Unlocking Business Value Through Brand Health

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When it comes to activating a brand, ongoing analysis and metrics evaluation is just as important as the upfront strategic foundation work. Brand health is the practice of taking a continuous pulse of your brand’s performance across a holistic set of metrics--a practice we’ve seen many CMOs beginning to embrace.

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Unlocking Business Value Through Brand Health

  1. 1. By Marianne Moore, Partner, Strategic Services, Stein + Partners Brand ActivationUnlocking Business Value Through Brand HealthWhen it comes to activating a brand, ongoing analysis and metrics evaluation is just as important as theupfront strategic foundation work. Brand health is the practice of taking a continuous pulse of your brand’sperformance across a holistic set of metrics--a practice we’ve seen many CMOs beginning to embrace.In fact, much has been written lately about brand health and its direct correlation with businessperformance and, ultimately, company valuation. An article on brand health that caught our attention was"Measuring Brand Health to Improve Top Line Growth," from MIT Sloan Management Review. In it, theauthors posit that too often companies are just fixated on tracking awareness--but focusing on awarenessalone ends up limiting their ability to activate their brands and truly optimize business performance.Much like the authors of that Sloan article, we believe brand health has to be considered across a robustmetrics framework. We think of thatframework in a 360-degree view, asshown in this illustration:What this means for today’s CMO isthat you can’t optimize your brandperformance by just looking atawareness or image perceptions; youneed to consider performance basedon the interaction of a number ofvariables. Specifically, you have toconsider: Measuring awareness on both an unaided and aided basis and compared to core competitors--on an ongoing basis. 1
  2. 2. Brand perceptions in at least two dimensions: o Reputation: Are there any perceptions that are limiting commitment to the brand or negative associations that are repelling customers? o Distinctiveness: In what ways does the target audience perceive the brand as apart from competitors? Social sentiment: In today’s social ecosystem, its important to monitor blogs, microblogs, social networks, forums, video and photowebs, product reviews, and other social media to listen in on what these various communities are saying about the brand. Customer satisfaction: Customers are no longer passive participants in brands. As such, earning and maintaining/growing loyalty is of paramount importance. o We typically measure customer satisfaction via the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology. NPS is based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. By tracking and measuring these groups, brands can get a simple, clear measure of their performance through customers’ eyes. Business performance: In this regard, we look at sales, market share, and other relevant business- performance KPIs.The kind of holistic end-to-end measurement outlined in this framework is the only real pathway to fastgrowth and large company valuations.For example, strong brand awareness and positive image associations may drive initial acquisition, but ifyour customers are not satisfied because of some experience, service, or pricing barrier, they won’t comeback. That yields a business model with constant churn--which drives excessive investment in acquisition.Conversely, strong customer satisfaction without awareness makes for a small niche business, limitinggrowth, and valuation.And importantly, in today’s customer-driven marketing era you can have solid brand awareness, goodbrand perceptions, and even solid customer satisfaction, but if the blogs start negative conversations,significant brand damage can be done overnight.The bottom line: Brand health is essential to brand activation and business-performance optimization.Without this holistic view and a vigilant watch on all of the brand health metrics, your ability to succeedand activate business value will be limited.Read more: http://www.cmo.com/branding/unlocking-business-value-through-brand-health#ixzz27VgzLRwF 2

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