This graphic illustrates one of the key points from How Brands Grow Part 2 by Jenni Romaniuk and Byron Sharp. The shaded area represents a brand’s Mental Market Share - a measure of its Mental Availability - reflecting how often the brand comes to mind, compared to all other brands, when people think of buying the category.
In order to grow, brands need to increase their Mental Availability as well as their Physical Availability. Higher Mental Availability means more people choosing the brand more often, resulting in both higher penetration and purchase frequency.
What people are thinking about when the idea of buying the category comes to mind are referred to as Category Entry Points (or CEPs). Some CEPs account for more purchases than others - hence the variable widths in the graphic. Please get in touch if you’d like advice on how to identify these for your category.
There is a debate within the marketing community about whether brands should seek to increase Mental Availability across all CEPs or focus on just one/a few. Jenni Romaniuk/Byron Sharp argue for the former, indicating that despite brands’ attempts to distance themselves from one another through positioning, consumers tend to see them as largely interchangeable. Others argue that aiming to be a 'Jack of all trades’ (and master of none) is a dangerous strategy for many brands, leading to low margins and failure.
My POV is that large, established, mainstream brands should follow the advice of Jenni Romaniuk/Byron Sharp, whereas small/new brands in cluttered markets should (initially) aim to dominate just one/a few CEPs by focussing their products, messaging, creative content and media choices accordingly.
For further thoughts on this topic, check out this article and LinkedIn thread.