While brand health and market value are differing concepts, their connection is undeniable. Studies show that businesses with robust brand health are likely to outperform their competitors in revenue growth by 60%. In our ever-changing business landscape, a healthy brand is vital for enduring success.
So, how do you gauge the health of your brand? As mentioned in our blog post, Brand Health Tracking: Measure How Your Brand Stacks Up in the Market, brand health doesn’t have a universal definition or a one-size-fits-all measurement strategy. It’s about identifying factors that shape consumer perceptions of your products, services, and overall reputation.
7 Key Indicators to Track for Optimal Brand Health
Let’s dive into seven essential metrics that offer a starting point for evaluating your brand’s health in the marketplace.
1.Share of Voice (SOV)
Share of voice is a good first step to give advertisers a pulse on their brand’s presence and impact. It measures the percentage of content space or advertising that your brand occupies in the market overall. Simply put a brand’s organic digital footprint.
However, SOV isn’t solely a calculation of whether your voice is present in the market, it showcases if your voice is heard by consumers. As consumers are bombarded with digital noise, brands with a higher SOV are more likely to capture coveted consumer attention. Research indicates that brands with a dominant share of voice have a 23% higher likelihood of being recommended by consumers.
2. Category Funnel
The Category Funnel serves as a comprehensive tool for understanding a brand’s strengths and weaknesses at various stages of the customer’s buying journey. This journey typically encompasses several key stages: Awareness, Consideration, Preference, Purchase, and Loyalty.
By analyzing performance at each stage, brands can identify specific areas for improvement, whether it’s enhancing brand awareness, improving product positioning, or bolstering customer loyalty programs. This comprehensive approach to tracking the customer’s journey offers actionable insights, enabling brands to fine-tune their strategies and ultimately influence consumer decision-making more effectively.
3. Category Entry Points (CEPs)
Category Entry Points are the reasons, triggers, moments, or occasions when a potential customer considers buying a product in your category. These are the moments when someone is most receptive to your brand. Aligning marketing strategies and efforts with CEPs ensures your brand is top-of-mind when consumers are ready to make a purchase.
4. Competitive Market Position
No brand lives in isolation, which makes it essential to look externally at how other brands are performing in the market—and how you stack up. Analyzing competitor strategies, strengths, and weaknesses with propel ideas that help differentiate your brand, strengthen your agility in response to market dynamics, and foster brand resilience. When analyzing the competitor landscape, it is essential to identify both direct and indirect competitors.
These are companies that offer similar products and services. For example, a direct competitor of JetBlue would be other popular airlines in the United States such as American, United, and Alaska Airlines.
Companies that address the same customer needs but with different offerings are indirect competitors. In our example, indirect competitors of JetBlue would be Amtrak or Carnival Cruises.
5. Market Penetration & Strategic Opportunities
Deepening market penetration and recognizing strategic opportunities are pivotal for brands aiming to maximize their impact within their sector. Keeping a close eye on broad market trends and competitor movements is crucial for anticipating shifts in consumer behavior, enabling brands to adapt and innovate proactively.
Consider the ongoing emphasis on sustainability, a trend that cuts across all industries. Brands that successfully integrate eco-friendly practices and effectively communicate their commitment to sustainability are more likely to resonate with environmentally conscious consumers.
By conducting routine market analyses, brands can stay ahead of the curve, positioning themselves to make strategic decisions that align with evolving consumer preferences. This approach not only enhances the brand’s relevance but also uncovers potential avenues for growth and increased market presence, ensuring they fully exploit the opportunities within their marketplace.
6. Brand Strength Assessment
Brand strength encompasses the positive attributes, unique selling points, and competitive advantages that define your brand in the eyes of customers. It is a vital metric to gauge how well your brand is positioned in the competitive market.
One simple, yet effective approach for this assessment is a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). This analysis draws insights from customer surveys, feedback analysis, and social media sentiment to provide honest and actionable data for brands. With these insights, brands can identify and amplify their strengths while addressing weaknesses, a fundamental practice for building a resilient brand capable of withstanding the tests of time.
7. Seasonality and Year over Year (YoY) Analysis
In various industries, businesses often witness fluctuating levels of customer engagement and demand throughout the calendar year. These fluctuations are crucial for understanding market dynamics. Utilizing SOV in YoY comparisons is a strategic approach to precisely identify these trends. This analytical method helps businesses pinpoint when customer engagement reaches its peak and when it declines, offering valuable insights for performance assessment.
For example, a retailer may use YoY comparisons to discern heightened customer interest during holiday seasons, reflected in increased SOV during these months. Similarly, a tourism-related business might notice a surge in engagement during summer and a decline in winter, highlighting key periods for targeted marketing efforts. These insights are vital for crafting marketing strategies that resonate with seasonal trends.
By understanding the rhythm of these fluctuations, businesses can tailor their marketing strategies more effectively. Aligning promotional activities with peak engagement periods ensures optimal resource utilization, enhancing the impact of marketing efforts. Conversely, identifying slower periods allows for strategic planning and resource conservation, maintaining a steady presence in the market. This nuanced approach, informed by YoY SOV analysis, is critical for businesses aiming to stay competitive and responsive to market dynamics, ultimately driving growth and success in their respective sectors.
Putting It All Together: The Road to a Healthier Brand
Maintaining brand health is a dynamic and multifaceted endeavor. From monitoring Share of Voice and Share of Search to understanding Category Entry Points, staying vigilant about competitors, and adapting to market trends, each aspect contributes to the overall vitality of your brand. By regularly assessing and fine-tuning these elements, your brand not only survives but thrives in the competitive landscape, forging lasting connections with consumers and ensuring long-term success.