I am a huge believer that chocolate is the only cure for ‘one of those days’. So it was on ‘one of those days’ that I took a walk down to the shop where something caught my eye. The distinctive purple wrapper, that took centre stage in the confectionary aisle, looked familiar but strange. Old favourite Cadbury Dairy Milk had removed all the words from its packaging.

I had to buy it.

“It must be a mistake or a limited edition” I convinced myself. In actual fact, Cadbury had teamed up with Age UK in their ‘Donate Your Words’ campaign to raise awareness of loneliness. I’m not particularly brand loyal when it comes to chocolate but I noticed the Cadbury colour of purple that is so strongly associated with them, stood out so much more when they changed their packaging.

It got me thinking.

When we remove something (such as music in a pub) we miss it all the more. I have noticed other brands have been playing around with this concept recently. On the lead up to the Champions League and Premier League successes, Carlsburg released a Red Barley beer (in red packaging) to celebrate their long-standing partnership with Liverpool Football Club. What happened? The colour red made everyone think of the colour green - which is more strongly associated with the drinks brand.

What happened next? Well, consumers took straight to social media to start conversations about Cadbury and Carlsburg’s marketing tricks, with Carlsberg reporting an unprecedented 800% increase in visitors to their website.

What is Brand Salience?

Salience (the quality of being noticeable or important) is a trend that marketers have been playing around with as digital becomes ever more dominant over print.

Brand Salience is a psychological phenomenon where the degree to which your brand is thought about or noticed during a customer’s purchasing decision. This is why your brand identity is so important - does the customer know who you are? For example, when a customer has a choice between purchasing a can of Pepsi over Coke, it’s the gravitation towards a particular brand who will have a higher brand salience. Perhaps the customer watched a Facebook advert or noticed a recent campaign on Twitter then decided their purchase path.

Why Brand Salience matters?

Brand Salience often gets mixed up with the top-of-mind awareness concept. While top of mind awareness tells us that people know and recall the brand when prompted, Brand Salience tells us if they are likely to buy it. For example, when asked about a fizzy drinks brand a consumer might say Coca Cola but actually purchase Pepsi. Brand Salience matters because it is the marketers job the move consumers from the need recognition state into a purchase.
In a digital world, there is an overwhelming choice for consumers. So, understanding what your target customer needs and what makes them tick is what will give you a higher Brand Salience.

How to achieve Brand Salience in the digital world

The digital world is busy, complex and global which means there is an unlimited choice. Here are some tips on how to increase your Brand Salience and stand out from your competitors. 

  • Build a simple but recognisable brand logo that can be flexible and adjustable on many digital platforms. Once these logos are recognisable, it may encourage the consumer to ‘buy into’ the brand as they relate to their values more than others Adidas are widely known for their ‘Three Stripes’ - here are some examples of how their logo is flexible.


adidas bran dsalience

Adidas 'Three Stripes'

adidas brand salience

The recognisable logos on both shoes and clothing.

  • Ensure your brand tone of voice is consistent on all platforms; from your website to your social media. Charlotte Tilbury’s make-up range has an excellent, well established tone of voice that has been built to resemble what the creator would actually say in real life. The tone of voice carries itself through TV adverts, on social media and in their product names. This helps the consumer relate to, and hence purchase products from the brand.
charlotte tilbury brand salience

Charlotte Tilbury brand salience

Charlotte Tilbury tone of voice consistent on social media and on her e-commerce website.


  • Increase your brand awareness and familiarity by communicating with new customers on new platforms and posting content often. Each social media platform engages different demographics, so ensure you carry out the right market research and establish which channel is best to target your customers.


  • Ensure your brand is relevant to the customer, otherwise, they won’t care if you exist or not. For example, you wouldn’t try and sell children’s books to teenagers or adults.


  • Positive word of mouth is a marketer's best friend so reposting user content (in other words, user-generated content) and sharing reviews will encourage existing customers to buy. This will help not only engage consumers on social media but also encourage them to purchase the product.

    Tenennts brand salience

    Tennents mainly post user-generated content on their social channels to help encourage more sales through word of mouth.


Although brands mentioned in this blog; Cadbury, Carlsberg, Pepsi and Coke are huge global companies, any size of company can achieve Brand Salience to help increase awareness and sales. This can easily be achieved in the digital world through social media and consistent and recognisable branding. If you are looking for additional advice or marketing services, then please get in touch!

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