Taking the Pulse of your Brand Health
In our last blog post, we gave an overview on how you can use an online community to discover insights into your brand, including brand health, customer experience, corporate reputation and message testing. When we touched upon the concept of brand health we discussed why it’s important to check your brand’s vital signs in order to understand what’s working and what’s not on a frequent basis to keep your finger on the state of your brand in this dynamic market place. With the vast amount of choices and information consumers have today, there is no reason for them to purchase a brand they simply don’t like. If you ask your consumers the right questions you will know why they are or why they aren’t purchasing your product, and how to solve your brand’s problems.
What is brand health and why is it important?
Brand health measures the state of your brand in the minds of your customers. To put it simply, brand health answers the question, “what do your customers think and feel about your brand today and what will they think about your brand tomorrow”? A healthy brand gives your company the best opportunity to succeed as brand health directly affects your ability to; increase awareness, reach a larger audience, sell more products, and grow your bottom line. The best way to understand how to build and manage your brand over time is with direct input from your most valuable customers.. By employing specific practices and engaging your customers, you can learn how strong your brand awareness is or isn’t, allowing you to identify necessary actions to implement that will increase your brand’s equity, image, value and awareness.
Incorporating the Keller Model into understanding your brand’s health.
Drawing upon Kevin Lane Keller, a respected marketing professor at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, and his customer based brand equity model, we developed a yardstick by which brands can assess their progress in their brand-building efforts. The concept behind the model is; in order to build a strong brand you must shape how customers think and feel about your product. You have to build the right type of experiences around your brand so customers have specific positive thoughts and feelings, beliefs and perceptions about it. According to Keller’s model, building a brand involves four steps.
• Establishing the proper brand identity, that is, establishing the breadth and depth of brand awareness
• Creating the appropriate brand meaning through strong, favorable, and unique brand associations
• Eliciting positive, accessible brand responses
• Forging brand relationships with customers that are characterized by intense, active loyalty Achieving these four steps, in turn, involves establishing four-brand-building blocks:
• Brand salience (identity: Who are you?)
• Brand performance and brand imagery (Meaning: What are you?)
• Brand judgments and brand feelings (Response: What about you?)
• Brand resonance (What about you and me?)
The most valuable brand-building block, brand resonance, occurs when all the other brand-building blocks are established. With true brand resonance customers express a high degree of loyalty to the brand, such that they actively seek means to interact with the brand and share their experiences with others.
How do you determine your brand health using a private, online community?
So yes, we’ve made it clear that brand health is an essential metric to understand what your brand represents in the eyes of consumers, but how do you discover what yours is? An online community can help you connect with your customers directly to see how strong your brand is (or isn’t). Creating a two-way dialog with your customers allows you to gain insights on what they like and don’t like about your brand, which attributes or features motivate them to purchase/not purchase your product and where your brand sits among your competitors. These consumer insights can help you help you keep your finger on the pulse of your brand today as well as provide you with a roadmap for where your brand should be tomorrow. An online community uses both qualitative and quantitative techniques to measure brand health. With qualitative research the goal is to see how the consumer thinks, feels, and perceives your brand in their own words. Here are some questions you could ask your community members; Imagine you’re at a cocktail party with Brand X. Describe the party. Who is in the room? Who is doing what? If you had control of Brand X’s social media for a day, what would you talk about? Would you tweet? What would you tweet? How about Facebook? With quantitative research we conduct surveys to provide numeric data to dig further into the subjective as well as objective associations consumers have with your brand.
Why do we care about brand health?
Brand health is important in gauging where your brand stands in your consumers eyes. Using a community is an ideal way to directly interact with your customers to gather the findings you need to be able to make informed choices. When you actively monitor your brand health you can create a plan to manage where you are today and where you need to be tomorrow. Learn more about the discoveries you can make with a private, online community by downloading our free whitepaper.