Brand is, by nature, a difficult concept to measure
While measuring SEO, PPC, social media engagement, and customer reviews can be done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, often it can take years to build a great brand.
The progress might be subtle, but if your company is going to persist and grow, brand loyalty will be one of the key tools in your arsenal.
Even when a brand is so successful that it achieves the ultimate accolades of ubiquity—its name eclipsing a real word; its regular inclusion in pop-culture; its slogan becoming a phrase in its own right—there’s still no way to measure exactly what this means for the company.
The perception that people have of a brand directly affects whether they’ll think of it, and whether they’ll think of it first, when considering a certain product or quality. It means they’ll be predisposed to choose it over your competitors, and even pay more for the same product.
And though it’s not an exact science, there are several ways to monitor the pervasiveness and likeability of your brand - your brand equity. We’ve put together a list of ways you can keep track of your brand’s strength.
Method 1: Brand Lift
Brand Lift is perhaps the simplest and most straightforward way to measure a brand’s equity. The aim of measuring brand lift is to show that, all other things being equal, the strength of your brand name will tip the balance.
One way to track brand lift is by running a series of A/B tests, using branded and unbranded versions of your paid search adverts. This is particularly easy to test using adwords.
To set this up fairly, you should aim to focus only on new audiences (i.e. exclude your retargeting list of existing customers and cookied traffic); then set the keywords to all be unbranded (i.e. the search that a consumer types to trigger your ads showing should not include your brand name to begin with); and then finally your ad sets should be an even split of branded and unbranded phrases that are set to show up equally.
- Book an amazing beach holiday
- Book an amazing beach holiday with TUI
Then wait to see which one performs better in terms of click-through rates. If you get a better click-through rate with the branded terms (number 2), then you can infer that your brand name has a certain cachet.
Calculate the difference in percentage click-through rate and you can conclude that your brand is giving you this percentage lift on marketing.
You can even assign a monetary value to this. For example if your sales are £10m, and your PPC test reveals a brand lift of 15%, then you might estimate your brand is worth £1.3m to you - because without it 15% less people would have converted.
It is worth bearing in mind your brand will always be visible via your advert’s display url. To take this experiment one step further, you could set up a totally debranded webpage or website selling your products and test the performance of adverts to this page vs those of your branded site. This would provide an even more accurate valuation of your brand’s uplift.
Method 2: Brand Value
Many businesses want to put a ‘dollars and cents’ value on their brand, and the folks at Brand Finance offer one such methodology.
They estimate the likely future revenues that are attributable to brand. By looking at the historic value of your brand and the current value of your brand, as well as the projected growth of the company in general, they predict future brand equity.
Theirs is a 6-step process:
- They calculate a Brand Strength Index (blending metrics assessing Marketing Investment, Stakeholder Equity, and Business Performance - with a heavy emphasis on Busines Performance, which is tied mostly to stock market performance.)
- The Royalty Range for the industry is determined (e.g. high royalty rate for luxury goods, low royalty rate for FMCG)
- These 2 metrics are combined to work out the brand’s Royalty Rate: for example, if a FMCG has a BSI score of 80/100, and the Royalty Range is 0-5%, then it will have a Royalty Rate of 4%
- Determine what proportion of the company revenues are attributable to brand
- Forecast total company revenues for coming years
- Apply the Royalty Rate to this forecast to work out how much the brand value will be contributing to overall revenue in the future.
There is a strong emphasis on tracking year-on-year changes in brand value. Seeing this progressive growth should incentivise you to set longer-term objectives.
One slight drawback to this methodology is that essentially the best performing brands largely mirror the best performing businesses (because so much of it is tied to ‘business performance’) and this creates more of a rear-facing, lagging indicator than a leading one.
Method 3: Attest
The methods above are good measurements of brand equity, they have two shortcomings when it comes to helping brands make actionable decisions.
Firstly, they don’t place enough emphasis on consumers as a key datapoint; and secondly they don’t take into account how people feel about brands, missing the important contextual, qualitative elements of brand equity.
Attest’s method aims to provide a better understanding of brand equity by measuring the relative strength of brands in a particular market, based on direct to consumer data, taking into account how they feel about brands.
By collecting survey responses from a vast range of people, and allowing free text responses, our Brand Index gives you a detailed picture of exactly how your brand is perceived in consumers’ own terms.
It illuminates the reasons behind consumer behaviour, rather than just quantifying the behaviour itself. Free text responses open up usually-inaccessible data: what do consumers think about your brand on a personal, private level? How would they describe you to others?
Attest’s method is more heavily based on a brand’s relative strength within its market than the previous methods. Rather than try to put a dollar and cents value on your brand, Attest’s approach tracks how successful the brand is in comparison to other brands in the same space.
It’s a deceptively simple, yet powerful approach with real consumers at its heart. We ask thousands of people across the UK (and can extend to 80 other countries, where appropriate) to name the first brand that comes to mind in a specific category, giving brands an unprompted recall score.
This is combined with a Net Promoter Score, which measures the likelihood of recommending your brand, as well as a Purchase Intent Score, measuring how likely a consumer would be to use and return to your brand.
The NPS and PIS scores are combined to create a Brand Strength Score, which when coupled with Unprompted Brand Recall, provides an overall Total Brand Equity score.
With the flexibility of Attest’s platform, these questions can also be tailored to one specific aspect of your brand. For example, when trying to break into a foreign market, real-time insight into the minds of your new customers will allow you to make the necessary branding adjustments to succeed.
Our Brand Index also tracks brand change over time (every quarter), providing a more granular understanding of how changes in the market, or competitor actions, are impacting everyone else’s brand.
Check out Attest’s weekly brand indexes and resulting industry reports which track brand equity in specific industries (they’re free!).
If your brand is included, you may want to get in touch to carry out a more detailed investigation into the perception of your brand. If you’re not quite there yet, let us help you change that.
We can create completely custom industry brand trackers to focus on your specific niche; or go deeper again with our Brand Intelligence products that unveil greater levels understand around market dynamics, consumer sentiment, competitive intelligence and more.
Talk to us today to learn how we can help you measure, manage and maximise your brand equity.