Building, tracking, and mantaining a healthy, reputable brand is often easier said than done.
Today’s customers expect more from the brands they interact with than just high-quality products. They expect experiences. They demand engagement. They value companies based on their commitment to causes and issues they care about. For instance, one 2020 survey found that 60% of consumers said they were making more eco-conscious purchases following the pandemic.
In addition to their brand preferences, customer needs are constantly shifting, often in response to the economy and their own social environments. As their needs evolve, customers are becoming less loyal, and expanding their search to companies and products that meet their new needs and expectations. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 35% of U.S. consumers have tried a new brand, according to McKinsey & Company. In a separate survey, Hanover asked consumers why they chose new brands, 50% of respondents said they’ve done so because they had a new need and found a new brand that met it.
“Regularly tracking your brand health is the only way to truly understand its success and overall health in the marketplace and among customers. “
With customers on the lookout for new products and services, it’s more important than ever that companies monitor not only how their brand is perceived but also their brand’s health. Successfully measuring brand health means paying attention to the metrics that matter, tracking them over time, and making sense of strengths and weaknesses to improve brand strategy. Here are the top five reasons why tracking your brand health is essential.
1. Build and Maintain a Healthy Brand
To develop a strong brand, you need to consistently identify signals of poor brand awareness and negative impressions. There are six main tracking metrics that paint a complete picture of a brand’s overall health.
- Future consideration
- Likelihood to recommend (Net Promoter Score)
Measuring each of these metrics allows you to develop a better understanding of how customers interact with your brand, including the impact your messaging has on purchasing behavior and the relative strength of your brand to competitors. By tracking these metrics and paying attention to how people regard your brand, you can begin to see the bigger picture of your brand’s overall health. This information will help you answer questions like:
- Who’s heard of us?
- Who is or isn’t buying our product(s)?
- What do customers think of us?
- What drives customers to buy from us again?
Depending on the answers to these questions, you may determine it’s time to re-evaluate your messaging approach, marketing initiatives, or even how your brand is presented and its attributes.
Considering a rebrand? Check out our 7-step guide — It’s Time to Rethink Your Brand.
2. Evaluate the Impact of New Product Launches and Key Initiatives
Launching a new product or participating in any sort of large-scale marketing initiative are both excellent ways to increase brand awareness and engagement. But, done poorly, they can also be two surefire ways to wreak havoc on your brand’s reputation.
Remember that creating and maintaining a strong brand is a two-way street between your brand and its customers, so you don’t want to ignore their input. Collecting inputs both before and after a product or campaign launch is critical to avoiding missteps.
Strong brands continue tracking key metrics throughout the product lifecycle — including post-launch — to evaluate the impact of the launch or initiative on their brand and to identify and adapt to any negative reactions. For example, if event planning and attendance is part of your marketing strategy, don’t just gauge performance during a single event. Instead, keep a close watch on how your event strategy influences your brand perception across its lifecycle.
3. Demonstrate Campaign Performance and ROI
Many marketers find demonstrating the ROI of their marketing efforts difficult. Pinpointing impact and aligning spend with sales is incredibly difficult, and with so many inputs at your fingertips, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Brand tracking tools allow you to measure important brand metrics and help you understand the effectiveness of both your individual campaigns and your overall brand presence. Regular brand tracking also helps you extract relevant information that you can use to inform your brand strategy moving forward.
Consistently tracking the overall health of your organization’s brand makes demonstrating marketing ROI a whole lot easier. In fact, almost four in five executives say that brand measurement has a positive ROI on their company.
4. Compare Your Brand to Competitors
Do you know how your brand stacks up against the competition? Do you know whether your brand is the top choice for your primary audience? Better yet, how can you find out? By identifying competitors and comparing key metrics like revenue, cost of services, or customer loyalty, companies can gain a clearer idea of their position against the competition.
Other metrics to consider are a customer’s preferred brand and what drives them to continue purchasing from one brand over another. When customers are satisfied enough to continue using a product or service long-term, it’s safe to assume the brand is delivering on its KPIs. If customers are easily swayed to try a competitor’s product or service, it may be time to re-evaluate your brand positioning or product attributes.
Tools that collect online purchasing behavior can be helpful when determining how many customers engage with your brand and purchase your product or service. Pair that with qualitative research and brand tracking surveys that shed light on customer experiences, and you’re well on your way to accurately measuring your brand’s health against the competition.
5. Proactively Identify and Correct Underperformance
If you’re regularly tracking your brand, it’s easier to spot and correct underperforming areas than if you had no insight into your brand’s overall health or only collect point in time data. By consistently collecting brand health metrics, you can compare results over time to identify how customers view your brand at various stages or in response to campaigns or news and events.
With access to a wealth of historical data you can quickly identify signs of decreased brand awareness, perceived brand quality, and customer loyalty. Then you can develop strategies to help boost brand recognition and make your company top of mind for potential and returning customers.
Track and Adjust Your Brand Regularly
Regularly tracking your brand is the only way to truly understand its success and overall health in the marketplace and among customers.
Setting goals, analyzing key metrics, and addressing areas of opportunity early on will help you set your brand apart from the rest. With an understanding of your brand’s current health, you can gather your team and share your findings, adjust your goals, and begin planning for future tracking.