As a brand marketer, you play a key role in driving brand strength for the company you work for. However, until a brand’s strength is defined and measured it is difficult to determine whether it is stronger than another, let alone improve it. A brand performance measurement study can help overcome this challenge. This article explains how.
What is a brand performance measurement (BPM) study?
The measurement of brand performance is a qualitative and quantitative research study that is vital to the success of a brand. It enables brand owners to determine where their brand’s strengths and weaknesses lie and what forces are driving it. Therefore, it informs them of the nature and level of investment required to fulfill the brand’s potential. In most companies, BPM studies are conducted regularly to track their brand’s performance changes over time.
Conducting a BPM study has several advantages. As it includes an analysis of several brand performance indicators, it reveals key brand opportunities to inform innovation and operational improvement as well as optimize your brand strategy to fuel customer demand and make brand messages resonate with your market.
What insights can be gained from a BPM study?
1. Brand awareness
Brand awareness and familiarity is one of the most important brand performance indicators and also the trickiest to track. While there are several methods to measure brand awareness, market research is one of the most effective and comprehensive methods to do it. It is determined based on:
- Brand recall: Consumer choice is determined by brand recall, which can be improved by creating notice for the brand. Measurement of brand recall should include both aided and unaided recall, so that you can determine whether your brand can be recognized from your creatives (ads, messaging, etc.) as well as remembered at the moment when one is contemplating purchasing.
- Recognition: Calculated based upon your brand’s share-of-mind score, it determines where consumers place your brand when they are thinking about a certain market.
- Sources of awareness: It’s not enough to know whether consumers recognize and remember your brand. To find more effective ways to increase your brand awareness, you need to see which sources (TV ads, print ads, email, etc.) generated the most awareness for your brand as well as for your competitors.
Awareness, although a key brand asset, cannot by itself create sales. This brings us to the next important aspect of brand performance – product experience and usage.
2. Brand experience and usage
Brand experience is the catalyst that converts brand awareness into brand loyalty.
The most effective method of measuring brand experience and usage is by direct customer feedback. This can be done by surveying a defined target customer demographic group. Customer responses help evaluate the following:
- Current and past usage: How often do your customers use your product? Surveys are conducted to find out how frequently customers use the product currently and in the past. The recorded responses provide a view of how likely your customer is to continue interaction with your brand in the future.
- Future purchase intent: Gauging future purchase intent presents a suitable marker to measure the strength of your brand. High purchase intentions indicate a healthy brand.
- Likelihood of brand switching: It is important to measure how loyal your customers are to your brand. How likely are your customers to change their brand preferences and switch brands? Determining this helps identify problem points. For instance, a customer’s decision to switch brands may be prompted by poor customer service, high prices, low quality, and inadequate value. Identifying the root cause can enable focused improvement in those areas.
- Top brand preferences: Taking note of your customer’s favorite brands in relevant categories helps in assessing competitor performance and positioning. This offers an understanding of how your brand compares with competitors across parameters.
While studying brand experience and product usage enables you to gauge consumption patterns and identify areas of improvement, understanding your brand image is invaluable.
3. Brand image
The brand image denotes the customer’s perception of the brand on the basis of their interactions. It is an overview of all products and/or services the brand has to offer and the customer expectations associated with it.
Brand image is calculated as a cumulative average of various dimensions including brand attributes, product, price, service, distribution, marketing campaigns, and CSR initiatives. Utilizing a comparison standard with a defined ‘relevant market’ (for eg- across top ‘n’ competitor brands) helps ease the process of assessing responses and streamlines the calculation of brand image. Customers can be asked to respond with a simple yes/no response for each image statement, based on a pool of familiar brands. They choose whether they believe that the statement applies to their respective brands. For instance, while Brand A is perceived as strong on “good advice”, brand B may score strongly on “worth the money”.
Brand image is cumulative of the following:
- Brand attributes: Your brand attributes are the core values that portray your brand characteristics and signify your distinct brand personality. You can measure your customer’s response to attributes such as trustworthiness, reliability, relevance, consistency, good leader, transparency, financial worth and pricing strategy, credibility, uniqueness, innovative schemes, social and environmental responsibility, among others. This gives you an idea of where your brand stands vis-a-vis other brands in the market.
- Perception: Customer perception across various brand attributes and in comparison to competitor brands determines the brand image and position. It also influences the probability of future considerations and recommendations. Do your customers recommend your brand? Market research metrics, including the Net Promoter Score (NPS), reveal how likely your customers are to recommend a brand. Recommendations play an important role in ascertaining brand loyalty. Findings can be leveraged to improve customer satisfaction.
Listening to your customer plays a key role in understanding perception. This case study illustrates why: Brand perception and performance benchmarking analysis
A strong brand image is crucial to exceptional brand performance and health. While it is important to improve your brand’s attributes to build a powerful brand image, marketing campaigns assume equal significance.
4. Marketing campaign effectiveness
An effective marketing campaign can boost brand awareness and drive a positive response from consumers. However, measuring campaign effectiveness goes beyond just measuring return on investment.
Analyzing your marketing campaigns begins with addressing these key factors:
- What was the impact of your promotional campaigns on your target audience- positive, negative, or neutral?
- What elements of your campaign worked and what didn’t?
- What were the top channels of ad recall?
To understand the promotional impact of your campaigns, the following two parameters need to be evaluated:
- Awareness: Evaluate aided and unaided brand awareness generated by your marketing campaigns and advertisements and check how they perform versus competitors’ campaigns. Furthermore, measuring awareness across various sources of promotion will help you gauge the impact of your campaigns.
- Recognition: Is your campaign generating brand recall? Are viewers able to relate the campaign back to your brand or have they mistaken it for the competition? Responses will enable you to take corrective action and develop better future campaigns.
Successful brand campaigns leave messages that resonate with the viewer, generating increased brand recall. Today’s consumer responds positively to purpose-driven brands. In fact, customers are 4 times more likely to purchase from brands advocating a purpose. In short, a powerful campaign reaches beyond your brand.
Having strong brand health is critical to achieving competitive advantage and sustaining excellent performance. By conducting BPM studies periodically, you can improve your current positioning and marketing strategies. Using Netscribes’ BPM study, an industry leader was able to identify their strengths, increase brand loyalty, and pave the way forward for sustainable leadership in the industry.
Read the detailed case study here: Measuring brand performance for a leading insurance provider
Over the last two decades, Netscribes has worked with leading global brands to deliver tailored insights with our integrated market research services. To know more about how we can meet your data and insights needs, contact us.