Brand performance measurement – a deep dive into consumer attitudes and beliefs
In a previous post (“Marketing performance: measuring brand equity“) we have reviewed the concept of brand equity and the various methodologies suggested by practitioners and academics for measuring it. Today’s blog post aims to clarify several brand dimensions used in measuring performance in branding.
The performance measures that we consider of interest in this context are the following:
- % Brand awareness – refers to the population that is aware (i.e. has heard of the brand) from the total target population. When measuring brand awareness, a particular attention needs to be given to the methodology: will prompted or unprompted awareness be measured?
- % Brand knowledge – extends awareness to population that besides being aware of the brand, have some knowledge of that brand. Here, too, knowledge can be prompted or unprompted and, most important, a clear definition of the knowledge should be developed (What kind of data should consumers know about the brand and at what extend so as to be considered they have “brand knowledge”?).
- % Top of mind – measures the population that indicates the brand as coming first on their mind when asked to mention brand names for a particular type of product. It can give indication on brand preference, yet its relevance can be lowered by the fact of being the result of the most recent advertisement seen or contact had with the brand, rather than the result of a long-term experience.
- % Brand preference – refers to the population that chooses the brand over competitor brands. The battle to gain consumer preference is a continuous one, as failing to deliver the brand promise can determine immediate switch to competition and therefore a switch in brand preference. The goal for each brand is to become the upmarket brand – the first in the list of brands consumers prefer the most.
- % Brand coherence – measures the population that believes correlation between various brand attributes exists. Coherence or incoherence are rather difficult to measure, as people fail or don’t bother to analyze subtle brand attributes. Still, obvious incoherence can have negative impact on the brand. This happened with Pepsi, which tried twice to introduce new concepts that lacked to correlate with the attribute of brown that consumers associate with Pepsi – it is the case of Pepsi Blue in 2002 and Pepsi Crystal in 1992. Both faced strong resistance on behalf of the customers.
These are only some of the brand performance measures. Practice and literature reveal various models of measuring brand performance that integrate various brand measures. No matter the integrated model used, or even developing own concept of what to measure, when and how, organizations need to have clear understanding of the dimensions they measure and well-articulated methodologies (in terms of target groups, periods of measurement, survey questions etc.).
Gathering performance data for these measures is generally done through consumer surveys. This makes the measurement rather expensive and subject to consumer subjectivity (which can translate into dishonesty in some cases).
Still, they are helpful in assessing a brand ‘s position within its relevant market and consumer beliefs and attitudes towards it. Whereas market and sales results measures reflect actual consumer behavior (frequency of purchases, dormancy rates etc.), brand dimensions help understand consumer attitudes that enhance and influence this behavior. They involve deep dives into customer perceptions, attitudes and beliefs, all of these standing at the base of their actual actions in respect to the physical product that the brand encompasses.
- Rajagopal (2008), “Measuring brand performance through metrics application”, Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp 29-38.
- Forethought Research (2009), “At Last! Brand Measurement Equals Brand Performance”