A brand index is when there is ranking of brands, within specifics areas such as finance, fashion, technology etc. These rankings are usually based on an overall score that comes from the average of other scores in key areas. It’s not set in stone what these factors have to be. Neither is it determined how this information should be gathered. When it comes to gathering information to accurately build a brand index, removing any elements of bias or prejudice is paramount. Without this being the case, the information gathered cannot be considered objective and therefore cannot be considered accurate or valid. In this article, we’ll see how going directly to the consumer, is the only way this can be done.

In this age of information we live in, it has never been easier or faster to get an answer to almost any question on the planet. Yet, with this level of information comes the need to be wary of sources of information. In cases outside of brand indexes, there can often be quite sinister motivations for distorting information. Yet, here we are more referring to less severe motivations.

Take social media for example. There is constantly a level of misinformation on social media, as people have the power to tell their own story how they want to, not how it objectively happened. It is hard to see how something like this relates to brand indexes. However, if a brand index was going to be based on social media mentions, feedback etc. then it couldn’t be considered a solid source of information. There might be influencers being paid to mention brands, bots being used, or a brand using a small free giveaway to hyperinflate the amount of mentions they are really getting. This makes social media an unsafe foundation for any brand index, as the level of social media bias can never truly be known.

The answer therefore, is going directly to consumers themselves in the form of market research. Take someone such as Attest for example, who have produced quarterly brand indexes, in many different markets. They take the market research directly to a large and varied range of consumers in order to represent the wide range of demographics that you would be able to access on social media, and more importantly, that would represent your consumer demographics.