Brand Funnel Explained: How it Works And How to Leverage it

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Understanding the consumer journey is vital for any brand. Tracking that journey can be tricky, which would prove detrimental to an effective marketing strategy. A brand funnel is a great tool for monitoring your brand’s performance so you can make the best decisions and build trust with a loyal customer base. 

What do we mean by “Brand Funnel?”

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A brand funnel is an illustrative tool for thinking about your consumer’s relationship with your brand. It breaks the customer journey down into key stages that you can monitor to gain insights into your brand’s performance. You will require a robust system to gather the data you need for each stage.  

Let’s examine what each stage looks like.

  • Awareness

How well known is your brand? Are your target customers aware of you? This stage is vital, of course, because you have to get them through the door.

  • Consideration

Of those that know your brand, how many would use it? Does your brand’s product/service meet the needs of your target consumer?

  • Preference

How many potential customers would choose you over the competition? What does your brand do that the others don’t?

  • Usage

How many customers do you currently have? How much are those customers using the brand? Now that customers have used your product/service, has it met or surpassed their expectations?

  • Advocacy

How often are your customers recommending your brand to others? Do they feel suitably confident in evangelizing your brand?

We think of this journey as a funnel because it’s expected that the numbers at each stage would reduce. For your brand to succeed and grow, you will want to reduce that customer fall-off as much as possible as they travel down the funnel. 

Whether your brand is direct-to-consumer or deals in B2B ecommerce, you should be using the brand funnel to gain insights to grow your brand.

How to use the funnel

Now that you know what a brand funnel is, you need to know how to utilize it. The purpose of this exercise is to leverage the insights learned, and boost the success of your brand. By gathering customer data, and plugging it into the relevant stages, you will see your brand funnel take shape. The shape of your funnel is what’s going to tell you where improvements can be made.

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Wide-to-narrow

Your brand funnel starts wide at the top but narrows quickly towards the bottom. A funnel shaped like this indicates a dangerous level of customer fall-off. 

This tells you that your brand is familiar to your potential customers but not enough of them are using it. If they are using it, they’re not repeat customers and are certainly not advocating for your brand. You don’t need to have read a how to run a successful business book to see a problem here.

Actions to consider

  • Improve quality control for your brand’s product/service
  • Monitor customer service to establish if there are any issues here
  • Consider incentivizing customer loyalty

Narrow all the way down

You may be in trouble here. If few of your target consumers are aware of your brand, they’re not going to buy what you’re selling. Your product/service may be excellent, your after sales support is spot-on, but you’re not getting them in through the door to begin with. This is a failure of marketing.

Actions to consider

  • Differentiate your brand from the competition
  • Launch a fresh marketing campaign to reach potential customers
  • Incentivize new customers to try your brand through promotions

Wide-to-narrowing slightly

This is the brand funnel we want to see. Customers are aware of you, they like what you have to offer, and they’re telling people to give you a try. Customer fall-off is at a minimum and your brand is fulfilling its potential. Don’t rest on your laurels, though. You need to continually track the brand funnel to ensure that you keep your advantage over the competition. 

A case study

Netflix, as of Q2 2020, has 192.95 million subscribers. They face stiff competition from behemoths like Apple, Amazon, and Disney, but remain the most subscribed-to streaming service. Let’s take a look at how Netflix tackles each of the key stages in the brand funnel.

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  • Awareness

From a DVD rental service to being at the forefront of web-based entertainment, Netflix pioneered video streaming. “Netflix and chill” has entered the common parlance so effectively that we all know what that really means (and it has little to do with streaming TV or movies). 

  • Consideration

Through a range of pricing, exclusive content, and an easy cancellation process, Netflix offers many good reasons to try their service. It’s also easy and accessible from many devices.

  • Preference

Through marketing its exclusive original content, Netflix exploits a fear of missing out. If everyone is talking about The Witcher or Selling Sunset in the workplace, people want to be in on that conversation.

  • Usage

Apart from the content, Netflix have created a service that works well and is easy to navigate. Once a subscriber has found a range of shows they like, they stick around for the next series.

  • Advocacy

We’ve all had the conversation “I can’t believe you haven’t seen X, you’ve got to watch it!” By creating high quality content, Netflix converts subscribers to fans. Fans spread the word that their content is not to be missed.

Implementation

The brand funnel is key to succeeding in moving customers from one stage to the next. We’ve already discussed the importance of inputting the relevant information into the brand funnel. You can do this by asking the customer for feedback at every stage. 

Even more important, is being able to act upon the insights it provides. You can better leverage the insights gained by getting your team on board and utilizing workflow software to respond to the brand funnel. 

Through the right marketing strategies, you can increase awareness and get the customer to consider your brand. With the right pricing and brand image, you will make your brand the preference of more consumers. 

Ensuring your product/service is of the best quality is essential in retaining customers using your brand. Asking for feedback and providing great service at every stage will make the customer an advocate for your brand.

Funnel vision

Through the brand funnel lens, you can make better decisions for the long term growth of your brand. Keep tracking and responding to the brand funnel and your brand will succeed.

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