Creating Familiarity Through Marketing

Buyer Psychology & Behavior Series 

Marketers have broken down the consumer buying process for years. It is one of the most studied practices in sales and economics. Yet it still confounds even the best firms and agencies. 

Many would agree they’re several tools, strategies, and subtle tactics that brands deploy to create a rapport with their customers. 

These same tricks, more like scheduled touch-points, operate autonomously whether we notice or not, creating familiarity with a brand’s product or service.

It is through this familiarity that we often find a “needs recognition.” This then alters our consumer processing creating a want. 

We typically fall into some sort of AIDA model influenced heavily by sensory memories and fall for the cognitive bias’ often prototyped by brand marketing teams and solid advertisement. 

Consumer Processing

Buying is tough science when it comes to assumptions and predictability. Generations and their shopping patterns vary circumstantially and heavily in the social-economic demographic. This can often provide marketers a challenge simply through segmentation changes. 

The consumer buying process is often thought of as a 5-stage funnel. This includes the problem or needs recognitioninformation searchevaluation of competitorsaction or purchase, and a follow-up or post-purchase evaluation

The needs recognition then becomes one of the most crucial steps that marketing managers must capitalize on.  

Without a customer identifying an illustrated void/need/want/wish, then they will never move on to the next step. Functionally obsolete and lost from the grasp of our digital strategies. 

The assumption goes that in a perfect economy where supply and demand are healthy, constant, and unmanning, then the consumer buying process will repeat itself, earning brands loyalty with their customer, ultimately shortening the funnel length and intensity. 

Sensory Memory

One of the most common ways to appeal to customers within this first stage of the consumer buying process is to use Sensory memory.

Commonly referred to as sensory advertising, this type of marketing employs visuals, audio, sensory, neural marketing, plus other rich media appealing to your deepest, yet subconscious memories. 

The best trick in sensory memory advertising/marketing is for brands to play their strengths and appeal to their audience’s senses

The way Coca-Cola utilizes the crack open can sound. The way Ralph Lauren Cologne utilizes the Ocean spray scent or the way Tesla advertised a commercial with zero sound, emphasizing their electric vehicles. 

Sensory marketing is effective in the sense it makes your impressionability shine and creates novel memory within the customer base.

Sensory memory provides an intimate avenue for brand advertisement. Tactics of the likes of our sincerest emotions like nostalgia, prejudice, envy, desire, humor, and jealousy. 

Cognitive Bias

Used correctly, cognitive bias can shape a funnel in a favorable direction for your brand or company.  

Marketing teams deploy cognitive biases throughout the stages of Awareness, Interest, Desire, Consideration, and Action

The use of psychology, technology, branding, and rationale comes into play. The best marketing teams understand how we think. 

Our brains create shortcuts, called heuristics, that we continually follow, like patterns, daily. Although typically “we trust what we know”, understanding these simple and intuitive biases for most can lead to stunning revelations in the marketing department.

Not only can strategies revamp, but managers can properly understand why consumers choose to interact and promote their brand over alternatives. 


Familiarity is a science, and an advertisement tenet which marketing managers are continually studying, modifying, sharing and thus is evolving at every instant. 

Proximity, frequency, and trust play a huge hand, but oftentimes it is much simpler a process than we think. 

The consumer decision-making process is dynamic and changing every day. That said, the old and trusted methodologies remain. 

Typical AIDA models are being rebranded with audience considerations, sensory memories, and cognitive biases. 

Consumer buying, in theory, is a lot like building trust. Once it is established it can be prompted and inverted to create a continual and revolving want/need. 

Does it always come down to; perception as reality?

The answer is our own, but the question remains.