Building a brand is an extensive undertaking but an important aspect of a business. Branding is the only way consumers can identify a company’s products or services. The brand elements are the unique characteristics that a consumer becomes familiar with and can recall during the consideration phase of purchasing. These include the name, logo, tagline, color, sound, and smell. Brand building is a long term strategy that can take six months to a year to gain significant traction. Once achieved, brand equity should be measured for it to be maintained and improved when necessary. Measuring brand equity can be difficult as it is something that is built within the perception of consumers. However, three areas that can be measured are brand awareness and consideration, brand loyalty, and brand advocacy.
Brand Awareness and Consideration
Brand awareness refers to how familiar consumers are with your brand. It plays a key role in building an association with a product category. A useful metric is unaided awareness. Let’s take a local plastic surgery center that has placed billboard ads around their local community. Measuring the unaided awareness could be done with a survey sent to local participants asking if they know the names of any local plastic surgery centers.
Brand Loyalty Behavior
Brand loyalty behavior is when consumers buy certain brands for particular products. This happens when the consumer has a positive experience with a product or services and continuously purchases the same brand for the category. For instance, if a client went to the plastic surgery center mentioned above for rhinoplasty and enjoyed the care the surgeon and his staff provided, they would consider another specialist at the same center for an abdominoplasty. This could be measured by determining the percentage of repeat patients at the surgery center.
Brand advocacy happens when consumers become avid supporters of your brand and will positively spread word of mouth. This can occur when consumers write reviews or recommend the product to close family and friends. Keeping with the example above. If the patient was satisfied with their cosmetic surgeries, and a family member was in the market for the same procedures, the patient would gladly recommend the same surgeons to them. A simple metric for this can be incorporated into a patient satisfaction survey. A question about the likeliness of recommending the doctors to family or friends can be asked. It can also be measured on the new patient forms with the question indicating if and who referred them to the surgery center.
After investing extensive time and resources into building your brand, make sure to continuously measure the equity you’ve created. Keeping a pulse on it can allow you to shift directions if certain aspects do not deliver the intended perception of the brand. If you haven’t yet, read my last post about how St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital used brand resonance.