understanding brand consideration, Dominic Twose, Global Head of Knowledge Management at Kantar Millward Brown, and Polly Wyn, a Senior Research Analyst at the research firm, observe that “consideration is neither a purely behavioural nor a purely attitudinal measure”.

Since it reflects consumers’ claims of their likely future behaviour, consideration tends to be a combination of what consumers want (attitudinal) and what their memories of past purchase experiences tell them they are likely to buy in reality (in-market reality).

But people tend not to perfectly account for the in-market factors in their answers, the authors note: “that’s why we tend to see high priced brands with higher consideration than volume share, and big (widely distributed brands) with lower consideration than market share.”

There is of course a strong relationship between consideration and usage, which varies by category. But while unaided awareness also correlates with usage, the authors’ own research has shown there is not a strong relationship between the two – a finding that holds good across categories.

Consideration and awareness can also be driven by other factors, including acquisition, innovation and (low) pricing. And it is quite possible for awareness to increase but not consideration if there are consumer concerns about the quality of a brand.

The role of advertising is complex, in that it can generate curiosity and frame the brand experience without generating purchase intent.

“Advertising can raise awareness,” the authors state, “[but] its ability to directly shift consideration will be affected by what it actually says.”

Sourced from WARC