Importance of Brand Equity
Brand is everything – it is who you are.
A brand is a customer’s collection of impressions – good or bad – based on their interactions with your company and its products. ‘Brand equity’ is the measure of how a brand is perceived in the larger marketplace. It is something you should actively monitor and improve. If the marketplace begins to distrust your brand, you’re in the danger zone. Loss of market share and revenue are likely next.
To understand brand equity, you must understand your customers’ perceptions, the impact of these perceptions, and the value of this impact. These insights establish your group as the go-to resource for the truth about your customer and the market. More importantly, brand equity insights help improve effectiveness of marketing.
Making Sure Your Metrics Matter
Brand equity is often measured using traditional metrics such as brand awareness, usage & market share, and satisfaction/performance of the brand vs. competitors. Net promoter scores (NPS) are also used across all industries as a measure of customer loyalty, and thus brand value. Association exercises can also help pinpoint which brands are correlated to various attributes and emotions in the eyes of customers.
Although these metrics seem straightforward, the methods you use to obtain their underlying data points play a huge role in determining the quality of your results. When drafting your next brand equity study, consider the following:
- Always test the “top-of-mind” first. When measuring brand awareness, you may want to identify what products are top-of-mind. Ask participants to list the brands they’ve heard of in an unaided, open-ended question. Then, follow with a closed-ended question. This way the respondents will not be influenced by or accidentally made aware of the brands provided by the researcher.
- Brand usage can be approached from multiple angles. At the highest level, you can ask a customer about their experience with specific brands (e.g., Which brands are you currently using? Which have you used in the past? Which have you never used?). When the customer names multiple brands, consider layering in a numeric, market share question. This way the data collected is more granular and allows for a simple comparison between brands in terms of how they are used.
- Brand performance ratings should be linked to attribute importance. Measuring the satisfaction of your brand and your key competitors is important, but this data needs to be viewed in the light of specific product attributes and, even more, in light of the importance of those attributes. While a brand may seem to win based on one attribute, that attribute may carry no importance to customers, making that perceived product advantage useless.
- Brand associations should cover both tangible and intangible attributes. When selecting attributes and words for associations, it is ideal to include both tangible and intangible attributes. This is because the intangible (emotional) aspect of the brands often drives up brand usage, satisfaction, and loyalty separately from the tangible (functional) aspect.
While a survey can be an effective tool to understanding brand equity, it is important that you design your survey questions for truth discovery. Unbiased, comprehensive questions and a logical order/connection in your questioning are essential to good questionnaire design. We hope these tips help you build effective surveys for your brand equity studies.