The Value of TOMA

You’ve heard people talk about a product’s or business’s position in the marketplace, haven’t you?  What is your business’s market position?

The holy grail of marketplace positions is “Top Of the Mind Awareness,” or TOMA for short.  What business do you think of when I say, “Hamburger?”  That business has TOMA.  When I say “furniture”, what business do you think of?  They have TOMA as well.  What is it that you sell?  Do people in your town think of you when they need what you sell?  I bet they think of someone, even if it isn’t you.

Small businesses often think that Top Of the Mind Awareness is impossible to attain for a business of their scale.  They think that they can’t compete with the big national chains.  If that is true, why bother going into business in the first place?

A small business has a unique advantage over a large regional or national chain. It doesn’t need to gain TOMA over a large geographic area, just the area it does business in.  This makes gaining Top Of the Mind Awareness in your field of business quite within reach.  Here are three easy steps to achieve TOMA in your area:

1.) Use your logo in everything — printing, publication, or advertisement.  You do have a logo, don’t you?

2.) Advertise.  Regularly. Come up with an advertising plan you can afford, a consistent message that is meaningful to your customers, and stick to it.

3.) Live up to your advertising. When a large portion of your customers do not experience what your advertising says they will experience, the word will get out fast.  People will remember you, but for all the wrong reasons.  If you say you have quality products, they’d better be.  The same goes for low prices.  If you can’t deliver it, don’t promise it in your advertising.

Do these three things on a consistent basis and the people in your area will think of you and not your competitor.  That, my friend, is an enviable market position.

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