Hierarchy of Effects Model
The hierarchy of effects model has been in existence for more than half a century. It was developed in1961 by Robert Lavidge and Gary Steiner. It is a marketing communication model, which proposes six unavoidable steps between the time a buyer watches an advert to when he or she makes a purchase. Thus, it is the role of any advertiser to convince their customers to review the six stages. The following are the six steps.
The first step is awareness. In cases where the product is completely new, the advertiser has to achieve name recognition. This is achieved through use of simple messages that repeat the name of the product. While it is necessary for consumers to be aware of the brand name, this does not come automatically. You must give it emphasis for customers to develop that awareness. Whether in print or electronic media, the brand name should be distinct.
The second step is knowledge. Creating brand knowledge is important because it is possible for customers to be aware of your product but do not have sufficient knowledge about it. Here, you must digest the brand name and explain its meaning to the target audience with utmost clarity. The advertiser should also highlight specific appeals of the brand, including the benefits of the product. Since advertising is about achieving competitive advantage, it is pivotal to highlight how different the brand is from competitors.
Thirdly, there has to be liking. Establish how the target market feels about the brand. In case of hostility towards the product, the advertiser has to find the reasons and develop a more appealing message for the product. If there are issues with the quality, it is advisable to fix it first before passing the message to the target audience.
The fourth stage when developing a hierarchy of effects models is preference. It is possible for customers to have a liking for your brand but not prefer it for another option. Here, the task for the communicator would be to establish consumer preference by highlighting features of the product like quality, performance, and value among other features. It is invaluable to evaluate audience preference after every campaign to strategize for the next campaign strategy. Evaluation allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations for future communication.
The fifth stage is conviction. It is possible to prefer a particular product but lack the conviction to part with your money for the same product. As a communicator, you should endeavor to convince the target audience that the brand offers value for their money. The last step is purchasing. Some members of the target audience may have the above attributes but lack the willingness to make a purchase. These customers could be waiting for more information about the brand or not ready to make a buying decision at that moment. The communicator must initiate ways of having these consumers purchase through different options. Among these could be offering low prices for the commodities being advertised, allowing customers try out on some of the products or offer premiums. It is at this point that consumers either make a purchase or seek more information on the brand.
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