13 brand health metrics you need to know and start tracking
July 23, 2022
14 min read
What are the ten most important metrics you should be using to measure your brand health? We have the answer. With these simple and easy-to-calculate data points, you’ll get a good sense of where the needle currently is, and what you can do to nudge it in the right direction.
What makes a brand healthy?
Brand awareness: A healthy brand is generally one with good brand awareness. It doesn’t matter what your brand is saying if it’s saying it into the void—usually, the more people who know your brand exists, the better.
Brand reputation: It’s not all about awareness, though—it’s also about your brand’s reputation. Just because people know about your brand doesn’t mean they like or care about it—and those are the things that win buy-in and advocacy from shoppers. In fact, plenty of brands appear on people’s radar for all the wrong reasons (take luggage brand ‘Away’ for example). Positive sentiment is a marker of a healthy brand—because if people are happy, you’re doing something right.
Share of voice: The healthiest brands are the ones that stand strong against their competitors. Paying close attention to the health of your brand, and that of your closest competition, gives you a great benchmark for success and helps you understand where you fit in the market. If your brand dominates the share of voice in your category, then it’s likely you’ve got a pretty healthy brand.
There’s a whole bunch of branding metrics you can use to get a clear picture of how healthy your brand is. Here’s our list of the top 13 brand health metrics.
First, let’s understand why it’s important to know if your brand is healthy or not.
Why it’s important to check up on your brand’s health
Your sales figures tell a story, but it’s not the whole story. Just like you shouldn’t rely solely on customer data for decision-making, you shouldn’t rely on your sales figures to paint a picture of what’s working and what’s not. A brand health survey unlocks a wealth of new data and rich insights that will help you to grow your brand, iterate, and track your success against your competitors. In other words, your brand’s health is essential to the success of your company.
What’s the difference between ‘brand health’ and ‘brand tracking’?
The truth is, one is very closely linked to the other!
Brand health: The metrics we use to keep tabs on how a brand is performing. Can be as simple as a one-time brand health survey to see how things stand.
Brand tracking: Keeping tabs on a brand’s health over time, to see how things change. This involves running brand tracking surveys at a regular cadence (often quarterly) to see whether your brand awareness, reputation, etc. is trending upwards or downwards. Many people also include NPS tracking to see if their score is higher after an ad campaign runs versus before it was launched.
Learn how to start tracking your brand health
Our in-house research experts have created guides on brand tracking, to make sure you have the insights you need to see ROI on your brand work
Here are the key metrics you should think about when measuring your brand building work.
1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Net Promoter Score, often just called NPS, is a firm favourite for savvy commercial and marketing 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 score above zero 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.
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.
11. Returning visitors
Another important brand health metric you should be tracking is returning visitors.
Returning visitors should be shown by your website analytics as those users who keep coming back. Why do they matter? Well, normally a first time visitor will not be ready to make a purchase, but one that keeps coming back is more likely to turn into a customer.
The fact that they’re going back to your website is a good sign that they are considering your brand.
12. Brand loyalty
Attracting new customers is great for any brand. However, retaining customers is one of the greatest signs of your own brand health. It shows that your brand is delivering on the promises it makes to its customers, so much that after a purchase they are coming back for more.
Retaining customers improves sales and customer lifetime value because you don’t have to get new prospects through the whole sales funnel—which costs money and time. Retention also improves your brand positioning as people are more likely recommend your brand to others—and social proof is one of the best ways to improve your brand’s perception.
13. Employee engagement
Finally, measuring brand health not only focuses on brand awareness in focus groups, social media networks, or in your customers, it’s also about the people that work for your brand.
Brand health measures the health of your entire brand, which includes how your brand is seen as a company and place to work.
If you have a beautiful and useful product that does exactly what it says on the tin, but your company is known for treating its employees badly or unfairly, chances are you won’t sell much of your wonderful product, regardless of how good it is.
Measuring your employee engagement, what they think of your brand, and how they feel about their job with you will give you a powerful insight into your brand health.
Measure brand health with Attest
Now we’ve got to grips with what it means to be a ‘healthy’ brand, and why it’s important to check-up on your brand’s health—you even know which brand health metrics you must be tracking.
If this all seems a bit overwhelming, time for the good news. Platforms like Attest will make it easy for brands of any size to get started with reliably measuring their brand’s health and finally see the ROI of brand building.
See how Attest’s brand tracker can help you get your brand to the healthiest it’s ever been!
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.
1. What is brand health?
Brand health is a collection of metrics that show you how much your branding is helping you towards your goals. Whether you’re a multinational or a new established business, your branding will have an effect on your customers and employees. It’s crucial to understand what this effect is—also called brand health—so you can improve your weaknesses and seize your strengths.
2. Why is brand health important?
Brand health is important because by measuring you’ll be able to know where you need to work on in your branding. An ‘unhealthy’ brand will deter customers and a healthy brand will help you make the most out of your business, product, and relationships.
3. How can brand health be measured?
There are many metrics to measure brand health. However, there are 13 key metrics you should be tracking:
1. Net promoter score (NPS) 2. Purchase intent 3. Unprompted brand recall 4. Preference in category 5. Brand uplift 6. Share of voice 7. Sentiment 8. Time on site 9. Social reach 10. Total brand equity 11. Returning visitors 12. Brand loyalty 13. Employee engagement
To make your life easier, you can use Attest’s brand tracker to know exactly how your brand is performing—and crucially where you need to make changes to improve.
Track your brand with Attest
Get fast, reliable insights about your brand with Attest. You also get designated research support from our in-house team of experts—the Customer Research Team.
Sam joined Attest in 2019 and leads the Customer Research Team. Sam and her team support brands through their market research journey, helping them carry out effective research and uncover insights to unlock new areas for growth.