How healthy is your brand?
The effects of good branding impact our decisions every single day. Whether we’re stumbling to work, bleary-eyed and in need of a coffee, scouring the high street for that trusty red and white star, or you’re jetting away for a last-minute weekend of European sun and you find your fingers reaching for the ‘b’ and ‘a’ keys before your brain has even caught up, brand is playing a role.
Adverts, word of mouth, reviews, product placements, the shopping experience… every little interaction contributes to the elusive construction of ‘brand’. It’s what determines the shops you feel happy to be in; the websites you can bank on to come up with the goods; and the chains you’ll wax lyrical about at dinner parties, promising your friends that they need to hop on the bandwagon too.
The status of a well-loved brand can be achieved whether you are a multinational giant, or a tiny independent, hiding in a corner of the internet. That’s something to feel very excited about: no matter what stage of the journey you’re on, brand can be the turbo jet powering your sales, and that’s definitely something we think is worth properly measuring.
But how can you measure brand? It’s just a feeling, right? Wrong.
We’ve put together a handy list of the ten most important branding metrics you can use to keep track of your brand. Quantifying ‘what people are saying about you’ sounds like a tough gig, but through these simple and easy-to-action figures, you’ll get a good sense of where the needle currently is, and what you can do to nudge it in the right direction.
Brand health metrics
Here are the key metrics you should think about when measuring your brand building work.
Net Promoter Score is a firm favourite for savvy commercial leaders. It takes aim at the heart of what you need to know: is this person going to recommend your brand to someone else?
When word-of-mouth from genuine brand ambassadors is such an effective way to win new customers, it’s important to make sure that the people using your brand aren’t afraid to rave about it to their friends and family.
Calculating it is simple:
- Ask people: “On a scale from 1-10, how likely are you to recommend [your brand] to colleagues, friends and family?”
- Gather their answers
- Total up the number of people who responded with either a 9 or a 10, and divide it by the total number of people asked. This is your promoter score.
- Total up the number of people who responded with anything from a 1-6, and divide it by the total number of people asked. This is your detractor score.
- Subtract your detractor score from your promoter score. This is your overall NPS.
Since the scale ranges from -100 to 100, any positive score is considered good. That said, you really want to have a score of above 50 to be secure in the knowledge that people are singing your praises far and wide.
2. Purchase intent
A Purchase Intent score documents how likely people are to buy from your brand in the near future.
If you’re a provider of low-cost items, it’s particularly important that purchase intent remains high so that you know consumers are thinking of you first when making more frequent, potentially impulsive purchases.
It works well in tandem with NPS, because it’s no good just having people saying nice things about you. Purchase Intent is where consumers must decide if they’d put their money where their mouth is when it comes to your brand.
Here’s everything you need to know about calculating it:
- Ask, “Based on what you know about [brand], how likely are you to buy from them?”
- Give people the option to answer ‘very likely’, ‘quite likely’, ‘neither likely nor unlikely’, ‘quite unlikely’, ‘very unlikely’
- Total up the number of people who answered ‘very likely’ and divide it by the total number of people asked.
- This is your brand’s Purchase Intent score
3. Unprompted brand recall
If you’re hitting this metric’s upper echelons, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you are killing it. Unprompted brand recall is a measure of how many people think about your brand without any pushing. When they’re asked to think about an industry, your brand springs to mind first. Totally organic, no hints needed.
The winners of this metric tend to be huge names, but it’s good to be striving for unprompted brand recall, especially if you’re trying to dominate your category, because ultimately it means that you’ve got first dibs on a consumer’s mind when they’re pondering making a purchase.
To calculate this:
- Ask people “Thinking about [industry], what’s the first brand that comes to mind?”
- Total up all the people who name your brand, and divide it by the total number of people asked.
- Multiply it by 100. This is your unprompted brand recall percentage score.
4. Preference in category (prompted brand recall)
The helpful younger sibling of unprompted brand recall, this metric gives consumers the best chance they’ll get of showing their interest in your brand. This is by far one of the more achievable metrics, and so it’s one that even the smallest of brands need to be making sure they’ve got under their belt.
Choose the niche you’re currently in, or the category in which you’d like to be considered, and draw up a list of brands (you and your competitors). You can decide whether you’d like to test simply awareness, or purchase intent within that category.
Please tick all the makeup brands that you’ve heard of / Please tick all the makeup brands you would consider buying makeup from.
- Bare Minerals
- Bobbi Brown
This will show you where you stand compared to your competitors, and if you’re not succeeding here, alert you to the fact that your brand needs some serious tending to.
5. Brand uplift
Uplift demonstrates the value that your brand is directly adding to your company. It shows that, when faced with two otherwise identical products, your brand’s identity (name, logo, image, associations) will win their custom.
It’s a healthy indication that your brand stands a chance of beating own-brand and budget items since it means that your company’s identity can overcome the incentives of lower prices.
To calculate it, set up a test using your paid advertising:
- Set up two adverts that are identical but for brand name. For example:
- Calculate the difference in percentage click-through rates
- This is your brand uplift
This type of A/B testing can be implemented more widely if you’re tweaking your brand. If you’re thinking of changing your name, logo or messaging style, be sure to test it. After all, you could be moving away from the brand that’s directly raising your sales.
6. Share of voice
Share of Voice will let you know how much your brand is dominating the conversation compared to other brands in your niche. When it comes to mascara, are more people talking about Mac or Glossier, for example. Keeping a check on your share of voice will allow you to watch how well you’re performing against competitors, and potentially borrow some of their tricks if you’re not doing as well as you’d like.
Share of voice can be measured across various mediums. Organic search is a good place to start, since it’ll be a good indication of how well your natural SEO strategy is working. Measuring share of voice across social media is also useful, as it will pinpoint how much of real people’s online conversations you’re managing to appear in.
For a full guide on how to calculate share of voice, and some hints and tips on the tools you can you, head over to this brandwatch guide.
7. Sentiment (positive or negative)
It’s all well and good knowing whether you’re the topic of conversation, but not all press is good press and you need to keep an eye on what people are saying. This will alert you to your strengths so that you can focus more energy here, and allow you to listen in to that all-important constructive criticism, and put things right. Consumers are excellent at knowing when a brand has integrity.
Sentiment can be tested in numerous ways. It’s good to ask people who are outside of your consumer base—to determine what the purely-perception-based word on the street is—as well as asking those who are familiar with the quality of your products, your prices, and your brand experience.
Good questions to ask include:
- How would you describe [brand] in one word?
- What is one product that [brand] should never stop selling?
- If there was one thing you could change about [brand], what would it be?
8. Time on site
How long people are spending on your website is a great testament to how invested they are in your brand.
Holding people’s attention should be something to strive for. Of course it’s great if you’ve attracted potential clients over to your page in the first place, and trying to keep them there for longer and longer is a laudable aim to have. Win more of their attention and chances are you’ll see other metrics climb at the same time.
Tracking time on your site couldn’t be simpler. Head to your Google Analytics dashboard, and check the figure located under ‘Behaviour’.
9. Social reach
Being popular on social media doesn’t guarantee sales, but it does indicate a level of engagement around your brand. Keep an eye on your follower count, likes, and crucially, share counts. If people are sharing your site, or the content you put out, it’s a sign that word of your brand is organically spreading its wings and flying far and wide.
Buzzsumo is a great tool to get a quick snapshot of how any of your pages are performing across social media. Put in a URL, click ‘Go!’, and see the total engagement of your content. Be sure to track URLs across your site to compare how different parts of your business are performing.
10. Total brand equity
The maestro of brand health metrics, if you can hit the sweet spot here, you know you’re onto a winner.
Total Brand Equity is a figure that combines several other key metrics we’ve spoken about here in terms of how best to track brand health. Here’s how you measure brand equity:
It’s calculated in a 2-step process:
1. We calculate Brand Strength.
The two measures of how well-liked a brand must be totaled and multiplied by 100:
Brand Strength = (Purchase Intent + NPS) x 100
2. Then use the Brand Strength figure and Unprompted Brand Recall, to calculate your brand’s Total Brand Equity.
Total Brand Equity = (Brand Strength x Recall) x 100.
More brand tracking resources
You know the metrics, and you know why measuring your brand is essential – but how is it done, and how does brand tracking fit practically into an overall strategy? Check out our Complete Guide to Brand Tracking for expert tricks and tips to monitoring your brand’s health or use our free brand tracker survey template.