What are CEPs and why are they important?

Category entry points (CEPs) are the building blocks of Mental Availability — they capture the thoughts that category buyers have as they transition into making a category purchase.

Strong Mental Availability (being easily thought of in buying situations) is essential for building a successful brand. Without it, the brand can’t get bought.

The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute can identify the CEPs that your brand can develop to improve Mental Availability. Along with good quality branding and a wide reaching media strategy, building useful mental structures is a key component in getting your brand thought of by as many category buyers as possible, as often as possible.


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What we can do for you

  • Identify CEPs for buyers of your categories, for specific countries or customer sub-sets (e.g. younger buyers)
  • Assess your brand’s performance for category CEPs, as well as key competitors
  • Determine which CEPs are particularly useful for your brand to be mentally competitive
  • Map CEPs across the company portfolio and identify gaps
  • Identify if there are barriers to growth that need to be addressed to avoid limiting the return on investment for Mental Availability building activities.

Our two-stage approach

The first stage is an Ehrenberg-Bass designed elicitation survey that asks category buyers a series of tailored questions. These questions apply our knowledge of buyer behaviour, how memory works and buyer thought processes to your category.

The second stage is quantifying the CEPs to understand the usefulness/relevance of each, then measuring your brand’s performance as well as the performance of key competitors. This identifies opportunities for your brands and highlights CEPs for the category that are more competitive (i.e. where you might need a specific strategy).

Informing your growth strategy

Using the insights from our CEP analysis we’ll provide advice for your brand, portfolio and sub-category growth strategy, and highlight opportunities for future advertising messages. This can inform product innovation to improve your brand’s coverage of different category purchase situations.

Ready to build Mental Availability and grow your brand?


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The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science is the world’s largest centre for research into marketing. Our team of market research experts can help you grow your brand and develop a culture of evidence-based marketing.