3 Key Metrics to Consider When Assessing Your Brand
Unlike most B2C marketers, many B2B companies invest little or no resources (both time and money) in understanding brand.
Unlike most B2C marketers, many B2B companies invest little or no resources (both time and money) in understanding brand; but Harvard Business School marketing professor John Quelch challenges this position. His reasons:
Most B2B marketers cannot economically address thousands of small businesses using the traditional direct sales force.
If left unattended, individual managers will each do their own ad hoc marketing.
B2B marketers are realizing that developing brand awareness among their customers' customers can capture a larger share of channel margins and build loyalty that can protect them against lower-priced competitors.
CEO’s cannot assume that the brand identity which was carefully crafted in the mission and vision of the company can remain intact if there are no processes in place to assure the brand continuity remains in alignment throughout the day-to-day operations of the organization, all communications with current and potential customers, and the brand awareness and perception is not consistently monitored at the customer level.
Determining the Proper Sample
First, research should be conducted on a frequent enough basis to be able to detect any changes in brand awareness or perception from one study to the next, every 18 to 24 months is a typical frequency. Since the questions are fairly direct limited in depth, and the typical sample size necessary is normally between 50 and 400, the most cost effective method is usually an online survey. An additional approach may be to couple brand research with other customer research; since this will typically only add a few more questions the additional cost is minimal.
Most brand studies are also conducted by a third party, as self-conducted brand studies can create “false positive response bias” which can occur if the brand is exposed in the qualification or recruitment process. Although this is not normally an issue, it should be considered when writing the necessary scripts for the entire survey process.
One critical factor when designing any brand study process is the manner in which the data will be segmented. Data segmentation should be pre-determined, as the necessary sample size must be determined for each segment, assuring common margins of error or accuracy levels for each segment. Examples of segmentation schemes include: geographic regions, business types (distributors, wholesalers, and retailers), sales volume, or end use market. The following table can be used to determine the proper sample size:
Survey Sample Size Table
The particular study used in the following examples the data was broken out into 3 specific user segments: consumer goods companies, advertising agencies, and retail stores. The data from the retail store segment is referenced in the examples that follow.
Key Metric #1: Brand Awareness
Brand awareness describes the degree of customer recognition or familiarity of a product or service by its name. Products and services that are able to create high brand awareness typically generate greater sales than brands that have lower awareness or recognition scores. Improving brand awareness has endless benefits, as it can make generating sales easier, drive more successful new product introductions, and can foster brand loyalty promoting future sales.
Key Metric #2: Brand Association
Brand Association is essentially the feelings or attributes customers associate (tangible or intangible) with a brand. Brand associations are the attributes of brand which come into consumers mind when the brand is talked about. For Example, Rolls Royce, one of the world’s primer high-end automobiles is immediately associated with luxury, longevity and, and quality. Critical to building brand equity is creating a positive brand association with those attributes that are most important in satisfying the needs of the customer.
Key Metric #3: Brand Position
Brand Position is defined as the space within a particular market a company occupies in the mind of a customer and how it differentiates itself from competitors. In reality, the space a company occupies cis multidimensional, but for our example we will use only two dimensions: price and quality. In the chart below, each company has carved out its own unique brand position. Alpha is identified as high-price and high-quality, while Karma is positioned as high-price and low quality.
In most markets there are multiple companies occupying similar brand positions within the overall market. Therefore another important metric within the brand position category is relative brand position, which is a measure of your overall brand familiarity within the group. The chart below shows that customers within their served market are very familiar with the Alpha brand is well positioned (top spot)
Based on a 2019 study by Bynder, 89 percent of brand marketers are concerned about creating engaging brand experiences and 77 percent of B2B marketing leaders are convinced that branding is critical to growth, it is clear to see just how important brand positioning is in the B2B space.
Creating B2B Brand Awareness
It is generally agreed in the marketing world that Content Marketing is a great avenue to increase brand awareness in the B2B space. A study by the Content Marketing Institute reveals brand awareness has been a top goal for B2B marketers and that 58% of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budgets. Key distribution methods for content are typically, blogs, industry publications, podcasts, as well as traditional social media channels (LinkedIn and Twitter). When publishing content, it is essential that it strategically supports the brand, and is pertinent, useful, and highlights thought leadership. Developing and executing a content strategy will help to ensure everything published will help to develop and enhance brand awareness.