Measuring the Impact of A Brand  w/ KPIs and Other Metrics

Corn on the cob wrapped in measuring tape on a blue surface

Having a healthy brand is like having a healthy body. We don’t think about it until something goes wrong.

Early in our lives, we run, jump, and eat anything we want (at the rate of your average garbage disposal). When we hit that bump, whether, at age 40 or 50, we see that those years of coasting along were actually detrimental to our life in its entirety.

The same happens with a brand. When customers are buying and interaction is at an all-time high, we cruise along without acknowledging the alternative. However, like the human body, a brand needs regular check-ups and a deeper look at what is going on beneath the surface.

Only then can we recreate successful processes and remove those that are not aligned with our brand goals.

But how can we measure our brand when much of it relies on intangible factors (public perception, opinions, loyalty, emotions, etc.)? How do you measure engagement levels on social media? Do you include likes or views? How much of those are genuine interactions vs. bots?

When measuring a brand’s performance it is important to understand the process of how customers make purchasing decisions and where we can improve to be their brand of choice.

We can do this by analyzing our brand’s overall performance with common KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and marketing metrics step-by-step.

Step 1: Awareness

The question to ask:

Does your audience remember your brand?

What KPIs to Measure?

Top-of-Mind (TOM) Brand Awareness: How your customers view your position in the industry. Are you a leader in your space? When consumers think of a service, are you mentioned as a provider?

To measure TOM, look at your website traffic over a specific period of time to determine your growth. See how many visitors are coming to your site directly through your URL. Pay special attention to your bounce rate. This should lower as your website traffic increases because more people are spending time exploring your site.

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.” 

— Scott Cook, Intuit founder

Spontaneous Brand Recall: This could be a post, blog, or video mentioning your brand. Is your name brought up in conversation around your industry, without incentive? 

Unprompted questions are great to measure spontaneous brand recall. For example, “When you think about cars, which brands come to mind?”

Aided Brand Awareness (ABA): This could be as simple as your audience mentioning or recommending your product or service.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Even relatively big brands can have low Top-of-Mind awareness. However, there is a bigger problem if your brand’s prompted awareness is low.Increasing your brand awareness will decrease your advertisement cost because people are organically searching for you.

Step 2: Familiarity

The question to ask:

Do potential customers know your brand well and what it stands for?

What KPIs to Measure?

Self-declared knowledge about the brand: When your audience mentions your brand or product, see what they say and how much they know about it. Remember: Your brand is NOT your logo. Even though customers may recognize your most identifying symbol or your name, it is not enough to say they understand what you do and why you do it.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Familiarity and overall brand awareness take time. To organically cultivate an understanding of a business, its culture, and profile does not occur overnight.

Step 3: Consideration

The question to ask:

Do potential customers want to buy your product?

What KPIs to Measure?

Intent to Buy: It’s simple. Ask if people would consider purchasing your products. Those who would consider purchasing are a subset of those who are aware of the brand. It’s not possible to consider a brand you are not aware of.

Purple hand holding a Nike sneaker
Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

Example question: “Of the five sneaker brands you are aware of, which would you consider wearing?”

This will be measured by the consumer’s recall of a brand and if they are aware of its products.

Things to keep in mind:

  • In many cases, brand consideration is positively correlated with sales. However, this may not always be the case (people show interest in buying, but financial numbers do not reflect the intent).

  • Look deeper into your conversions. Is the actual sales process complicated? At the point of sale, what is keeping potential customers from buying? Can marketing efforts be improved? All these questions are relevant to determining why purchases are or are not happening.

Step 4: The Purchase

The question to ask:

Do customers buy your product?

What KPIs to Measure?

Sales Volume: The number of items or services sold within a period of time. With clear data showing where a product is selling, businesses can make better-informed decisions on where to market and sell. Sales volume can be used to analyze performance in certain regions or individual stores.

For example, the sales volume of a freelancer may be considered the total number of hours billed in a month.

Sales Value: The dollar amount of items or services sold within a time period. 

Things to keep in mind:

Sales Volume and Sales Value hinge on how customers perceive a brand. These metrics are not based on research or customer surveys. Both are measured by real data.

Step 5: Advocacy

The question to ask:

Would customers recommend your brand to people they know?

What KPIs to Measure?

Net Promoter Score (NPS): Originally introduced by Bain and Co., this measures the willingness of customers to recommend a product. In other words “referrals”. This is in the form of a single question:

On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product to a friend? 

This point scale shows the level of advocacy for a brand. 

Respondents are separated into three categories: Promoters are those who score your brand 9 to 10, Passives 7 to 8, and Detractors 0 to 6. For the final result, subtract the percentage of detractors from promoters.

Knowing a brand’s NPS is a great starting point for learning the health of that brand. Do customers revere your brand enough to refer to their friends? Their personal reputations are on the line. Their social standings are up for critique. Nowadays, people will end relationships based on the brands we support.

An additional question of ‘why’ allows customers to use their own words to help a business understand what really matters.

Online Mentions: See how many people are mentioning your brand online. That’s through social media, online tags, articles, customer reviews, etc. See both negative and positive mentions of the brand for a whole look at the sentiment.

“Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them and they may come and stay.”

— Seth Godin, Author, Entrepreneur, Teacher

Things to keep in mind:

  • The Net Promoter Score is particularly important in categories where people tend to act impulsively and ask for the opinions of close friends before actually purchasing (ex. cars, restaurants, home security systems).

  • Customers who turn into promoters deliver revenue a business can rely on.

  • The NPS metric can predict a company’s relative growth rate.

Good branding is not based on vanity metrics or pretty graphics. It is measured and adjusted to bring success to a business. Branding reduces marketing costs by placing true advocacy outside of senior leadership, beyond employees, and into the hands of customers who believe in the mission of a business.