A brand is a highly precious asset for companies that have been capable of positioning themselves adequately and relevantly in the minds of consumers. The result of the work involved, concerning both strategy and business-wise to develop this positioning, is perceived in the significant junctures when the indirect support from a substantial brand equity is needed. Examples of this could be launching a new product (to make market entry easier) or when the user starts considering different options in their purchase decision-making process (so the company is one of those in the consumer’s minds). It could also be when there is a reputation crisis (that will more likely straighten itself out if the brand is strong enough and reputable enough).
A model for analytics, ideally, should cover three fundamental aspects to help detect areas for improvement and recognize key strengths to help the brand’s strategy and tactics move forward in the right direction:
- Consider the necessary factors to measure the brand’s strength from a broad perspective (impact, business, interactions, loyalty, etc.)
- Let people be conscious of its evolution over time
- Facilitate the establishment of comparisons, within what is feasible, with its main competitors.
References for measuring brand equity
There are existing models of reference for measuring brand equity, or the brand’s value, which serve as a base for developing a more grounded analytical model. Kevin Lane Keller created a brand equity model in which he outlined four steps to build and reinforce that value, and distributed the framework in a pyramid format.
- At the pyramid’s base is brand identity. It refers to the need of gaining notoriety so that users become familiar with the brand and know what are the brand’s products, services, and attributes, in a way that makes the consumers create adequate associations around the brand.
- The next thing to be established is brand meaning. IT consists of defining the brand’s image based on the tangible and intangible factors captured in the product.
- The next level refers to how brands react towards the brand (brand response) and their marketing and communications efforts. In this stage of the model, we consider personal opinions and emotional reactions towards the brand equally.
- Finally, Keller defines the most ambitious and complicated of the steps. Brand resonance involves the relationship between the brand and consumers.
The other great reference in brand equity is David Aaker’s model that denotes the five components of brand equity:
- Brand loyalty: it measures brand loyalty based on elements like reducing marketing expenses, the ability to capture more customers, or response to competitive threats.
- Brand awareness: Aaker notes that knowledge about the brand plays a role in purchase decisions or in the recommendations that consumers make.
- Brand associations: in this area, we consider, among other things, the positive feelings the brand awakens inside the consumer or the associations consumers make about it, that work to put distance between the brand and its competitors.
- Perceived quality: the step where we see if the brand offers good products. These results can be a reason for buying or are capable of producing factors of positioning and differentiation in its category.
- Other proprietary assets: like patents or relationships with their partners.
These brand equity models provide a theoretical framework for when we develop our model for analysis. They define the key areas where we need to get to work to construct brand equity to develop the measurement model.
Methodology for developing brand analysis
We base the protocol for preparing the plan of inquiry on answering the companies’ needs regarding getting critical information and agile data collection. This procedure will help us make decisions from these results. Besides that, the analytical plan is focused on being practical, applicable, and adapted to the company’s characteristics. At Good Rebels, we adhere to the following methodology for developing the brand analysis.
1. Defining the study’s dimensions
We must bring up in what aspects or areas where we’re going to go through this process. These dimensions are in line with brand objectives regarding the business model, communications, marketing, or innovation. We also derive them from Aaker or Keller’s frameworks, given that they refer to main impact areas for the brand.
Following this premise, the areas of analysis could be awareness, interaction, loyalty, or recommendation, among others. It’s very probable that these aspects already have their form of analysis and specific objectives, but they are fundamental when we want to find out if a brand is relevant and we should bring them into the model.
2. Defining the key indicators for every dimension
From the dimensions to be analyzed we move onto determining what key indicators we should include in each one. The indicators should be contextually relevant to the element’s location and provide value. For every single one we’ll have to decide on a set of factors:
- Classification and relevance.
- The process to activate the analysis of the indicator.
- The frequency with which we’ll look at the data.
- The possibility of making comparisons with the competition.
3. Selection of analytical tools
Once we have a list of indicators for every dimension, we’ll have to come up with the necessary tools to measure them. Some of these pieces of information can be derived directly from the panels already used in the departments taking on this modeling (for example, web traffic through web analytics). Nonetheless, we’re going to need indicators that have yet to be measured, like customer retention rates, Net Promoter Score, Share of Voice, or new clients being referred by current users. For every case, we’ll need to decide the internal or external tools that will let us access the data we need.
4. Developing a data gathering model and dashboard
The next step is making a reporting model to transmit all the data for each indicator and dimension. We’ll then have to choose which ones are notably relevant to the brand and bring them to a dashboard. We also recommend that you go one of the tools that let you create automated reports and dashboards. The initial efforts that go into integrating all the data, designing the automation, and setting up the instrument’s parameters are worth it because it saves many hours of analysis and creating frequent reports. Besides that, it lets you have updated information in real time.
In this phase, we must consider those indicators in which we look at how the brand stands up to the competition to integrate this data with the internal analysis. In the case of brands that have sub-brands, we must undertake a more delicate operation, and we’ll likely have to create an independent measurement mechanism for every sub-brand and the mother brand.
By following these steps, we can develop a brand analysis model adapted to the company’s needs. This measurement is important to have a comprehensive vision of the brand from the sum of its parts.