Building Brand Reputation: Why Measurement Matters

Brand reputation is everything.

This is especially true today because consumer-brand relationships are becoming increasingly direct, and in order to foster long-term relationships, transparency and accountability should be a core focus.

Likewise, with consumers being highly connected, brand reputation (good or bad) spreads fast. Those that are aware of these changes are best positioned to adapt.

Tracking your brand’s reputation is central to its maintenance and evolution, and when measured effectively and diligently, has clear business benefits across everything from positioning to processes.

This article explores these benefits, and how brands can effectively measure their health to support a consumer-centric model and contextualize their findings with wider consumer trends.

Why measure brand reputation?  

Brand measurement is often misinterpreted as the remit of larger companies, or less of a priority than monitoring other marketing metrics, such as website traffic, lead generation or advertising effectiveness.

The truth is, measuring consumer response to your brand feeds into wider metrics used to decipher the overall success of a business, and helps you strategize for the future.

Here’s are 4 key reasons why measuring brand reputation helps you maintain a competitive edge.

1. It takes you beyond awareness.

 

Let’s say your brand awareness and recall is strong amongst your target market.

For many brands, building up to this point takes years of graft, and seeing your direct website traffic and social media following grow indicates progression.

But looking at these figures only paints half the picture. After all, do you know if it’s positive or negative associations that you’re attributed to?

Brand measurement technology takes your awareness data and adds value. It ascertains which attributes of the brand are driving your desired business outcomes, and which aren’t.

2. It helps you be part of the conversation.

 

Consumer trends, especially cultural trends such as green consumerism or esports, provide a vehicle for inspiring consumer discussion around the products and services you’re promoting.

Identifying the most powerful trends in which your brand is part of the discussion is done effectively using a mix of survey data and social media listening.

The contexts in which conversations are happening about your brand’s (and your competitors’) products develops your understanding of your competitive environment and the key trends.

Staying up-to-date with the latest consumer trends ensures you’re contributing to the conversation in an optimal way.

3. It helps you monitor and respond to criticism on time.

 

Mitigating risk is key to the longevity of a brand.

With the likes of Pepsi and Uber facing crises in the last two years, we’ve seen how quickly public opinion can turn.

These are high profile cases, but smaller brands often suffer criticism for various actions (or inactions) which impact the business.

So when under pressure from your audience, gathering as much information on consumer consensus helps divulge how to avoid the pitfalls and preserve brand reputation.

4. It helps you focus your marketing.

 

Brand measurement data can support both strategic planning (such as segmentation, consumer profiling and advertising placement) as well as creative messaging.

Survey data and social listening are cornerstone data sources for achieving this.

Here’s how:

  • Survey data

Create a custom survey and ask the questions you need answers to, and disentangle the impact of individual touchpoints on the brand experience.

Whether identifying awareness triggers amongst your target market, or brand perceptions amongst the wider population, survey data cuts through the noise to ask consumers their opinions of your brand directly.

Supplementing a custom survey with wider data sets on consumer trends helps contextualize these findings provides more scope for detailed analysis.  

  • Social listening data

Social listening provides qualitative and quantitative data around brand awareness, brand positioning and how audiences perceive and respond to your messaging.

Identify the different demographics that are talking about your brand on social media and use this to supplement your existing audience segments.

On which platforms is your brand health best/worst, and how are users talking about you there?

How to measure brand reputation

Understand your brand environment.

 

GlobalWebIndex incorporates more than 3,500 brands across 45 markets and approximately 30 industry verticals, enabling you to put your brand performance into context.

Equipped with an extensive understanding of the trends that are critical to brand health, this knowledge provides the bedrock on which to interpret your brand performance.

Unravel emotional brand-connections.

 

Deep consumer data can measure the rational response to your brand, but also the more difficult-to-measure instinctive responses.

Instinctive responses are a key indicator of success. They’re a driver in decision-making and the more automatic the response to your brand is, the greater emotional the bond.

This is measured by a combination of pressured thinking and timed response to access, as Daniel Kahneman describes as the “System 1” decision-making – which is highly emotion-driven.

Emotional connection survey data captures freely expressed thoughts about how consumers feel about the brand, using neuro-linguistic programming to fully understand the relationship between brand performance and perception.

Map brand performance against the full customer experience.

 

Gathering consumer feedback on your brand is extremely beneficial, but being able to map it against a wider data set is invaluable.  

GlobalwebIndex includes 35,000 data points per respondent to map brand performance against, giving unrivaled depth of understanding; key to informing your go-to-market strategy.

This incorporates a range of metrics, including behaviors, motivations, and perceptions, all of which can add analysis value.

Case Study: Identifying the brand health of a social platform

The challenge

 

A leading social media platform with a global audience sought to uncover it’s brand health in EMEA.

The action

 

It ran a brand measurement survey which asked the direct questions needed to identify takeup of the platform in the region, and wider brand perceptions amongst this market.

Questions aimed to uncover:

  • Brand recognition against competitors.
    • E.g. Which of these websites or apps have you heard of? (User is given a list of social platforms to choose from).

  • What users perceive the platform is used for.
    • E.g. Based on what you know or have heard, which of the following best describes what each of these websites or apps is? (User is given a list of use cases including ‘killing time’, ‘relieving stress’, ‘seeking inspiration’ etc.)

  • Emotional responses to the brand.
    • E.g. How much do you agree that this platform… (User is given a list of emotional responses including ‘inspires me’, ‘cheers me up’, ‘stresses me out’, ‘gets me to try something new’ etc.).

  • The wider interests of users.
    • E.g. Which of the following would you say are interest of yours? (User is given a list of activities including ‘art’, ‘movies’, ‘TV shows’, ‘beauty’ etc.)

Different questions were shown, depending on the answer given. For example, if users indicated good recognition of the platform but poor usage, they were given questions to uncover why.

The result

 

The survey achieved what it set out to.

The data revealed key usage, uptake and perception indicators.

To give an example of some of the most powerful data points, when asked why users hadn’t used the platform, 17% stated they didn’t understand what the platform was used for. An additional 12% stated their reason being they were already on too many apps/sites like the platform.

When users indicated high usage of the platform, the largest proportion (12%) state they used it to discover fresh new content, closely followed by its entertainment value (11%).

From one in-depth survey, the brand could identify how users perceived it,  and its offering against competitors, and analyze the different reasons for the actions they take.

By digging deeper into why consumers in EMEA were or weren’t engaging with the brand, they could take steps to both capitalize on the positive sentiments and identify areas that require development.

Key takeaways

A reputation takes time to build and moments to lose.

The current rate at which consumer trends change coupled with added pressure on brands to be ethical, transparent and accountable places brand reputation as central to its long-term success.

Understanding and analyzing how your brand is received amongst consumers is essential to maintaining and improving brand health.

Not only does it supplement your understanding of consumer behavior, it develops your capacity for scoping the landscape beyond your target market, including competitor environments and wider trends, to ensure you’re reaching your audience in the best possible way.

Measure you brand with custom research.