Anytime you feel physically or mentally unwell you seek out the expertise of a trusted practitioner. But what happens when your brand's vitals start to flatline? Maybe your sales have taken a dip, or perhaps your social engagement has stagnated. While it’s easy to blame a combination of outside factors, from current events to natural ebbs and flows, wouldn’t it be nice to know for sure?
That’s where brand health tracking comes into play.
In the simplest terms, brand health measures the performance of a brand. So if your brand is performing well, it is considered healthy. Taken a step further, it analyzes how your audience interacts with your products and their sentiments towards your brand as a whole. This can be tracked through several key indicators, from brand awareness to Net Promoter Score (NPS). But, we’ll circle back to these a little later on.
Why it Matters
When it comes down to it, your organization's most valuable asset is your brand. So, you can’t just leave its health up to chance. A consumer's perception of your brand can be the difference between instant trust and skepticism or strong engagement and disinterest. If your brand is unhealthy, it could actively damage your organization.
Even if your sales are trending upwards and you’ve effectively captured your audience, tracking brand health allows you to see what truly matters to your audience from a 10,000ft view. This gives you space to clearly identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. And in uncertain or volatile times, tracking your brand's health gives you the power of agility, allowing you to gauge the market and adjust when needed.
As for metrics, many key drivers can indicate consumers' perception of your brand. They include:
Brand Awareness: a consumer's ability to recognize your brand. Questions could include: “Which of the following brands have you heard of?” or “How did you hear about [BRAND]?”
Brand Purchase: identifies previous and existing customers. Questions might include: “Have you purchased a [BRAND] product?” or “How did you purchase [PRODUCT] from [BRAND]?”
Brand Usage: determines how often a customer has purchased and used your product. Questions could include: “How often do you use [BRAND]?” or “Which of these brands do you use regularly?”
Brand Perception: a consumer's overall perception of a brand, including its quality, performance, customer support, aesthetic, etc. For these types of questions, we generally use a Likert scale to see how much consumers agree with statements like: “This brand is relevant to me” or “This brand has earned a strong reputation.”
Brand Preference: the degree to which a consumer will choose your brand over the competitors. Similarly, we can utilize a Likert scale to assess how much consumers agree with statements like: “[BRAND] stands out from its competitors” or “I am strongly committed to [BRAND].”
Brand Loyalty: the likelihood of customers continuing to purchase your products and engage with your brand. Yet again, we use a Likert scale to find out how much consumers agree with statements like: “I am likely to purchase from [BRAND] again” or “I plan to buy from [BRAND] again in the future.”
Net Promoter Score:the probability that a customer will recommend your product or brand. This question is simply: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend [BRAND] to your friends and family?”
Fielding a survey that covers the components above can give you feedback from a wide range of consumers. If you are interested in hearing only from existing customers, you can employ NLP, once again, to extract sentiment from product reviews. However, it can also be helpful to send current customers a feedback survey to understand the full breadth of their experience.
Run the Numbers
Once the data has been collected from your study, it’s time to analyze the results. The first step is to simply look at your overall results. Compile the raw data you gathered and assign it values so that responses can translate to meaningful information. NLP technology will help you analyze the responses from open-ended questions to distill overarching themes and connections.
How did your target audience respond to your survey? Did they have positive or negative things to say about your brand or products? Do you have a high or low NPS? Keep an eye out for criticisms or compliments that are repeated often- these can give you crucial insight as well.
From here, you can dig even deeper to understand how different consumer segments react to your brand and what they find important. Similarly, filter the data by variables that matter to you to compare and contrast how different audiences feel about your brand and messaging.
Keep Checking the Pulse
After you’ve completed your first brand health tracking study it becomes simpler to replicate the process to keep a pulse on your market. It’s important to measure the feelings of your target audience often over time to see how your product launches, advertisements, events, or messaging can change public perceptions.
Many different factors may affect how often you should run your brand tracking research. If, for example, you simply want to monitor the impacts of your brand-building efforts, quarterly tracking is a common choice. Conversely, monthly tracking may be best if you’re measuring the influence of a new marketing campaign. When current events create uncertainty or volatility in the market (like COVID-19), it can be helpful to track your brand's health on a weekly or monthly basis. This level of frequency gives you data in real-time, allowing you to optimize as you go.
Now that you have the know-how, you’ve got to choose the best platform for your research! SightX gives you the flexibility to design your study, build surveys, gather responses, and analyze results all in one platform. Our data analysis tools make it simple to continuously evaluate the health of your brand and the level of your consumer’s engagement.