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Unlock the true power of consumer occasions

It sometimes feels like occasion is one of the most overlooked marketing models in our industry. Whilst Byron Sharp’s (almost biblical) books have made it to most marketers’ desk, his research on penetration vs loyalty has captured minds much more vividly than his theory on memory structures.

Yet, at RPM, we believe occasions are powerful ways to unlock opportunities at shelf and in consumption context.


Occasions are mental shortcuts

The reality is that whatever your brand, product or service, you are in the memory business. Because of the way our memory works, occasions are one of the most efficient (and easy to build) memory structures for brands. Our episodic memory – the ability to store events and experiences – enables us to create mental shortcuts between things and moments.

What brands come to mind if I start talking about a sunny summer afternoon in a park? What brands do you associate with Christmas? What brands do you think of when you go to the pub to watch a rugby game?

Put simply, context helps our brain to create long-lasting associations between brands and occasions.



Occasions are purchase drivers

This is crucial because shoppers shop with the occasion in mind.  Behaviours and motivations vary according to the shopping mission (impulse, weekly etc...) but the consumption occasion is a constant and determining end goal for our shoppers.

Over the years, we've decoded the power of occasions and their powerful influence in the consumer's decision journey.  We understand the role comms play across touchpoints and how to trigger the right occasion cues at the right time to sway consumers and get them to pick up your brand instead of a competitor or another option that suits the occasion.



Occasions are habit anchors that create behavioural loops

Let’s be clear though, you don’t build lasting mental associations simply by showing a picture of a barbecue at shelf in summer. At RPM, we strive to create durable behavioural loops and mental triggers that flex from occasions to shopper environments.

We’ve established that shoppers shop with the occasion in mind. Yet, people think of brands in context. Shopper missions and consumer occasions don’t work in silos. We believe it is the same for great ideas; they work across channels and can be activated in different ways. Because actions speak louder, we help brands to establish themselves in occasions and build better, stronger mental associations. That’s why it’s key to uncover people’s true emotional motivations and barriers to understand how they influence shopper behaviours. We do not only leverage occasions, we harness them to create virtuous circles.



The question is, what's the next occasion you're going to go after?



To learn more about the power of unlocking occasions get in touch now.