The Intersection of Evoked Set and Attention & Trust Economy: Building Strong Brands in the Modern Era


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Aug 18, 2023

5 min read


The Intersection of Evoked Set and Attention & Trust Economy: Building Strong Brands in the Modern Era


In today's competitive marketplace, where product differentiation has become increasingly challenging, the ability to be the first brand that comes to consumers' minds is crucial for success. This article explores the concepts of Evoked Set and Attention & Trust Economy and their significance in building strong brands. By understanding the connection between these two ideas, businesses can develop effective strategies to capture consumers' attention, gain their trust, and ultimately thrive in the modern era.

Evoked Set and the Power of First Recall:

Evoked Set refers to the favorable set of choices that come to mind when consumers consider making a purchase. With the difficulty of differentiating physical products and services in the modern age, the ability to be the first brand that consumers recall plays a decisive role in whether they choose and continue to choose a particular brand. The brand that achieves first recall is inherently powerful, as it becomes a shortcut for many individuals when making purchasing decisions.

Miller's Law and the Advantage of First Choice:

Miller's Law suggests that humans can accurately order a limited number of stimuli, typically around 5 to 9 options. Therefore, being part of the Evoked Set and securing the first-choice position is crucial for influencing consumers' purchase decisions. Brands that occupy the first-choice position have a significant advantage, as they become the go-to option for many individuals, both in terms of behavioral and attitudinal loyalty.

The Double Jeopardy Effect and Market Leader Strategies:

The Double Jeopardy Effect states that brands with higher market shares tend to have a larger customer base, and these customers exhibit both behavioral and attitudinal loyalty. Market leaders, who are more likely to be part of the Evoked Set and secure the first-choice position, can strategically reduce the number of brands in the Evoked Set or maintain their first recall position through extensive advertising and promotional efforts. By implementing effective strategies, such as those employed by brands like Kiwi, market leaders can solidify their position and increase their chances of being chosen by consumers.

The Importance of Pre-Store Decision Making:

Research suggests that consumers already have about 70-80% of their purchase decisions made before they even set foot in a store. This indicates that the battle for Evoked Set and first-choice positioning occurs within consumers' minds long before they enter a physical retail environment. Therefore, brands must focus on capturing consumers' attention and securing their trust even before they reach the store.

The Attention & Trust Economy and the Rise of Generation Z:

In the Attention & Trust Economy, brands must not only capture consumers' attention but also earn their trust. Generation Z, the most diverse generation in America, comprising 27% of the population currently and projected to become the largest generation by 2026, plays a pivotal role in this economy. Generation Z is constantly exposed to brands and content through their smartphones and possesses the power to switch brands quickly. If a brand fails to deliver on its promises or takes actions contrary to its brand vision, it risks losing the trust of Generation Z.

The Shift from Status Symbol to Access:

In the past, possessing wealth was a status symbol, often represented by owning expensive items such as Gucci bags. However, the definition of status has shifted. Access has become the new status symbol. Whether it's gaining access to exclusive restaurants, limited edition products, or downloading apps like Clubhouse that are not widely available, Generation Z values access to unique experiences and information that others do not have.

Adapting to Rapidly Changing Trends:

To appeal to Generation Z, brands must adapt to the rapid pace of trend changes. Platforms like TikTok introduce new trends every week, and Generation Z must stay updated on the latest dances, music, and TikTok stars to stay relevant. Brands that can keep up with these trends and engage Generation Z through content and community-building efforts have the greatest potential for success.

Building Brands through Audience Creation:

The next generation of brands must focus on building their audience first. Brands like Glossier and Barstool Sports have successfully utilized content to create a fanbase and then leverage that attention and trust to monetize their brand. By prioritizing audience creation and cultivating a sense of value, community, and insider knowledge, brands can transcend generations and establish a lasting presence.

The Power of Self-Expression and Creativity:

Generation Z is more inclined to publicly express themselves and their creativity compared to previous generations. As the sales of AirPods are expected to reach 100 million units in 2021, the rise of audio-based social media and media platforms is a natural progression. Additionally, Generation Z, accustomed to communicating primarily through voice-based platforms like Discord, will likely seek similar experiences in the workplace. Companies like Tencent, with investments in metaverse infrastructure and content through Epic Games and potential ownership of A/R, Mirrorworld, and digital mapping with major shareholder Snap, are positioning themselves for the future.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Prioritize being the first brand consumers recall by creating memorable experiences, leveraging effective advertising, and reducing the number of competitors in the Evoked Set.
  • 2. Understand and adapt to the rapidly changing trends and preferences of Generation Z by staying updated on platforms like TikTok and engaging with their content and influencers.
  • 3. Focus on audience creation and community-building to establish a strong foundation for your brand, leveraging content and cultivating a sense of value, community, and insider knowledge.


In the modern era, where differentiation is challenging and attention and trust are paramount, brands must strive to be the first choice that comes to consumers' minds. By exploring the concepts of Evoked Set and Attention & Trust Economy, businesses can develop strategies to capture consumers' attention, gain their trust, and build long-lasting brands. By understanding the intersection of these two ideas and implementing actionable advice, brands can thrive in today's competitive marketplace.

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