The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.1
—Arthur Koestler, author and journalist
Linda Wolf, former chair and chief executive officer (CEO) of Leo Burnett Worldwide observed, “Before you can have a share of market, you must have a share of mind.”2 This mind-set drives most companies' marketing budgets. Companies spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year to capture share of customers' minds. In fact, AT&T and Verizon—the two biggest advertisers in the United States—spent $3 billion (approximately $1.5 billion each) in 2013 to attract customers to their brands.3
Of course, the reason for this massive spending is that getting customers to seriously consider using a brand is no easy task. For customers to change their regular buying behaviors, they first must think about why they should. Given the numerous purchases that each of us makes every week, it is completely unrealistic to expect this for most of the things we buy. We would never make it out of the grocery store if we seriously considered the alternatives for everything we put in our shopping carts.
As purchase decisions become routine for most brands, appealing to customers requires a winning strategy. ...