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Top Of Mind Awareness - Meaning, Importance & Example

Published by MBA Skool Team in Marketing and Strategy Terms Last Updated: November 02, 2023Read time:

What is Top Of Mind Awareness?

Top of mind awareness is the brand that comes to mind first when an unprompted question about a category is asked to a customer. Top of mind awareness is the percentage of customers who think of that particular brand first. It is a measure to see how well brands rank in the minds of customers. TOMA is represented in percentage mostly.

Measuring Top of Mind Awareness

During an experiment to measure top of mind awareness, the customers are shown series of advertisements or any other promotion and asked for the first brand that comes to their mind. This is to checking the advertising awareness among the customers. They are asked these questions 30 days after the promotions are shown. The experiment is repeated for many customers and the percentage of people telling the different brands are noted down.

From these percentages the awareness level of the brand can be calculated. It is also used to measure the effectiveness of the advertisement.

Companies try to build brand awareness through different channels and try to increase brand equity. Brand awareness can be created by using TVCs, online marketing tools, print media, OOH and other advertising channels.

Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA)

Importance of Top Of Mind Awareness

Top of mind awareness ranks a brand of a company in the minds of the customers while thinking about a particular industry or category. It helps in increasing brand awareness. People see many advertisements and use the brands as per their choice and preferences. Basically, people buy the products that come to their mind ‘first’. TOMA is the brand that comes to the mind of the customer first when they are asked an unprompted question about a category or the percentage of respondents who name a particular brand first, without prompting, when they are asked to recall all the advertisements, they had seen in last 30 days. TOMA is the ‘most remembered’ or ‘most recalled’ brand names. It is a special form of brand awareness.

Categories of Top Of Mind Awareness

For the product to be in TOMA, the brands must qualify one of the following categories:

1. Perennial favorite

Keep on providing best products and services to all the customers. Some of them will retain the experience and it will become all-time favouite for them.

2. Lingering bad taste

Most of the people are not clear on what they want but they are clearer on what they don’t. These are not the potential target customers as the brand is coming to their first in a negative way. So, always avoid to be in this list.

3. Right Exposure

Give the customers more exposure to the products. Frequency of exposure of brand affects the customers as more frequent interaction with the brand leads to more brand awareness and retention.

Factors affecting TOMA are brand awareness, brand association, perceived quality and brand loyalty.

Different Levels of Brand Awareness

Three different levels in which brand awareness can be measured are:


The first brand that comes to the mind of customers when asked about a particular category. For example, when the customers are asked about shampoo, which brand comes to their mind first.

2. Brand Recall

It is spontaneous awareness. The customers recall a brand after some cues like the segment in which the product or service falls or a specific need that the brand fulfils. For example, when the customers are asked about anti-dandruff shampoo, which brand comes their mind.

3. Brand recognition

It is an aided awareness. The customers recall a brand when they are provided with a list of brands. For example, when customers a list of different brands of shampoo and are asked which brand they have seen or heard out of the brands in the list.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Top Of Mind Awareness

Some advantages are:

1. It increases brand awareness among people.

2. The brand first comes to the mind of the customers when they go for any purchase. So, sales will increase.

A few disadvantages are:

1. It is time taking, long term process and needs investment.

2. Customers get confused between more than one brand.

Example of Top of Mind Awareness

When the top of mind awareness is high for the brand, the customers will ask for that brand in the shop. If they are given choices too, they will select this brand. Sometimes the product category will be defined by the brand. Example of top of the mind awareness are:

1. Dettol is a top brand for antiseptic

2. Maggi noodles brand is top among all its existing competitors

Hence, this concludes the definition of Top Of Mind Awareness along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team which comprises of MBA students, management professionals, and industry experts. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 1800 business concepts from 5 categories.

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