How healthy is your brand? In truth, this isn’t an easy question to answer, because there are many different indicators of brand performance. Brand positioning, brand awareness, brand reputation and more: you’ll need to gather a lot of different data points to measure the strengths and weaknesses of your brand, as well as its overall performance. The good news? We have a solution for that. Our Brand Tracker can monitor all of these metrics and more, tracking changes in your brand health over time, and alerting you to any drops in performance. But, to get the most out of this feature, read on to learn more about the kinds of measures of brand health you should be tracking.
Without a shadow of a doubt, brand positioning is one of the most crucial measures of brand health. That’s because today’s consumers are overwhelmed with choice. Regardless of the industry you’re competing in, in order to drive sales, you’ll need to fend off all of the other rivals vying for the attention of your target audience. To help customers to find your brand, you’ll need to position yourself appropriately. Let’s take a look at how.
Brand positioning is the strategy that you’ll use to distinguish your brand from the rest of your competitors. It's a way of helping customers to discover your brand, and therefore a major source of competitive edge. In order to execute brand positioning effectively, you’ll need to consider the following aspects:
Brand positioning helps to create an identity for your business and for the products and services that you’re offering to the market. It helps you to differentiate your products from those of competitors, which is particularly important in marketplaces that are mature, or that are saturated and which involve high or intense levels of competition. In addition, branding positioning helps you to offer added value as part of your product offerings.
When customers purchase a branded item, they are not only purchasing the product itself (and the functionality and instrumentality that accompanies it) but they are also simultaneously purchasing the personality and symbolism of the brand. So, brand positioning is a strong measure of the health of your brand compared to competitors, and in the eyes of the consumers.
Brand positioning can influence which brand health metrics you may want to track, especially when it comes to brand attributes, perception or reputation. For example, if you want to be seen as a high end, premium brand, it makes sense to ask customers about the degree to which they see you as quality, luxurious or high end. That way, you can get a sense of whether your efforts at positioning your brand are landing. You can do that through a customer survey—or we can do it for you.
Let's take a look at some examples of well positioned brand:
A healthy brand is one that is known by consumers. So, an important aspect of the branding process involves communicating the brand to the market, and then gathering data from the market to ensure that your messages have landed. Brand awareness means capturing the extent to which individuals are aware of your brand. Ideally, over time, and through your marketing efforts, awareness of your brand will grow, which puts you in a good position to secure new customers. Let’s look at the strategies you can use to measure brand awareness.
Brand awareness can be measured using brand awareness surveys or capturing share-of-voice (SOV). Here’s more on how brand surveys can help shed more light on to what others think about your brand.
Surveys are an essential part of brand health tracking. To gather information on awareness of your brand, consider the use of different question types:
If your brand isn’t mentioned in any respondents’ lists, you know you have work to do on building brand awareness.
Share-of-voice used to be used to describe the share of your advertising (e.g. TV, print and radio) compared to all your competitors shares. Today, the concept has evolved to include a number of different measures of awareness of your brand, such as the number of online mentions of your brand, and the amount of traffic reaching your website. Capturing share-of-voice is vital in learning about your digital presence.
Brand consideration measures the likelihood that a consumer will buy your brand next. Since this captures their predisposition towards your brand, brand consideration is a measure of overall brand health. It also helps to predict purchasing intentions, which can help you to understand the performance of your brand in the marketplace—and even help you to forecast sales and profits. Let’s break it down.
Brand consideration essentially combines customer attitudes towards your brand, and reflects their past experiences with purchasing. If a customer has had a positive experience of your brand, or they find your messaging appealing, they are more likely to say that they’ll consider buying your brand next. That’s why brand consideration drives purchasing intent.
Purchase intent is simply the intention of customers to purchase your products or services within a specific timeframe, such as within the next 12 months. When combined with measuring brand consideration, you’ll have a very powerful measure of the health of your brand. It's also a good idea to assess purchase intention after an advertising campaign in order to evaluate its efficacy and impact on your brand.
Don’t forget that advertising can generate curiosity and awareness of your brand without driving purchase intent, so capture and combine as many metrics as possible in order to get a true picture of brand health.
One of the biggest contributors to the success and health of your brand is how loyal your customers are. Why? According to estimates, it costs around five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. And, loyal customers are not just cheaper - they contribute in other ways to your bottom line. For instance, loyal customers tend to spend more than one-off customers. They trust you, and are willing to invest more in the spend. Buying from a trusted brand saves the customer energy and time in the purchasing decision because they are comforted by the knowledge that the brand will fulfil the purpose that it promises to do. And, loyal customers are also more likely to champion you by sharing positive experiences with others. So, loyal customers drive sales both through their own spend, and by bringing in new customers.
But what exactly is brand loyalty and how can you evaluate it? The simplest way is to ask your customers how willing they are to purchase something from you again in the future. For example, you might use a survey to ask a question like:
How likely are you to buy something from us within the next 6 months?
Asking a simple question like this will give you a sense of how loyal your current customer base is, or whether you have more to do to cultivate a loyal market. This is just one example though: check this article for 5 additional metrics you can track to measure brand loyalty.
Let's take a look at some examples of health brands with loyal followings:
Some customers love Pepsi while others are loyal to Coca Cola. When a market is made up of multiple strong brands, how do customers choose between them? The answer is in brand attributes. Brand attributes are a bundle of features that characterize your products or services, and which shape the way consumers perceive and think about those products or services. Your brand attributes should be made visible to your target audience through your advertising, pricing strategies and other marketing activities. Customers will have a preferred set of brand attributes in their mind, and will make their choice on the basis of the brands that they perceive offer those attributes.
Some examples of brand attributes are:
Another key dimension of overall brand health is the reputation of your brand. What we mean is: how is your brand perceived by your customers and the public more generally? Brand reputation can be negative, positive or somewhere in between. However, once you’ve established a baseline of your brand reputation, you’ll need to continually monitor it for changes. Read on to find out why.
The first point to note about brand reputation is that it has an enormous influence on your bottom line. Businesses that have a strong, positive brand reputation will be able to engender loyal customers and attract new ones. Businesses that have poor reputations (and that fail to try to take swift, corrective action), are essentially on the precipice of failure. Another key point is that brand reputation can shift dramatically.
Take the example of Volkswagen, for instance. After spending years (and millions of dollars) in rebuilding their reputation following the 2-15 emissions scandal, the company saw its reputation take another turn for the worse after an April’s Fool prank about renaming the company to Voltswagen (to promote a new electric vehicle) fell flat. So it's important to continually track your brand reputation to alert you to any changes in real time: and we can help.
Tracking brand reputation is vital, but how do you do it? Some strategies that you should consider for measuring brand reputation include:
Tracking social media sites
Monitoring social media platforms will help you to find out who is talking about your brand and what they’re saying. And, combined with sentiment analysis, which evaluates whether conversations about your brand are positive or negative, you’ll have a strong insight into your digital reputation. We have some tips here on platforms you can use for monitoring social media channels.
Getting online reviews
Customers love reviewing their experiences with brands, and in the digital age, there are plenty of opportunities for them to do so. Make it a habit to check review sites like Yelp, Foursquare, or the sites that are relevant for your industry to see what people are saying about you.
Regularly surveying your customer base can alert you to changes in your reputation, so that you can act swiftly and accordingly. And don’t forget that reputation is also relative. Not only do you want to know if you have a positive reputation, but you also want to know how it compares to those of competitors. We recommend using SurveyMonkey Benchmarks to see how your reputation stacks up against others in your industry.
Brand perception is the way that customers understand your brand, as communicated through your marketing materials and branding activities, and as experienced by the customer through their purchase, consumption and use of your products and services. Oftentimes, companies are surprised that the image that they attempt to convey to customers is not the same as the way that they are perceived by customers. That’s why it's important to monitor perceptions of your brand through the eyes of your customers.
Don’t confuse brand perception and brand reputation: they may sound similar to each other, but they’re capturing different aspects of your brand health, which is why it's important to measure both. Brand reputation is about whether the market perceives your brand to have a positive or a negative character. Brand perception on the other hand, is a much broader concept that captures what your brand represents in the eyes of the consumer, including the brand vision, the culture, the brand personality and the brand image.
To measure brand perception, you have a few options including surveys, Google alerts and social media monitoring.
Brand perception surveys are a crucial tool in your brand health tracking toolkit. That’s because the very best way to understand how your brand is being perceived in the minds of your customers is to ask them directly.
This free, easy to use tool is immensely powerful in tracking perceptions of your brand. Simply add your brand name into Google Alerts search tool, and set up a tracker. You’ll get a notification every time your brand is mentioned online.
Above, we’ve talked about the importance of monitoring social media chat for measuring brand reputation, and the same applies for brand perceptions. Brand health is multidimensional and there’s a lot to measure.
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