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Grow your brand: mental and physical availability.

In today’s crowded marketplace, it’s more important than ever for brands to achieve both mental and physical availability. This means being easy to remember and easy to find when consumers are looking to make a purchase. In this article, we’ll explore the concept of mental and physical availability, and why it’s so important for brands to focus on both. We’ll also share some key insights from marketing expert Byron Sharp.

First, a couple of definitions.

Mental availability

Mental availability refers to a brand’s ability to come to mind easily when a consumer is considering a purchase. This is often achieved through effective marketing, including advertising, social media, and other forms of brand communication. As Sharp explains, “Mental availability is important because it means being easy to remember and easy to think of.”

Physical availability

Physical availability, on the other hand, refers to a brand’s actual presence in the market. This includes things like distribution, shelf placement, and accessibility. As Sharp puts it, “Physical availability means being present in the market and easy to buy.”

Why are both important?

So why is it so important for brands to focus on both mental and physical availability? For one, consumers are bombarded with advertising and marketing messages all day long. It’s estimated that the average person sees up to 5,000 marketing messages per day. With so much noise, it’s crucial for brands to make an impression and be remembered. This is where mental availability comes in.

However, even if a consumer remembers a brand, they won’t be able to purchase it if it’s not available in the market. This is why physical availability is equally important. As Sharp explains, “If a brand is not present in the market, you lose a sale.”

One key takeaway from Sharp’s work is that it’s not enough for a brand to focus solely on mental or physical availability. Rather, it’s the combination of the two that leads to success. As Sharp notes, “The two types of availability reinforce each other. If a brand is easy to buy, then it becomes easier to remember. And if it’s easy to remember, then it becomes easier to buy.”

What can you do?

So how can brands achieve both mental and physical availability? One important step is to invest in effective marketing that helps the brand stand out and be remembered. This might include developing a strong brand identity, creating compelling advertising campaigns, and engaging with consumers on social media.

In addition, brands should focus on making their products as widely available as possible. This might involve expanding distribution networks, improving shelf placement, or offering new products in different formats or packaging. The key is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to find and purchase the brand’s products.


Mental and physical availability are crucial for brands looking to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. By focusing on both, brands can ensure that they are top of mind when consumers are considering a purchase, and that they are easy to find and buy once the decision has been made. As Byron Sharp explains, “Brands must build their mental and physical availability by investing in their brand image, improving their packaging, and making their products easily available to their customers. They must also create strong emotional connections with their customers, so that they can recall the brand when they need it.” By following these principles, brands can improve their chances of success and stand out in a crowded market.

PULL is a full-service branding and consulting agency specializing in outdoor brands. We have experience in both building brands from scratch and shepherding established brands to their next peak. 

If your brand could use an outside perspective or you just want to shoot the breeze, don’t hesitate to drop us a line

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