Do you know how healthy your brand is? You must be aware of the multiple factors affecting brand performance to answer that. You will also need to gather a lot of data on each of these brand performance indicators to gauge your brand’s strengths and weaknesses truly.
Brand health is determined by metrics that gauge how effective your brand is and the customer perceptions around it. It helps you identify how your brand delivers on its promises to customers and if you can delight your customers with your product or service. Good brand health signifies strong brand positioning. A healthy brand provides a customer experience close to the brand promise.
💡 Read Brand Reputation 101: Monitoring, Analysis, and Management Tools
Evaluating brand health requires paying attention to the following aspects of brand performance:
- Brand awareness
- Brand reputation
- Employee engagement
- Brand positioning
Whether you’re wondering how to start a business or have an already operating one, these brand health metrics can help determine the current state of your company. A close look at the metrics through a defined period will help you prepare a strategy to improve or sustain consistent and positive customer experiences for a healthy brand.
You can measure the effectiveness of your branding campaigns by quantifying the above performance factors and turning them into tangible metrics. Each metric plays an important role, and they all come together to ensure your brand is a powerful force in the market.
Why Should You Measure Brand Health?
Measuring brand health is the key to understanding how your company is perceived by the wider world and, most crucially, your customers. A healthy brand can turn customers into your biggest advocates, extolling your virtues to friends, family, and anyone else who will listen. Even simple acts like tracking brand mentions on social media will provide insight, highlight areas of negativity, and help you get out in front of a problem before it’s too late.
Every marketing team should focus on brand health to ensure their marketing, advertising, and customer service teams know where they stand among the competition. While measuring brand health can help you tackle any negative awareness before it spreads, it can also help identify what brand activities result in positive attention. You can then maintain those marketing strategies to sustain good brand health actively.
By measuring the right brand health metrics, you can discover what parts of your business have the potential for improvement. You can test changes by seeing how your brand health graph moves and then implement or reject those accordingly.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a B2B brand that sells a VoIP phone or a B2C brand that sells candy. Measuring brand health is paramount to anyone who wants to grow their business. It allows you to develop the blueprint for your brand strategy.
Measuring Brand Health
Before we look at gathering the data on your brand, let’s first cover all of the brand health metrics that you’ll want to analyze.
Any successful brand strategy should have brand awareness as its number one priority. Measuring brand awareness informs you about the volume of conversation around your brand and its dynamics. You can find out the following:
- Where do most of the conversations happen? You could even use IP address data for PPC geo-tagging, which will help you identify which countries and cities you are most (or least) popular in.
- What platforms do people use to talk about your brand? Are you popular on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter?
- Does the buzz online coincide with product launches or any other marketing tactic?
- The total number of mentions online.
- Social media reach.
Monitoring tools provide this information in real-time. You can track your online mentions by the second and determine if your conversations correlate with high seasons or depend on your marketing and advertising schemes.
A healthy brand has high awareness levels, and the generated buzz is primarily positive. Say you’ve got a business that deals in enterprise communication systems, with a predictive dialer and video conferencing etc. You can find out if people are discussing your video conferencing software, how many people are talking about it, and if those people are in your target market.
Learning about your brand’s reputation lets you gauge the sentiment around your brand. Are your mentions positive or negative? Many people may be talking about you, but the scary and real possibility is that it’s not all good. If we return to the enterprise communication software example, say you’re tracking mentions around your software’s Teams phone integrations, are these mentions in a positive context?
You might find that people are talking about you a lot, but most of that is negative, with users complaining about your user interface or customer service. Knowing that, you’ll be able to identify more than just problems with your marketing strategy but key areas to improve your business. It’s essential to find the level of conversation and its growth over time. Still, it’s also important to break down your mentions into positive, negative, and neutral to give you a clear idea about your brand reputation.
Monitoring your social media networks and your mentions can help avert a crisis. If you keep a keen eye on the kind of mentions and related emotions, you can be proactive in solving problems before they hurt your reputation. This kind of relationship management is only possible if you keep track of your brand health metrics.
Every business leader knows that your human resources, your employees, are the heart of your business operations. This is the easiest metric to overlook because it’s easy to forget that brand health isn’t purely external to the company. What’s on the inside counts, and employee engagement is crucial to brand health.
The more engaged your employees are, the more brand advocates you have within your company. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that employee engagement is only important to employee satisfaction. Engaged employees discuss their companies online and help build goodwill for your brand.
Dissatisfied employees have an excuse to besmirch your name in public, and when it comes to brand strategy, that’s the sort of bad press you need to avoid. With organizations employing lean ways of working and the Agile manifesto to help with things like productivity and software development, it’s time that employee engagement was given the same importance for the sake of your brand health.
The more passionate your employees are, the better they will be at their jobs. Whether or not they’re in customer facing positions, every employee is critical to the value you provide your customers. If your employees are inspired, they will do their jobs well, and your customers will recognize that your brand boasts an efficient organization and amazing work culture.
Brand positioning is a significant part of every brand health tracking study. It is the space your brand occupies in customers’ minds and the market. Perhaps you’re a sports brand, so your positioning efforts would be to define yourself as a brand that inspires people to win and conquer. If you’re a luxury car brand, you must position yourself as innovative and exclusive.
Wrong brand positioning can easily lead to massive failures and sometimes even the doom of entire brands. You must find a niche in the market for your brand and ensure you’re a leader in it. Your brand can be positioned through:
- Customer service
Tools & Processes to Measure Brand Health
After we’ve decided what to measure, let’s look at a few methods and avenues available to gather data on these metrics.
Social listening tools are a fantastic way to gather insight into your brand. They provide data on the brand mentions around your organizations and products on social media and give you the volumes of mentions around your competitors.
You can use social listening tools to measure the sentiment around these mentions. That can give you a good idea about your brand reputation and positioning by showing how people talk about you. Many social media platforms, like TikTok Analytics and Instagram Analytics, provide their own analytics. You could use those to gather quantitative data around your brand too.
For example, say you offer enterprise cloud services. Your social listening tools can give detailed information about different cloud platforms, those you’re associated with, and those of competitors.
Social listening is essential to find out your share of voice. This is your share of advertising (traditional or digital) compared to all your competitors’ shares. The concept has evolved in the digital era to include different awareness measures, such as online mentions and website traffic. Share-of-voice is an essential indicator of your digital presence.
Focus groups and surveys
Focus groups are a common way to gather brand research. They can give you first-hand information about what people think about your brand, how aware they are of you and your products, and if they understand your brand.
You can get in-depth qualitative data if these surveys are targeted at the right customer groups. Your questions must be well thought out, so the answers can help identify how people see your brand.
Surveys can also help you identify if your customers appreciate how you reach out to them. Perhaps affiliate marketing free traffic is not the way to go, and people prefer a more direct approach like paid ads on social media.
Conducting regular interviews with your customers has two advantages:
- It gives excellent insight into brand health.
- Your customers appreciate the concern you show.
Asking customers directly ensures you’re asking the exact people you want to buy from you. You can find out if the view of your brand has changed over time if they’ve ever chosen your competitors over you, and if they dislike anything about you. You can send these surveys over email and even reduce churn if you can get substantial responses as to why customers leave.
Reasons for Declining Brand Health
If measuring brand health brings you to the conclusion that your brand is not in the best of health, it’s probably due to the following:
- The unfavorable market conditions and you’re playing in a dead market.
- You’ve ignored your brand health for too long.
- Your brand hasn’t evolved to keep up with the times.
- You’ve expanded into too many markets and cannot keep up.
- You’ve not expanded into enough markets, and your focus is too narrow.
- You’ve been unable to create excitement with employees or customers.
Look at your quantitative and qualitative data and find out why you cannot maintain a healthy brand. Perhaps your products don’t deliver value or cater to customers’ pain points. Or you’re lacking in the customer service department. Find out if your brand’s value proposition reaches your target market at all and if your brand has stayed true to its original values.
Working Towards a Healthy Brand
Brand health metrics will help you see whether your marketing strategy is performing well. You’ll be able to see your brand’s strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps your brand has more brand awareness in one city instead of another. This translates to more brand equity in your popular or well-known places. Obviously, this is just one example of how checking in on your brand health can be beneficial.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking measuring brand health is too much effort; it will prove worth it because poor brand health can have very real negative impacts. It will slowly but surely translate to a failing business.
Branding is vital to every organization that wants to be successful. Hence, staying informed about the condition of your brand health helps you define your sphere of influence and gives you clear insights into what your customers want.
John Allen is a driven marketing professional with over 14 years of experience, an extensive background in cloud contact center, building and optimizing digital marketing programs across SEM, SEO, paid media, mobile, social, and email, with an eye to new customers acquisition and increasing revenue. John has also written content for ZoomShift and Shift4Shop.