Empirical Marketing

Think beer. Think beach. What brand comes to mind?

5 CE Ps Corona

Corona, right? That’s because Corona has invested billions in building a connection between “beach beer” and “Corona” in your mind. You probably saw the bottle with a lime in your mind’s eye.

“Beer on a beach” is a Category Entry Point, a cue that category buyers — in this case, beer drinkers — use to access their memories when faced with a buying situation — in this case, “I need to choose a beer for the beach.”

Category Entry Points (CEPs) can include any internal cues (e.g., motives, emotions) and external cues (e.g., location, time of day) that affect any buying situation.

Here’s another great example: More than 20 years ago, Snickers changed its tagline from “Packed with peanuts, Snickers satisfies” to “You’re not you when you’re hungry.”

“Packed with peanuts, Snickers satisfies” is a classic feature-benefit combo. But it doesn’t speak to a Category Entry Point that people experience, like “I want a quick, tasty snack to stave off my hunger and maintain my energy and mood.”

The new tagline and creative campaign targeted this CEP brilliantly and unexpectedly in an ad featuring the brilliant Betty White.

Dispatch EM bettysnickers

In the first year of the new campaign, Snickers reversed a sales slump and regained a global market share equivalent to $376.3 million. That’s the power of Category Entry Points combined with unexpected, emotional creative.

Each Category Entry Point — and the more the better — is an opportunity for your brand to grow mental availability.

To find them, you have to get to know your category buyers. How do real people actually use your brand? When do they use it? Why? Who are they with? What other products are they using? How does your brand actually solve their needs, wants and desires?

Again, we’re building mental availability through these meaningful, emotional moments. As always, the goal is to influence the System 1 decision making system by building trust and an emotional connection in the minds of your buyers. So that when they’re in a buying situation, there’s a higher probability they’ll choose you.

For smaller brands, Category Entry Points are also an opportunity to find the moments in people’s lives that category leaders are leaving on the table. The big players are busy defending their turf, and they can’t look in every direction. You can outmaneuver them.

This “W Framework” is an easy way to kick-off brainstorming CEPs for your category. By finding more and more real, relevant and emotionally meaningful Category Entry Points, you will build mental availability and grow your market share.

Dispatch EM the W Framework

Next time we’ll dive into the critical importance of creative effectiveness.

Further Reading:

Category Entry Points in a B2B World” — LinkedIn B2B Institute (yes, Empirical Marketing works for B2B brands)

Snickers: You’re not you when you’re hungry” — WARC