As a business owner or stakeholder in business development, your primary goal is to make the products and services of your brand available to as many buyers as possible.
There are countless tools to build market penetration and brand awareness, such as advertising, PR, building distribution chains, affiliate marketing, cross-promotion campaigns, and so on.
The most important metrics you want to know when managing a brand are the following:
- What percentage of your target customers are aware of your brand?
- Do they like or dislike your brand, based on what they know about it?
Regardless of your choice of marketing tools and approaches, your brand building will be all about building awareness and shaping perceptions among selected target customer segments.
These two are called brand awareness and brand perceptions. Let’s start with defining what brand awareness and brand perceptions are.
Brand awareness is the extent to which customers can recall or recognize a brand under different conditions. Brand awareness is one of two dimensions from brand knowledge, an associative network memory model.
Brand perception is what customers believe a product or service represents, not what the company owning the brand says it does.
These two dimensions can define the state of almost any brand. Niche-brands are only well-known in select customer segments, but they enjoy great perceptions among their small number of target customers. Other companies might have broader brand awareness but are not associated with the qualities they wanted to be known for.
Important brand management insights from Bain & Company
According to Bain & Company, consumer products companies in every part of the world are coming to terms with a profound insight: the best way brands can grow both short and long term is to grow their number of buyers.
There is a lot of misinformation from online marketing gurus about “nurturing leads” and growing an audience. These might theoretically make sense but have little to no business relevance in real-world brand management scenarios.
Bain & company confirms this. According to their insights, most brand management plans typically call for tapping into a well-segmented group of shoppers, getting them to try the brand, and progressively converting them into avid consumers who buy larger and larger quantities over time.
While this approach may seem to make sense, ample evidence shows that it just does not work.
Pressured by quarterly and annual goals, only a few companies choose to lay plans for longer than the next 12-18 months, and marketing decision-makers who take on a new brand will tend to change everything from the types of SKUs to the advertising strategy – rather than staying the course.
This leads to inconsistent brand and marketing communications, broken brand perceptions, and a lack of focus on building awareness in customer segments confirmed to be valuable earlier.
Companies that keep switching everything risk losing out to rivals that stick with a plan for slowly and steadily increasing penetration.
How to manage brand growth by optimizing brand awareness and brand perceptions?
Depending on the available brand building and marketing budget, a company can accurately estimate the size of the audience they can reach and communicate to.
As part of sales, marketing, and brand-building efforts, the company will target various forms of communications to introduce products and services to their selected target customer segments.
The three key questions are:
- Who to reach? Which groups of people are the most likely to like your brand and buy from you?
- How many of these people got to know about your brand?
- What to communicate to them to influence brand engagement and sales?
Don’t report brand development based on ad performance and web stat insights
Advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads as well as social listening tools like BrandWatch or Brand24 offer plenty of metrics and insights. If your marketing is outsourced to a marketing agency, they will also provide various metrics in their reports. These include views, impressions, clicks, ad coverage, and similar.
These metrics are intended to measure campaign performance and ad delivery – and these have little to do with evaluating brand building performance. In many cases, these metrics are not even reliable. In 2020, over 25% of ad clicks and interactions were done by bots, providing zero value for advertisers.
Reporting and analyzing ad delivery and campaign performance metrics in a brand management context can be misleading and counterproductive.
As mentioned before, the two metrics you need to optimize for when developing brand awareness and shaping brand perceptions are how many people know about your brand, and what those people think about your brand.
How to measure brand awareness and brand perceptions?
To measure brand awareness, one needs to collect feedback if target customers are aware of the brand in question. There are no shortcuts around this.
Social listening tools can not provide an accurate representation of brand awareness levels, as not all potential customers express their opinion online in form of social media content or reviews. In fact, according to recent research, only less than 20% of consumers will go online to talk about products or services they purchase.
We offer two cost-effective and scalable solutions to measure brand awareness and brand perceptions anywhere around the world, targeting any consumer segment or audience you want to analyze.
Continuous Brand Analysis
Our system continuously collects feedback from your target customers, providing detailed and precise daily insights about your brand awareness and brand perceptions.
The solution enables you to control your daily market research spend of each brand audit campaign by setting daily budgets. You will be billed monthly, based on the number of responses your campaign received.
You can target your brand research to your potential customers who matter – by selecting regions, demographics, specific areas, and relevant in-market interests.
Your daily brand insights are displayed on a dashboard. Brand awareness and brand perception scores alongside other insights are updating daily.
Brand Awareness & Perceptions Audit
This snapshot audit can collect up to a million responses from your target audiences. During the auditing procedure, we will survey up to 1,000,000 people per segment to find out what percent of them are aware of your brand, and what do they think of it.
Our solution lets you accurately measure your brand awareness, popularity, and customer perceptions in various regions, benchmarked with other companies or competitors of your choice.