Consumers use social media at various stages of their customer journey, but they all use it differently. According to a Forrester report, U.S. adults are most likely to use social media in their discovery and exploration stages. In fact, 66% of people engage with companies via branded profiles on social media and 70% explore products or services via social tools on brand sites.
The image below shows the different stages of social media usage across a customer lifecycle.
You can measure the impact of your brand at different stages of the customer journey using metrics related to:
Kotler (2009) defines brand equity as “the added value endowed on products and services. It may be reflected in the way consumers think, feel, and act with respect to the brand, as well as the prices, market share, and profitability the brand commands for the firm.”
Creating brand equity involves creating brand awareness and retaining customers by giving them a consistent experience throughout their journeys with your company.
Marketers face the challenge of bringing together different products and markets under one purview. Multiple factors like pricing, brand perception, brand awareness, customer loyalty, and brand USP affect brand equity. Also, consumer behavior like brand preference and purchase intention has a role. Marketers must develop a brand equity measurement system that tracks the right metrics to measure brand equity.
Brand equity is measured differently across industries. For example, customer retention in the hospitality or telecom industry shows how your brand is perceived. Similarly, social media engagement can be a crucial metric for the entertainment sector.
Figuring out the right metrics for your business is a task. Plus, gathering and organizing a massive amount of unstructured data scattered across the internet is next to impossible – without technology.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can help you have all the necessary data on a single platform, engage with your consumers in real time, and make smart business decisions.
A brand equity measurement system helps you:
Discover positive and negative brand equity metrics and mitigate risks.
Identify competitors and measure their brand equity metrics against yours.
Report brand impact over time.
Understand if your brand-building measures strengthen brand equity.
Brand equity measurement should represent brand health in terms of your brand USP and differentiators. The focus should shift from short-term goals such as ad spends and marketing tactics as your competition can easily copy them.
Choose brand equity metrics that are crucial to your revenue. That way any change in your selected metric will help you gauge the sales & revenue impact.
Based on Aaekar’s model on brand equity, here is a classification of brand equity metrics and how you can leverage them:
Social media plays a vital role in brand engagement. Companies are engaging with customers to receive valuable feedback on building brand equity. They want to know about their consumers, who, in turn, seek knowledge about the brand’s product and functionality.
In such a scenario, measuring consumer engagement is beneficial. Engagement metrics like mentions, likes, comments, shares; customer sentiment trends; positive and negative conversations around your brand; and sentiments attached with hashtag usage are a few indicative metrics that help measure brand engagement.
Customer preference is a measure of how your brand is perceived compared to other players in the market. Surveys, community forums, and social groups provide an insight into customer preferences like purchase intent, customer satisfaction, brand relevance, and price perception.
It is no longer enough to rely solely on your brand metrics because many other brands may have a similar product/service. Instead, studying competitive metrics helps you take advantage of your unique selling proposition (USP) and develop better brand-building strategies. It enables you to understand trends in customer behavior.
Simply put, measuring financial metrics is answering the question – how much is a customer willing to pay for your product or service over a competitor's product/service?
You can derive these numbers from multiple sources like the cost price of your product, the market price you are selling at, and the competitive price for the same/similar product. But you should be cautious about who you view as your competitor for price comparison and measurement of results.
Measuring brand equity is subjective to businesses, industries, and demographics. Different research models suggest classifying brand equity measurement based on these main factors:
Using these factors as a goal, let’s look at some important metrics that will help you create a solid brand equity measurement system.
Companies are curious about how frequently people discuss their brands. Share of voice is the percentage of mentions/conversations about your brand in the market. A solid brand equity measurement system analyzes huge volumes of unstructured data from different media channels to inform you of:
Overall brand mentions
The trend of mentions over time
The trend of mentions against competitors over time
Positive and negative mentions
Percent share of various sources of mentions like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora, etc.
An AI-based brand equity measurement system will generate consolidated reports as shown below:
Brand awareness measures how familiar your brand is to the audience. It has different stages like recognition, recall, and top-of-the-mind memory. Brands like Starbucks and Apple are top-of-the-mind brands, whereas newer brands struggle to create awareness.
Brand awareness for some brands may be their name like Domino’s. For some, it might be visual like the double-arched M of McDonald’s. A sound brand equity measurement system must capture text and visual mentions of your brand.
With a unified system of measuring brand equity, you should be able to measure the following:
Distinct users talking about your brand
Share of Voice - Mentions of your brand vs competitors
Brand preference of customers (positive and negative mentions)
Themes of discussion – A healthy snack brand is being discussed under themes like “Tacos”, “Sunday”, “Pandemic”, “Snack”, Delicious, “USA”, “Newyork”, “Protein”, etc. (Refer to the image below.)
It indicates how well your brand is perceived by the audience. Brand perception can be any of these things – your brand may be perceived as standing for a mission or vision. It may be associated with a sentiment, or its quality is good or bad compared to your competition. People might associate it with functionality, innovation, or sustainability.
Influencers and advocates play a crucial role in establishing an opinion about your brand in your consumers’ minds.
A good brand equity measuring system will measure brand perception in some or all of the following ways:
Top associated keywords for your brand
Top associated emotions with your brand
Customer sentiment with different products of your brand
Net sentiment score for your brand
Top influencers, brand advocates, and detractors of your brand
Building brand equity should take into account the brand equity of your competitors. Study your near competitors and learn from the more prominent players in your industry by getting insights into their content strategy, customer service, SLAs, audience response, and so on.
Competitive analysis can also come in handy to keep track of issues, negative associations, and discussions about your competitor's brand, which you can turn into business opportunities. A solid brand equity measurement system should be able to capture data like:
Volume of engagement with time
Customer sentiment towards competitors
Negative discussions/themes/issues of competitors
Top influencers, advocates, and detractors
Customer response is crucial to understanding customer loyalty. It helps you with other factors such as deciding your pricing, SLAs, or demonstrating your product’s market demand to stakeholders. Customer feedback gives you an insight into your customers’ experience with your brand – whether they were satisfied with your product, made repeat purchases with you, would refer your brand to someone, and so on. It also opens up opportunities to launch new products.
A good brand equity measurement system should give you insights into:
Customer reviews and ratings
Top product issues customers are talking about
The customer experience at different stages of the customer journey
Manually gathering data from social media can prove to be a challenge for marketers. But advanced AI systems like Sprinklr Modern Research measure brand equity and do all the heavy lifting for you – they collect data from millions of data points, analyze, and organize them into insightful reports for immediate action.
Every brand is different, and so are its brand equity metrics. A solid brand equity measurement system will provide you with the flexibility to customize reports based on metrics that matter for your brand.