As we've noted before, everybody brands when people tell themselves a story about what your brand means to them.
While it's true that great brands are built from the inside out (with values and behaviors that support those values); for a brand owner to understand how people view their brand, they have to measure from the outside.
Do You Measure Brand Sentiment or Brand Affinity?
Typically, you’ll want to measure two dimensions: Brand characteristics and brand behavior.
Measuring the sentiment (the positive or negative views of the brand) and affinity (predicting how consumers will behave, i.e. stay in a relationship with a brand) of a brand is essential, and people are fickle. It takes one bad experience to ruin a relationship. Their last encounter with the brand influences a consumer's brand affinity.
Either way, measuring sentiment or affinity isn’t the same as measuring brand perception. A consumer's affinity, loyalty, and sentiment are nurtured over time. When you objectively measure how people view a brand, you’ll capture aspects of these dimensions.
Over time, brands develop personality just like people do. We form an opinion of the brands with which we interact, creating a perception that fits our worldview. We decide whether or not we think the brand is believable.
- Brand characteristics are character-like attributes; words you would use to describe the brand if someone asked, “What do you think about this brand, organization, or product?”
- Brand behavior are the patterns of behavior that are consistent with the underlying personality or characteristics of the brand.
What is the most critical factor in measuring brand perception?
When people have a clear and consistent perception of a brand’s personality, it typically indicates that the values and behaviors of the brand are in alignment.
According to a recent report from Forrester, “Studies shows consumers value human-like communication from brands." According to the report, 60% of brand experiences result in human-like connections. That's important considering that 57% of consumers say that human communication would increase their brand loyalty and 58% say human communication would increase their likelihood of spending money with a given brand. (Sign up for the report here).
How Can You Measure Brand Perception?
Specialized products such as Brandwatch, social media platforms like Hootsuite, and marketing automation platforms like Sharpspring allow you to monitor social media conversations and engage your community in dialog. The brands that do this best listen more than they talk with the goal of being social and engaging their community so they can learn what matters to their tribe.
Measuring Customer Satisfaction
Again, back to measuring the fickle nature of consumer behavior. You’ll find recommendations for measuring customer satisfaction (CSAT) through surveys; analyzing customer loyalty through Net Promoter Scores (NPS), and other suggestions for product surveys (which tend to be subjective). These approaches may be useful but aren’t necessarily predictive of brand perception.
Analytics and Other Data-driven Insights
Your website analytics don’t necessarily measure perception but can be an indicator of the type of content that people find valuable and of interest.
Brand Perception Surveys
To objectively capture consumer brand perception it’s advantageous to measure brand persona and personality with a web-based survey platform that focuses on standardized questions and analysis. Tools like the Aespire Brand Insights platform equip brand owners with quantifiable brand profiles that enable people to understand the differences between how different groups view a brand, organization, or product.
Our recommendation is to rely on a quantitative research tool like Brand Insights for the most accurate and objective measurement of your brand. You can understand how different groups, geographic regions, and other factors impact your carefully crafted brand message and how people perceive it.
If you’re not measuring, you’re guessing. Your brand deserves the precision of an assessment that can guide your decision-making.