Your brand is one of the most important assets you have as a business owner. Talented staff are key to your success, but if you needed to you could find others with similar skillsets; funding can be spent, lost and rebuilt if you can find the right investors and your products can be replaced if demand wanes. Most people only have one chance to establish a brand, and if you don’t get it right and nurture it effectively you can fatally compromise your business’ ability to relate to its public.
If you don’t know what your brand is doing for you, you can’t harness it effectively, or you might even damage it. Choosing the right content and voice for adverts and other communications from your brand can make for effective messaging, with customers feeling like your communications are advice from a trusted friend. If your messaging is out of the kilter with the brand you’ve built it’ll feel confusing or insincere and could harm your business in the long term.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can assess the performance of your brand, learn just what customers think of your business and either lean into this perception or engage in the subtle work of changing it over time.
Checking a market research agency’s brand index can be a potent tool. This is an overall ranking of your brand equity in your industry. This is a high-level assessment of how useful a tool your brand is for your business, with further studies digging into exactly what people think and why. Your brand equity is a combined measure of whether people recognise your business (‘unprompted recall’), whether they want to buy from it (‘purchase intention’) and finally whether they’d recommend your brand to friends (‘net promoter score’). Combining these metrics and then ranking all the businesses in a niche according to the results shows you just how well your brand is performing.
Developing your understanding with brand tracking studies can help you learn the specific qualities that your brand is valued for and make sure they are reflected in how you communicate with customers. This can even play into how you develop new products – ensuring that you walk the walk as well as talk the talk and therefore don’t disappoint customers you’ve persuaded to shop with you.
A brand tracker survey asks customers to rank your brand against competitors in the industry for certain key qualities, and then drills down into why they’ve done so, giving you a clearer insight into how people think about you so you can appeal to them all the more effectively.