Considerations on ESOV Efficiency and Brand’s sectors


We know about ESOV (Excess Share of Voice): brands that set their SOV (Share of Voice) above their SOM (Share of Market) tend to grow, and those that set SOV below SOM tend to shrink.

The rate at which a brand grows or shrinks tends to be proportional to its extra SOV (ESOV), defined as the difference between SOV and SOM.


But ESOV Efficiency (how fast the brand grows per unit of investment above equilibrium SOV) can change, based on brand’s sector and many other variables:

  • For consumer brands, 10% ESOV causes market share to rise by 0.6 % points per annum, all else being equal. For B2B brands, the corresponding figure is 0.7% (so, even B2B
  • ESOV Efficiency for online brands is more than double vs. offline brands. Online brands, especially those that invest adequately in brand, enjoy the efficiency benefits of easier activation. A part of this advantage is likely to be easier online activation. So growth targets for online brands can generally be met with smaller levels of ESOV than offline brands – typically around 60% less.
  • ESOV Efficiency for subscription brands is approx double vs. series brands. For the same level of market-share growth subscription brands need only invest in half as much ESOV as series brands. Customer acquisition is always a key driver of long-term growth and, when allied with more powerful activation effects, results in much stronger ESOV Efficiency for subscription brands.
  • In general, brand building is essential for effectiveness, but strong activation effects are also needed for maximum effectiveness. Similarly, whilst brand building is essential for ESOV Efficiency, strong activation effects are also needed for maximum efficiency.
ESOV Efficiency by sector

In addition:

  • Brands that want to move upmarket have at least two options. The first is to reposition the brand as a whole. This is a slow and expensive business, as brand perceptions take time to change. ESOV Efficiency is slightly lower than average when brands change their positioning, so brand owners need to commit substantial budgets over long periods of time. The second option is to launch a premium sub-brand. This gets results faster. ESOV Efficiency is high for launches, so launching a premium version tends to be a quicker and less advertising-intensive way to recruit upmarket buyers. However, there are additional costs involved, and there is always the risk of cannibalisation.
  • ESOV Efficiency is much higher when there is product innovation, which means that new products get much faster growth for a given advertising budget. Or, alternatively, innovative brands are less reliant on advertising, and can get away with lower budgets if they wish.
  • ESOV Efficiency is much higher for new and niche brands; these are both highly responsive to advertising – much more so than established, mainstream brands. So it is perfectly possible to launch a brand without much advertising support, and grow organically. But much more dramatic results can be achieved with a big launch campaign. Brands that can afford to launch with good share of voice gain a much bigger share of the market in a much shorter timeframe.

It is perfectly possible to launch a brand without much advertising support, and grow organically. But much more dramatic results can be achieved with a big launch campaign.

Field, Binet – Effectiveness in Context
  • Emotional advertising that influences our feelings towards brands is slightly more efficient in high online research categories (Financial Services, Durables – especially cars – and subscription services) increasing ESOV Efficiency, than it is in low research ones (packaged goods and some retail sectors). Actually the efficiency of all campaigns in high online research categories is typically just over twice the level in low research ones.
  • When consumers are very emotionally involved, advertising works harder, increasing ESOV Efficiency. But rational consideration actually inhibits the effects of advertising, decreasing ESOV Efficiency. The more people think about the purchase, the less influence advertising has over them.

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