Why Share Of Voice is important for your brand

On this page:

  1. What is Share Of Voice?

  2. How to measure your brand’s Share Of Voice

  3. Why is Share Of Voice important for your brand

  4. Six tips to boost your brand’s Share Of Voice with examples

What is Share Of Voice?

Commonly referred to under the acronym SOV, Share Of Voice is the share of conversations generated around your brand, products or services on different digital marketing channels (news sites, blogs, forums, social media) in comparison to its direct competitors.

How do you measure your brand’s Share Of Voice?

Share of Voice is a percentage resulting from the following calculation: take the number of your brand’s mentions over a period of time, divide it by the total number of brand mentions (your competitors’ and your brand’s) over the same period of time then multiply the result by 100 and you get your brand’s Share Of Voice.

SOV = Your brand’s online mentions/Total number of your competitors’ online mentions x 100

Here’s an example of measuring Share Of Voice for the top five video streaming providers- HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. As the calculation shows, Netflix has the highest Share Of Voice of the five providers.


Share Of Voice metrics for Top 5 video streaming providers (source: awario.com)

How to implement social listening

You cannot measure Share Of Voice without brand mentions and to get mentions you need to do social listening.

There are many social listening tools available for marketers, starting with Google Alerts which monitors the web and is free.

If you are looking for a more sophisticated social listening tool, you can choose from a slew of providers such as Brand24, Mention, Talkwalker or Awario.

Seven reasons why your brand should do social listening:

  1. Monitor and influence brand awareness
  2. Monitor and control brand crisis
  3. Find prospects and turn them into leads or customers
  4. Monitor your competition
  5. Find conversations your brand can join or learn from
  6. Find reviews and feedback
  7. Find influencers

Why is Share Of Voice important for your brand and business?

As marketers, we never stop thinking about the best idea fueling our next campaign. Whether it’s a blog post or a social media post, it’s our job to put out content that delights our customers.

What are your customers talking about when they refer to your brand?

First of all, are they talking about you at all?

Who does the talking: your leads, your customers or people in general?

Where are these conversations taking place: social media, forums, comments to news articles?

Answering these questions will give you an overall view of your brand’s awareness. If people are not talking about you, it’s time to come up with a brand awareness campaign that will help you gain attention and get people talking about your brand.

share of voice les binet

In his book, The Long and the Short of It: Balancing Short and Long-Term Marketing Strategies, co-author Les Binet recommends that marketers balance short- and long-term marketing strategies.

He argues that brands should run both types of campaigns but tweak the balance to 75% brand building and 25% activation.

“The digital revolution is leading to increased activation efficiency, and so a higher proportion should go to brand. It seems paradoxical, but what’s happening in the digital world means you need to build that brand even more”, Les Binet says.

Let’s say there are conversations centred around your brand. The next question is, are they positive or negative? Do they rave about your latest product, or are they complaining?

Becoming aware of these conversations is an excellent opportunity to jump in, thank your happy customers, then do your best to turn them into your brand’s ambassadors.

When you are dealing with complaining customers, it’s equally a good opportunity for your business to pinpoint blind spots and put the spotlight on aspects that should be improved.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos calls complaining customers “divinely discontent”.

In his 2016 letter to shareholders, Jeff says “customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report being happy and business is great.”

If I were to choose only one factor responsible for Amazon’s success, it would be the company’s obsession with customers, EVERY customer, not only the happy ones.

6 recommendations to boost your brand’s Share Of Voice

There’s really no secret to boosting your brand’s Share Of Voice: you need to achieve top-of-mind awareness.

Top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) is an essential concept in consumer behaviour, marketing research and marketing communications by illustrating how well brands rank in the minds of consumers when thinking of a particular industry or category.

TOMA is defined as the first brand that comes to mind when a customer is asked an unprompted question about a category.

Let’s do a short exercise. Name the first brand that comes to mind when you think of running shoes, watches, ladies perfume, soft drinks. I’ll give you my answer: Nike, Rolex, Chanel and Coca-Cola. Was yours pretty much the same? That’s TOMA.

So how could your brand reach the coveted top-of-mind spot?

By staying in front of your prospects’ eyes for as long as possible. Coca-Cola has been the undisputed leader of the soft drinks category for the past 120 years.

hand-click Be creative.

hand-clickBe relevant.

hand-clickBe different.

hand-clickLeverage the power of influencers (nano-, micro- or celebrities).

hand-clickAppeal to your prospects’ wants instead of their needs.

hand-clickCommit to your core values and be bold.

Barbie – The Dream Gap Project

Ruth Handler, Barbie’s creator, has designed the now-famous doll as a way to tell little girls that they could aspire to be anything they wanted to be. Ruth’s insight was that girls of the 1950s no longer wanted to grow up just to be mothers.

Seventy years later, the company holds to its core values by launching its 2018 campaign The Dream Gap Project.

The campaign signals the brand’s commitment to close the gender gap. Oh, by the way: Barbie’s YouTube channel has over 9 million subscribers. By comparison, Apple, the billion-dollar tech company, has almost 12 million subscribers. That’s pretty good for a plastic doll!

The brand’s efforts to update its products and become a better example for every little girl has resulted in a boost in sales starting with 2017. In 2019, Mattel’s Barbie brand generated gross sales amounting to about $1.16 billion, up from about $1.09 billion the year before.

Nike – You can’t stop us

For Nike, the world’s leading athletic apparel maker, everyone is an athlete.

Every campaign launched by Nike is a brilliant illustration of the brand’s mission: doing everything possible to expand human potential. Nike is a brand synonymous with resilience, overcoming one’s limitations, working to reach one’s dreams, diversity and equality.

Nike’s campaigns are inspiring and motivating, but they also take a stand on controversial topics. Such is the case of Dream Crazy, Nike’s advert launched last year that touches on racial inequality and police brutality. The advert prompted a flood of debate and put the brand into the spotlight.

The latest Nike ad is You can’t stop us and is a masterful example of conveying the brand’s message with a creative twist, in this case – video editing.

Nike’s advertising appeals to people’s wants and dreams, is creative, bold and relevant. And this approach is good for the bottom line. In 2020, the Nike brand was valued at approximately $34.8 billion, which was an increase of over two billion U.S. dollars from 2019 (source).

Apple – The whole working-from-home thing

With a brand value of $140 billion, Apple ranks third in the top 100 most valuable brands in the world in 2020, following Amazon and Google (source).

Apple designs technology that works together seamlessly. In the workplace, “Apple products help employees work more simply and productively, solve problems creatively, and collaborate with a shared purpose.”

That’s an excerpt from the brand’s webpage dedicated to its business products.

Now imagine these fourteen words made up a brief and you have been tasked with creating a campaign based on them. Think of three ideas that you could pitch to Apple.

It’s a great scenario if you want to exercise your creativity. If you’re not in the mood, check out the brand’s campaign series – Apple at Work – The Underdogs.

The series checks every benefit outlined in the brief, in an entertaining way. The second episode – The whole working-from-home thing gets real with all the ups and downs of the work-from-home world we are all living in now and it has struck gold. The video was published two weeks ago and it’s already at 26 million views, making it Apple’s the most-viewed in the last three months.

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6 Factors Influencing Customers’ Buying Decisions (2)

In the first part of this article, I talked about three factors that influence your customers’ buying decisions: reviews, brand familiarity and the customers’ emotional state of mind.

Let’s tackle the next three: brand purpose & social responsibility, convenience and the decoy effect.

4. Brand purpose & social responsibility

For almost fifty years, the purpose of a corporation used to be defined by Milton Friedman’s Shareholder Theory.

The theory stated that a company’s main responsibility is to maximize returns to its shareholders with no social responsibility to the public or society.

In August this year, 181 CEOs running billion-dollar companies amended the purpose of a corporation to match the changes our society is going through today. They didn’t eliminate a company’s responsibility to its shareholders but they downgraded as the last one on their list of commitments.

It’s an important shift in the business mindset which paves the way for positive societal changes.

Brands began to adopt this mindset after reports stated that a growing number of consumers expected brands to take a public stand on important social values. The same reports found that having a strong purpose and social responsibility was directly linked to sales and brand loyalty.

Barbie, the famous doll manufacturer has moved past designing slim blonde dolls with blue eyes and is now empowering girls through a series of dolls made in the likeness of extraordinary and inspirational women in their 2018 Close The Dream Gap campaign: Amelia Earhart, conservationist Bindi Irwin, boxing champion Nicola Adams Obe, NASA Mathematician and Physicist Katherine Johnson, filmmaker Patty Jenkins etc.

Although sixty years old, Barbie is the #1 fashion doll in America with $1.09 billion in sales according to Statista. The company is currently generating increased sales but that wasn’t always the case.

Starting with 2o13, Barbie reported big drops in sales year-on-year until 2016 when the company decided it was time to change if they wanted to avoid bankruptcy. The Barbie doll was not relevant anymore because she didn’t reflect the change that had happened in cultural attitudes.

The solution was right in front of them: go back to the original purpose of Ruth Handler, Barbie’s creator. Ruth created the doll to show girls all of the possibilities they could be when they grew up.

Juliana Chugg, Barbie Vice-president and Chief Brand Officer has lead the company’s transformation. Her team took the company in three new directions:

  1. Acknowledge the power of purpose and refocus on brand values
  2. Innovate and take risks
  3. Become culturally relevant

The brand challenges could not be addressed through marketing alone. We had to take the bold step of changing the features of a product that had been an icon.

Juliana Chugg, Barbie VP and CBO

This resulted in producing a new line of dolls with different body types and ethnicities, Barbie in a chair and Barbie with a prosthetic limb.

Barbie is once again the favourite doll of little girls everywhere and the company’s increasing sales clearly show that.


Barbie lineup at the 2019 Toy Fair

5. Convenience

In its Quest for Convenience Report (2018), Nielsen found that consumers’ quest for convenience is one of the factors influencing their buying decisions.

According to this report, 31% of consumers say they seek out products which make life easier and are convenient to use, while around 1 in 5 consumers are looking for products suitable for small households (18%) and tailored to a specific need (15%).

So if you are looking for ways to influence your customers’ buying decisions, your product and the entire customer experience should check the following points:

  • Make it simple and easy;
  • Make it useful;
  • Help your customer make better use of their time;
  • Help your customer save time.

2018 Quest for Convenience, Nielsen

Birchbox offers five customized beauty samples inside a monthly box. All you have to do is set up the personal preferences in your “beauty profile” which is used to curate your boxes with goodies from brands like Kiehl’s and Benefit.

Apart from its famous workout bike, Peloton provides fitness enthusiasts with streaming workout classes which they can access via a subscription. People have busy lives. Why struggle to include going to the gym in your hectic schedule when you can exercise in the comfort of your own home and whenever it’s most convenient for you?

6. The Decoy Effect

In marketing, the decoy effect is the phenomenon whereby consumers will tend to have a specific change in preference between two options when also presented with a third option.

This option is inferior in all respects when compared to the first option, but inferior in some respects and superior in other respects when compared to the second option.

Experts in behavioural economics call this option asymmetrically dominated which means it is completely dominated (i.e. inferior) by one option and only partially dominated by the other.

The presence of the asymmetrically dominated option serves one purpose: to influence the consumer into buying the dominating option.

That’s the decoy effect: when deciding between two options, an unattractive third option can change the perceived preference between the other two.



I reached out to Calin Biris, online marketing expert and invited him to name 3 strategies that brands should adopt to influence their customers’ buying decisions in 2020.

Here are Calin’s recommendations:

We can see more and more big brands use the social responsibility card for brand awareness and influence. But this tactic should not be used only by big players.

Any company that has “soul” (and by that I mean: values, vision, leadership) should get involved and help the world out for the impact and also for getting to the consumer’s heart. There are so many problems to attack that a brand can help to resolve, that is not a hard job to find ideas for campaigns. Just take a look at the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and find the one that works best for you.

There is no doubt that the first place for consumers to look for information about the choices they make when buying products and services is online. That is why all companies should have an integrated digital brand experience on all devices (mobile, desktop, tablet, TV, smartwatch) and channels (search, Social Media, website etc.). Every message the brand shares publicly with its consumers has to be well represented on all devices and channels for a coherent experience.

If a brand gets the interest and respect of my friends, it will make me curious and maybe will get my investment in what it has to offer. This social influence is more present nowadays than ever.

Millennials and the next generation of consumers get their news from Social Media. My recommendation for brand managers is to use this insight to their advantage.

Some things that you can do, if you are a brand manager:

a) use the social product reviews of the landing pages and why not, even on the packages;
b) offer referral incentives for consumers to promote your products and services;
c) create a community for your consumers to be part of;
d) have newsworthy campaigns that spread on Social Media.

How is your brand influencing your customers’ buying decisions?

Share your strategy in the comments.

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P&G, Barbie, Gillette Are Challenging Gender Stereotyping


Gender stereotyping is one of the most talked about issues of our society.

Boys will be boys, girls want to be princesses, men don’t cry, and women’s interests are focused on family home and raising children. These labels help neither men nor women. Actually, they do a lot of harm to us as individuals and collectively as a society.

Brands are the mirrors of our society. Or so they should be. In their struggle to stay top of mind, sell their products and increase their revenues, brands sometimes lose touch with their consumers. Their audience is changing, and they fail to see it. They keep pushing the same stereotypes related to gender roles – a sure way to lose brand love and loyalty.

[bctt tweet=”Brands are the mirrors of our society. ” username=”brand_minds”]

Consumers say they want brands to take a stand on social issues (Shelton Group, June 2018). Trend watching organizations found that brands advocating actively and purposefully against gender roles stereotyping are making the world a better place and increasing their brand awareness and influence.

Learn more: 5 Powerful Consumer Trends For 2019 

Let’s see how Gillette, Barbie and Procter & Gamble are challenging gender stereotypes.

Procter & Gamble #WeSeeEqual

A gender-equal world is a better world for all. Through our actions and the conversations that we spark, we aspire to build a better world for all of us — inside and outside of P&G — free from gender bias and with equal representation and an equal voice for women and men. A world where everyone sees equal.

Procter & Gamble

The #WeSeeEqual campaign was launched in 2017 and illustrates Procter & Gamble’s efforts to make a difference.

In 2018 the company announced partnerships with industry leaders driving equal representation and positive portrayals of women in media such as The Queen Collective (founded by Queen Latifah) and Katie Couric Media.

According to the #SeeHer study commissioned by the Association of National Advertisers, women and girls are inaccurately or negatively portrayed in 29% of ads and media programs.

With the help of its programs and actions, Procter & Gamble set out “to achieve 100% accurate and positive portrayals of women in advertising and media, supported by equal representation of women and men in the creative supply chain”.

In a press release regarding this subject, Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble said:

“It’s clear that promoting gender equality is not only a force for good, it’s a force for growth.”

Besides fighting for gender equality, the giant retailer works to improve the world through sustainability, corporate social responsibility, diversity & inclusion and eliminating animal testing.

Barbie #CloseTheDreamGap

Barbie is committed to shining a light on empowering role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls.
Women can become anything they want. The only imperative is that they grow up believing they can.

Ruth Handler, founder

Fairytale princesses in pink dresses are not real women. We need to give girls real role-models they can look up to.

To support their 2018 #CloseTheDreamGap campaign, Barbie released a series of dolls made in the likeness of extraordinary and inspirational women such as Amelia Earhart, conservationist Bindi Irwin, boxing champion Nicola Adams Obe, NASA Mathematician and Physicist Katherine Johnson, filmmaker Patty Jenkins etc.

But one of the most powerful tools that the fifty-year-old company is using to achieve its goal is the video series called Barbie Vlogs hosted on the company’s YouTube channel.

In these videos we see Barbie in her room, talking and acting like any young vlogger on YouTube. Yes, her room is still pink but every now and then she tackles serious and real-world subjects. She talks about how girls should stop saying Sorry if it’s not their fault because it takes away from their self-confidence. Or how it’s never too young to have a voice and speak up to inspire change.

The vlog started in 2015 and it’s a great source of empowerment for girls and everyone watching. The videos I am talking about received hundreds of comments from men and women alike aged 17 to 28. They were thanking Barbie for being inspirational and empowering. Some even said she was the most real youtuber they’ve seen on youtube!

From having a negative impact on girls to inspiring and empowering grown-up men and women, Barbie has certainly changed a lot!

Gillette 2019 #TheBestMenCanBe

Bullying. Harassment. Is this the best a man can get? It’s only by challenging ourselves to do more, that we can get closer to our best. To say the right thing, to act the right way. We are taking action at http://www.thebestmencanbe.org. Join us.


In the last years, we’ve seen many campaigns from brands empowering women and girls. But what about men? Change works the best when it’s done by both sides.

[bctt tweet=”Change works the best when it’s done by both sides.” username=”brand_minds”]

Gillette is a man’s brand by definition. It was founded in 1900 and has been catering to men’s shaving needs ever since through constant innovations.

For three decades, Gillette used one tagline in its campaigns: The Best A Man Can Get. In its latest ad, the brand changed it to The Best Men Can Be showing its audience that it’s men’s turn to break gender stereotypes.

The ad encourages men to put a stop to toxic behaviours such as bullying, sexual assault and sexual harassment.

It also shows that it’s in their power to make the world a better place by raising sons to be better men.

To date, the video has over 24 million views and 338K comments and many of them are negative.

Gillette’s campaign may be the first controversial advertising campaign of 2019.

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