The Rossiter-Percy grid

Today I read the ‘Strategic planning process’ paper witten by Percy, Rossiter and Elliott. Thi paper gives  very useful insights about how to set up a consistent and coherent marketing communication strategy, through five detailed stages. The goal of this chapter is to help the manager handing this process successfully, indicating all the different steps that must be incorporated in  order to move on in the right tracks..

A few definitions to understand well the subject:

Brand awareness: 

There are two different types of brand awareness that the manager must consider: recognition and recall. 

– Recognition brand awareness is when someone ‘sees’ the brand at the point of purchase and remind a need for it. 

– Recall brand awareness occurs when someone has a need and must ‘remember’ the brand as something that will satisfy that need.

(Rossiter, Percy, 2001)

Brand attitude:

Brand attitude is a summary of what a person knows and feels about a brand, providing the link between the brand and the motive to buy or use it.  (Rossiter, Percy, 2001)

Low involvement VS/ High involvement

Low-involvement suggests that there is a little threat or risk to the consumer.  Low-priced items such breakfast cereals are bought frequently, and past experience of the product / brand is enought : this kind of purchase requires little information or support. – (Marketing Mentor)

On the contrary, high involvement occurs when there is a high level of perceived riskCars, computers and insurance policies are infrequent purchases that require a much more important involvement. The risk described is financial, but the risk can take other forms such as performance risk (my music will sound great?) physical risk (will it break easily?) or also social risk (will my friends be impressed if I buy it?)–  (Marketing Mentor)

Positives and negatives motives: 

The purchase can be driven by a positive or a negative motivation. Consumers can take pleasure when buying something (clothes or car for instance) but there are also less glamourous types of purchase.

For instance, the positive motives associated with buying a car is to be behind the wheel and feel that this particular vehicle reflects how they want to be seen by the world. The negative motivations associated with buying a car are reading the functional criteria (gas mileage, service record, features)

The rossiter-Percy grid

Rossiter and Percy suggest that brand attitude strategy depends on :

– whether there is low or high involvement with the purchase decision, according to the risk the target audience perceive when buying this product (fiscal or psychological risk)

– whether the real motivation that drives behaviour is positive or negative.


When there is low involvement it is not necessary for the target audience to be really convinced before buying. If they make a mistake, they haven’t suffered much of a loss (exemple: when choosing a chocolate bar). On the other hand, when involvement is high, the potential buyer does not want to make a mistake (exemple: when choosing a new computer); (Rossiter, Percy, 2001)

What is it for?

Understanding the elements of this grid is crucial for identifying the appropriate brand attitude strategy, which in turn is critical for creative strategy.

With low-involvement decisions,  the target audience needs only to pay attention to the message and learn something positive about the brand. Initiating a positive brand attitude is enough. For instance, using a celebrity presenter or an exagerrated humorous can be a good approach for this product category (Petty and Cacioppo, 1986)

With high-involvement decisions the target audience must not only pay attention and learn something from the message; it must also accept or believe what is said in order to begin to build a positive brand attirude that will lead to purchase (Rossiter, Percy, 2001)

Source: PERCY Larry, ROSSITER John R, ELLIOTT Richard. The Strategic Planning Process. 2001, Strategic Advertising Management. p47. 16p. 1 Black and White Photograph, 5 Charts


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