How to Position Your Brand for the Trigger Moment

| 2060 Digital

Being top-of-mind during a consumer’s “trigger moment” makes all the difference. Discover all the ways you can grow awareness, build brand equity, and stand out at this critical point in the customer journey.

Most purchasing decisions don’t happen overnight. That’s why the most effective marketers apply a thoughtful, long-term brand strategy that doesn’t rely on quick conversions and impulse buys. Instead, they focus on positioning their company to stand out when the trigger moment occurs.

Understanding this crucial step in the customer journey is the key to turning audience members into customers during the decision phase of the purchase process. This article illuminates essential information surrounding the trigger moment and explains how advertisers can help their brands stay top-of-mind when it matters most.

What is the Trigger Moment?

Every purchasing decision involves some change in life circumstances – even if it’s something as simple as “I’m feeling hungry now.” Broadly defined, the trigger moment is a life event that changes an individual’s engagement with, and action within, a particular category or industry. Here are a few real-life examples that illustrate the concept:

  • An A/C unit failing on a summer day.

  • A phone call from your in-laws saying they’d like to have dinner this weekend.

  • A child entering their junior year of high school, when choosing a college becomes a priority.

  • Purchasing a home that requires additional renovation.

Depending on your industry you may be able to estimate when the trigger moment will happen (e.g., a high school or college marketing to parents of younger children). Still, in other cases, it’s entirely unpredictable. That’s why staying relevant to your target audience is important, even if you aren’t sure when they’ll be ready to become customers.

Branding and Building Equity for When It Matters Most

The most effective marketers focus on cultivating trust and building equity throughout their target audience’s customer journey. Then, when the “trigger moment” happens, they’re already positioned as the first – or best – solution to the customers’ needs.

I wasn’t ready to buy this type of product or service, but because of this recent change in circumstances, I am now. If advertisers wait until this moment to engage with potential customers, it’s too late. At this stage, customers will almost always give their first consideration to a brand that they already know, and hopefully, trust. Familiarity breeds affinity between brands and consumers, underscoring the importance of getting in front of prospective clients and customers early and often.

Positioning Your Brand

To position a company for the trigger moment, you need an in-depth understanding of the customer journey. Though you might not get a significant number of immediate purchases, investing in a thorough brand awareness strategy during the seeing & hearing phase of the journey can be the difference between getting a new customer and losing out to a competitor.

The “seeing & hearing” phase is the time to introduce your brand to your audience and establish credibility and authority. Messaging should focus on promoting your competitive advantages,

reputation, and experience. Remember, you aren’t trying to sell them something today; you’re trying to put your name into consideration when they’re ready to purchase/enroll/attend in the future. In addition, knowing the purchase timeline for the average customer in your industry helps you deliver the right message at the right time by moving individuals along through the purchasing journey. Then, when the time is right, audience members are primed and ready to act.

Implementing an effective lead capture system during the seeing & hearing phase is an ideal strategy for gaining an edge when the trigger moment occurs. For example, establishing an email list allows you to maintain regular contact with customers through newsletters, email blasts, or remarketing campaigns.

Finally, consider the value you’re providing your audience. It’s easy for advertisers to get caught in perpetual selling rather than helping. Put yourself in their shoes – what content would you like to see from a brand in your space? Sharing tips, industry insights, behind-the-scenes content, or even a funny joke with your audience can help build a connection by humanizing your brand. If your advertising efforts resonate and leave an impression, you’re well-positioned for success when the trigger moment occurs.

Leverage Industry-Specific Data to Prepare for the Trigger Moment

Comprehensive knowledge of the customer journey is the cornerstone of efficient marketing. Because each industry’s customers have a unique path to purchase, it’s vital to tailor ad strategies with messaging that aligns with each phase of the purchasing timeline – not just the trigger moment.

Access to customer journey data allows brands to reach audiences with precision at every phase. ROI isn’t all about selling – it involves forming connections between companies and consumers that lead to meaningful short and long-term results.

When building a digital marketing program of any size, prioritizing building brand equity gives you the upper hand when the trigger moment happens. If your brand shines during this critical stage in the customer journey, you can dominate your industry.