Ways to measure your brand power 

One of the most common types of projects our clients ask us to design is brand research. An organization’s brand is usually critical to its success. Understanding the current state of your brand is highly valuable, and this knowledge should include:

  • Brand awareness
  • Brand perceptions
  • Brand preference
  • Brand momentum
  • Brand competition
  • Brand opportunities
  • Brand loyalty

Measuring brand awareness. Evaluating your brand’s visibility in the marketplace is the first step. This can include asking an open-ended, top-of-mind question to see if your company is in people’s thoughts for your product type, service or industry. Having people respond with no prompts reveals if you come to mind first, second, third or barely at all. 

Asking an aided awareness question afterward will provide a fuller picture of your brand and its key competitors. 

Identifying brand perceptions and brand preference. As the saying goes, perception is reality. Those inside an organization have a brand they may believe embodies their purpose and position in the market, but that belief might not fully align with what customers, prospects and buyers perceive. Market opinions and preferences can be identified through several ways, including:

  • Having people share three words or phrases that describe the brand
  • Providing a list of adjectives and asking participants to choose which best fit the brand
  • Listing well-known brands from a different industry and asking which is most like yours
  • Asking which brand is the leader or performs best in different categories 
  • Questions aimed to reveal emotional connections to using the brand 
  • Questions measuring how well brand perceptions match to the organization’s mission and vision

Evaluating your brand energy. Momentum can be important for a brand. Does the market consider your organization as moving up, staying steady or on the decline? How does your brand fit in with others in the market? Where do you sit for price/value? Are you the local choice, and is that a positive? Are you viewed as the brand that cares in a commoditized market? 

Brand research can not only identify the current state of your brand, but it can also identify openings in the market that might make sense to pursue.

Assessing brand loyalty. The strength of brand loyalty can be examined through “likelihood to purchase” and “likelihood to recommend” questions, but you can gain a more nuanced view with questions that ask how users feel about the brand, offering responses ranging from “I prefer not to buy this brand, but my company requires it” or “I dislike this brand and will not buy it” to “I love this brand and won’t buy anything else.” You can ask people if they have talked, unsolicited, positively or negatively with anyone else about the brand. 

Remember to measure your brand internally. Staff, partners, members, donors, distributors and others associated with your organization’s operation are the ambassadors and communicators of your brand. Be sure to regularly evaluate their knowledge of your intended brand and their perceptions of how well you are delivering on your brand promises. 

Brands are not static. Organizations change, markets change, and consumer/buyer needs change. Tracking the state of your brand can be done in many ways, including:

  • Monitoring social comments and online reviews
  • Evaluating customer service requests
  • Getting feedback from distributors, agents, or sales staff
  • Reviewing industry surveys or reports
  • Working with customer or dealer councils
  • Evaluating website traffic and search terms
  • Conducting formal research

Regular evaluation of your brand will ensure your mission, your intended brand, and market perceptions all align — giving you a solid foundation for success.  •

Linda Kuster is president of Vernon Research Group.