Measuring Brand Health

Posted by  D&M Research Team

POSTED ON  November 11, 2021


Brand funnel metrics

In its most basic form, the metrics used to measure brand health are aligned to a brand funnel which captures a brand’s performance across different stages of a consumer’s consideration journey, from being aware of a brand, to considering a brand, to trying and adopting a brand.

A typical brand funnel will include metrics such as:

brand health funnel

These metrics can then be used to compare your brand to competitor brands (including the market leader as a benchmark) to assess your relative strengths and weaknesses and areas of priority.

brand funnel competitors

Awareness metrics

  • Unaided awareness – “Which brands come to mind first when you think of X?” (top-of-mind) and “Which others?” (spontaneous)
  • Prompted awareness – “And which of these brands of X were you aware of before today?”
  • Unaided awareness + Prompted awareness = Total awareness

What is the significance of these measures?

Firstly, you need to be aware of a brand in order to consider it (total awareness). Secondly, the more accessible a brand is mentally (top-of-mind or spontaneous awareness), the more likely the brand will be considered.

This is part of what is called a brand’s salience, i.e. the degree to which your brand is thought of or noticed by consumers when they make a purchase decision. Typically, strong brands have higher brand salience, whereas weak brands have little or none.

Trial and consideration metrics

  • Trial – “Which of these brands of X have you ever bought or tried?”
  • Consideration – “Which of these brands of X would you ever consider buying in the future?”

What is the significance of these measures?

For the first metric (trial), we measure how compelling the salience and brand offer (i.e. features, benefits, value) are in consumers’ minds for them to at least try it once.

For the second metric (consideration):

  • If the brand has not been tried before: Where is the brand currently in consumers’ consideration hierarchy? i.e. rejected outright, dormant but not rejected, ready to try, etc.
  • If the brand has been tried before: Would they consider it again? If so, that could indicate satisfaction and possibly loyalty. If not, it could signal lapsing or dissatisfaction with the brand or a product performance issue.

Current and main brand metrics

  • Repertoire (current brands) – “Which of these brands of X do you currently buy?”
  • Main brand – “Which of these brands of X would you consider to be your main brand (or preferred brand, or buy most often)?

What is the significance of these measures?

For the first metric (current brand), it’s threefold:

  1. Firstly, this defines brand repertoire and the competitor set and helps you to understand which brands you are up against in consumers’ minds.
  2. Secondly, this can signal adoption and a further indication of satisfaction and loyalty.
  3. Thirdly, it can be used to determine whether a brand has a potential positioning issue (it might be bought sometimes but is not the main brand because it doesn’t satisfy a particular need).

While the second metric (main brand) is usually defined on the basis of frequency (bought most often), affinity (preferred or favourite), or just main brand, it is the ultimate position in the brand funnel and what most brands should aspire to achieve.

Although these can be interpreted differently depending on the metric used – for example, “bought most often” might be because it is the cheapest, which is different to “preferred” or “favourite” which might be more expensive and therefore not purchased as often – main brand can also be an indication of relevance and positioning because it has established not only a functional connection with the consumer, but an emotional connection as well.

In our next blog post, we’ll have a detailed look at how the relationship between customers and brands generates a type of value-add called brand equity – and how to measure it. Stay tuned!

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