Understanding your brand’s equity in the market has never been more important. Having a data-driven view of how your brand is perceived and what customers want will put you in possession of the truth and help you construct a powerful brand strategy.
Brand equity measurement (like brand valuation, has a definition and methodology for every consultant) is generally understood to be the perception that a company, brand or mark has with the market which can, with proper management, command a premium price and drive stakeholder value.
Valued and valuable brands like Amazon, Starbucks and Disney didn’t get there by just building a better offering and experience. Their brand-building efforts of course benefit from analyzing and acting on reams of data from VOC research, customer satisfaction surveys, social media analytics and CRM and sales reports. But they also invest in obtaining data and insight not found in these sources. These top performing brands conduct regular brand equity studies that provide them with a comprehensive and actionable view of market needs and brand performance.
6 Ways We Act On Brand Equity Studies
At The Blake Project, we are pragmatic and opportunistic in applying our clients’ brand equity research in myriad ways. Ultimately the study manifests as a decision document for helping the company to achieve brand and business goals.
Here are six ways we use brand equity research with our clients:
1. Measure Brand Progress Toward Vision
The brand equity study becomes a scorecard for management to regularly measure where the company is on the trajectory to reach its vision. Attribute related questions are especially helpful for this purpose. We help clients integrate other key metrics (HR, marketing) into a comprehensive brand performance dashboard.
2. Align Employees
There are two ways equity studies are used to align employees. The first involves management’s sharing of customer equity study findings with employees as part of a collaborative dialogue in moving the organization and brand toward the vision. The second way to engage employees is by surveying them directly, in parallel with customer studies and comparing alignment on metrics such as attribute association and loyalty. This process also should be managed as a two-way conversation.
3. Build Leadership Buy-In
It is not only helpful to get cross-functional, senior management’s input on the actual brand equity study questionnaire; investing them in the research process will only make brand-led (and related) programs to follow more credible, successful and less likely to be derailed.
4. Reveal Product, Experience Or Operational Needs
The brand equity survey instrument needs to be concise yet thoughtfully well-rounded; the resultant data becomes a beacon of truth for the client, informing areas outside of brand and marcom, for example HR, sales, customer experience, and offering development. Questions relating to the brand’s performance on certain attributes reveals key areas for improvement.
5. Provide A Big, Longer-Term Picture Of Brand Performance
When diagnosing brand performance, it’s easy for leaders to get caught up in the moment (quarterly numbers), or with specific customers (VOC, CRM) or touchpoints (social media, customer satisfaction feedback); but understanding how ALL customers regard the brand OVERALL, over the LONG-TERM—a view the brand equity study delivers–is critical for effective brand management and stewardship.
6. Establish A Fact-Based, Strategic Foundation To Guide Business And Brand Decisions
Most of our brand equity research projects follow up with a series of client leadership workshops and development of the brand strategy. The data captured from the brand equity research is rich and robust and is critical in guiding, informing and inspiring the workshop and strategy deliverables.
All of the data we collect—each question we ask in the brand equity study—is actionable. Some examples:
>Path-to-purchase questions (awareness-to-advocacy) – Applied to various communications to optimize touchpoint ‘stickiness’
>Attribute importance questions – Applied to product/service development and messaging
>Attribute association questions – Applied to measuring brand movement toward vision
>Brand performance questions — Applied to diagnosing and improving the customer experience
>Employee vs. customer brand association questions — Applied to analyzing and closing gaps between internal and market perceptions
>Persona questions – Applied to audience targeting and messaging
>Media use questions – Applied to media planning
Knowledge is power today just as it was several thousand years ago; brand equity research is one of the best investments your brand can make to be in the position to make better decisions.
The Blake Project’s brand equity measurement system is comprehensive, measuring each of the five drivers of customer brand insistence – awareness, relevant differentiation, value, accessibility and emotional connection – along with other factors such as brand vitality, brand loyalty, brand personality and brand associations. Contact us for more on brand equity measurement
Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Growth and Brand Education