In 1980 Michael Porter transformed the marketing world with his text on Competitive Strategy. It remains a brilliant work in its simplicity, a fundamental approach to analyzing the competitive landscape. Porter’s five forces brought clarity to a topic muddied by countless unproven approaches.
But there’s even a simpler approach: Three words that inspire even the smallest competitor to dream big.
Be big somewhere.
If you can’t compete with the big boys in their space, make a smaller space. Control the scope of your solution to one only your brand can satisfy. Of course it has to be realistic and meaningful to customers. But by the fundamental laws of mass merchandising, customization of solutions will almost always be rewarded with greater target attention and higher profit margins.
Many marketers mistake market opportunity for market size. But consider this: Would you rather own a 1% share of a market that’s 1 million strong or a 30% share of a market that’s a tenth that size…with higher profit margins?
I know. It’s against a marketer’s very nature to think small, but as a strategic consideration, it can be the best fuel your small or middle-market brand can get. And with all you’ll learn at a lower risk inherent in a more tightly defined market, you’ll be far more efficient at expanding to larger ponds later. This kind of long run approach drives long-term brand profitability.
If you can’t be a big fish in a big pond, shrink the pond.
You can’t put a whale into a fish bowl. But it doesn’t take a huge fish to rule there. So here are a few tips to shrink your way to success.
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS.
First focus on your customers.
Draw careful distinctions between what customers think they WANT and what your expertise tells you they truly NEED to satisfy that want. For example, people have long searched for their favorite radio station that plays the kind of music they are in the mood for, when they are in the mood. What they really needed was a way to access a personally customizable music playlist without buying all the recordings. Enter Pandora. People couldn’t “want” it because they didn’t know the technology existed. The magic lies in the way you analyze and interpret a customer stated want.
Next focus on your offer.
Second, focus your offer and positioning so tightly that the offer itself actually defines a segment, albeit smaller. Competitors tend to disappear when your brand appears to be the only one that can satisfy a very specific set of needs. This strategy done right can make your brand appear as prominent as the giants, to those who matter.
Then focus on your motives.
Be authentic. If your brand is truly customer focused in the most authentic way, you have no competition in the traditional sense. In its place, you have a commitment to serve your customers in a way they cannot be served elsewhere. That demands being constantly connected to your customers as well as non-customers. Anticipating their needs. Developing solutions based on your thought leadership around the application of new technologies, techniques, and trends.
And don’t forget about alignment. Aligning your business goals with those of your customers and your employees makes for a self-perpetuating success. Be sure to conduct a strategic alignment exercise at least once a year to be sure your brand is keeping up with changes in technology, regulation, competition, and other market forces.
Many organizations are very good at developing brand and marketing strategies that have the potential to produce excellent business results. But often these strategies become diluted or even derailed due to misaligned execution. Other organizations are experts at flawless execution of strategies that may not align with actual customer behaviors and organizational goals. The reality is that it takes both to succeed. And that requires a holistic approach, connecting internal and external components to create a symbiotic brand.
When marketers fail, it is generally tied to their inability to connect strategy with in-market execution. My new book, “Getting There from Here: Bridging Strategy and Execution,” takes on the task of not only outlining how critical it is to bridge this gap but also identifying the rewards on the other side: operational excellence and in-market impact. It is an excellent reference for perspective and processes that help bridge expectations, experiences, and behaviors among all brand stakeholders at every touchpoint.
Visit http://amzn.to/1yK9DTG to download a copy. Whatever your goals, it will help you get there from here by giving you tools and processes to effectively bridge strategy and execution for better business results.
Getting There from Here: Bridging Strategy and Execution
Page 15: The power of the bridge between strategy and execution
Page 59: The RAPPORT Process; a master process and language that helps align every level of your organization
Page 125: How to conduct an effective Strategic Summit
Page 42: How to know a good vision statement when you see one
Page 116: How to build a metrics bridge dashboard
Page 17: The true relationship of brand and marketing
Page 21: Harnessing the relationship between business, brand, and innovation
Page 34: Finding strategic alignment control points
Page 53: How to be sure you’re selecting the right opportunities
Page 56: When estimating can be better than counting
A creatively relevant story about people’s lives can lead to stronger brand relationships…even in B2B.
Over the past decade, content marketing has become the staple best practice for strengthening brand relationships. Blogs (like this one), white paper marketing, book authorship, branded documentaries, and one of the most intriguing and creative forms—branded webisodes—provide today’s marketer with an expanded palette of options to deepen and broaden customer relationships. The use of Webisodes—part of a trend called branded entertainment—is growing because marketers are compelled to find new methods to reach consumers in an era when traditional media are losing personal engagement time to the Internet. Webisode formats can range from a previews/trailers; a promotional series, part of a collection of shorts, or conversely, segments of a long form piece such as a TV series.
In any of the above formats, effective webisodes:
Use entertainment and video storytelling to engage stakeholders
Television and movies taught us that visual storytelling is the “killer app” for engagement. Done well, ironic humor and humanitarian appeal are especially effective approaches.
Emotionalize the brand
Emotion adds dimension more powerful and motivating than even logic to any relationship.
Relate to issues first
Focusing on issues or cause (social, life stage, cultural, moral, political, or other lightning rods) tap into people’s mind at a visceral level in contrast to sales approaches that trigger emotional barriers.
Promote buying v selling
When people “buy in” to a cause or an issue, selling isn’t needed to make a transaction.
As my mom used to say, “Everything’s different but nothing has changed.” Blogs are really just reincarnations of the company newsletter with one big difference: WordPress and other digital blogging tools make it easier for anyone with a computer to be a publisher. White papers are still one of the best tools for thought leadership positioning. The difference here is digital creation and access. And webisodes are very much like early radio and TV serials, sponsored, owned, and produced by advertisers and their agencies instead of by producers and networks. The difference is the medium: broadcast versus the internet, the latter providing some game-changing advantages.
Media trending toward web video
It’s no longer news that web video is taking a bite out of TV viewership. Nielsen’s (television audience research) most recent study indicates that viewing by 18-24-year-olds dropped by a little more than 4-and-a-half hours per week. http://bit.ly/1p7nVvc That’s equivalent to roughly 40 minutes per day.
At the same time, YouTube now reports that:
YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any single cable network
More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
YouTube is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages
My purpose in citing these stats isn’t to diminish TV advertising. It’s still the 800-pound gorilla to beat. But rather, my point is to emphasize that webisode marketing done right—with focused objectives, cogent strategies, and the right metrics attached—can now create a serious competitive advantage with clear ROI. For many brands that either can’t afford TV time or don’t fit into the TV advertising model (such as B2B), webisodes can present a green field of opportunity.
Can webisodes deliver real business results?
Many media historians portray our current period as the “post-broadcast era,” implying that audiences are sharing more of their video consumption with the web and media other than broadcast. Not to say that web entertainment will replace broadcast or cable TV. That would be like doomsters of the 1940’s and ‘50s who presaged TV replacing radio. And though it probably won’t displace TV, web video does contribute to an ever-fragmenting, increasingly complex media landscape in which consumers have so much choice that traditional media-driven marketing it is neither practical nor effective. That’s why content-driven marketing provides a sorely needed solution. It creates valuable, targeted content to repurpose in as many media as possible.
On the flip side, in order to get views, web video needs to be supported with targeted search marketing, SEO techniques, social media, and traditional promotion. This support allows audiences to discover what’s important to them, in a compelling format, on demand—when they have a specific heightened need or interest. Webisodes fit this solution profile like a glove, versus dubiously relevant promotional content force fed as an inline component of entertainment programming (aka TV).
On October 6, 2006, rapper Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy) debuted DiddyTV, sponsored by Burger King. Today, YouTube shows the first webisode garnering more than 993,000 views and 70,000 subscribers while building a social web brand community for a cultural niche. Not bad for an inexpensive webisode series. However, if you look deeper into the comments and thumbs down click counts, you might see a balanced story.
The following year, Mini Cooper launched Starsky & Hutch/Dukes of Hazzard webisode spoof “Hammer & Coop.” The effort, which centered around a six-episode web series, generated 1.5 million views and consumer interest that eventually translated into 800 vehicle sales (at least that’s the official report). But Mini didn’t just entertain visitors, it also presented a Mini web configuration tool to bring visitors closer to buying. The official report is: “Three hundred seven thousand unique visitors went directly to Hammerandcoop.com and spent an average of six minutes viewing the videos. Another 722,000 connected there through miniusa.com. Of the 722,000, 355,000 of them configured a Mini (by model, engine and extras); 22,000 people saved their configurations; and 2,400 of those sent them to dealers. Min reports that data represented about a 33% conversion rate that translated to about 800 vehicle sales.” http://adage.com/article/madisonvine-case-study/initial-results-mini-s-hammer-coop-effort/116193/
While I see a couple holes in the metrics strategy (from what I can tell, the 307,000 hammerandcoop.com visitors weren’t directly connected to configuring a car or the resulting sales funnel), this early example of webisode infotainment broke new ground for the medium. Bottom line: Mini Cooper sales were down 4% Q1 2007 YOY. However, US Mini Cooper annual sales hit their highest historic point to date in 2008, at 54,077 units. http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2011/01/mini-cooper-sales-figures.html It gives pause for thought.
Webisodes for B2B
What about for business to business brands? Blendtec makes blending technology for home, manufacturing, and foodservice. They launched their webisode series “Will it Blend” (www.willitblend.com) in 2007, featuring its founder, Tom Dickson, in a wacky role as a lab technician attempting to grind up everything from cubic zirconium “diamonds” to iPhones in Blendtec brand blenders. YouTube shows more than 6.7 million views on the “diamond blend” show including more than 16,000 likes and only 2013 thumbs down.
AnotherB2B example is an animated production by Lawson, a provider of software and service solutions in the manufacturing, distribution, maintenance and service sector industries. This webisode provides a good competitive positioning tool, effectively promoting Lawson’s “Simpler is Better” brand. It’s no slouch for such a nichey industrial target at more than 89,000 views. I’d like to see a metrics bridge that connects these views to results in a shift in positioning, revenues, and/or margins.
Business-to-business brands can use content marketing—including webisodes—to exploit market niches with a fresh approach to engaging their customers, limited only by imagination and, of course, budget. Unlike broadcast TV, web presence is free, so the only cost in getting a series on the web is production, which can be managed incrementally with theme, creative development, and production values, which new technology has made dramatically more efficient.
But wait. TV has built-in audiences (that’s what you pay the stations and networks for). With webisodes, you’ll have to generate the audiences yourself (you knew there had to be a catch). This “detail” has been the primary barrier in the success of many web videos.
What’s the right objective for webisodes?
Social media and advertising can get pretty expensive in the quest to promote your webisodes for customer acquisition. So why not start by using them to improve the lifetime value of your current customers? One excellent use for webisodes is cross selling lines to existing customers. Webisodes can provide context (relevant issues and situations that uncover real needs) in dramatic, comedic, or simply interesting ways (how to, etc.). This leads the customer to buy into a larger brand context and a larger solution set. With effective funneling surrounding the webisodes, it’s possible to tightly track ROI on existing or past customers.
A proven ROI formula?
Despite a few days of exhaustive research on the web, I haven’t been able to identify any recent B2B webisode examples. Maybe that’s because there’s not yet a tried and true formula that links webisodes to ROI. GroPartners is now engaged with one of our clients in an effort to do just that. We’ll keep you posted.
Meanwhile, if you have any additional information on webisodes that you’d like to share on my blogpost, please leave a comment (link top of page). I’d love to post it.
In recent years, branded documentaries have gained popularity in the marketing mix among a wide range of brands, including Stella Artois, Ericsson, Audi, Proctor & Gamble (Pantene/Downy), PetSmart, Jack Daniels, and Revlon’s Mitchum deodorant and many others.
What are Branded Documentaries?
The difference between branded documentaries and advertising or public relations is that they are actually “micro movies” (usually 3-20 minutes long) versus ads or sound bites (under 90 seconds). And unlike corporate videos, branded documentaries are issues-focused, versus brand-focused. These micro movies “feel” different. They tell emotive stories with cinematic techniques, resulting in a deeper and more engaging experience than is possible from any form of direct promotion.
Branded documentary director Nathaniel Hansen provides some insight: “Viewers are a lot more media and message savvy than we often give them credit for. If the film is people- or issue-focused, it’s a great way for the brand to take a back seat and let the content build demand.”
Some filmmakers behind branded documentaries prefer original music scores to heighten this cinematic experience. They feature real people telling stories around issues and events in their own words with authenticity that only the “real deal” can evoke. The sponsor’s brand may not be featured in the production, though sometimes cleverly placed. Instead, these films often use a carefully crafted storyline to present a worthy cause, or build a solid case for why certain attributes present in the brand are important in making people’s lives better.
Pantene Beautiful Lengths used branded documentaries to promote a cause: donating human hair to make wigs for cancer patients.
For example, in 2012, Pantene Beautiful Lengths charity expected to donate a record 12,000 real hair wigs to women fighting cancer nationwide. Though we can’t confirm this goal was met, the Pantene Beautiful Lengths website reports that since it’s inception in 2006, Pantene has donated to cancer patients approximately 24,000 wigs made from 400,000 consumer-donated pony tails. As a core component of Pantene’s marketing program, they created a branded documentary series that captures compelling stories from hair donors and wig recipients to drive public interest in the Beautiful Lengths program. In Pantene’s case the documentary was clearly branded. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK0J5jgf36M&list=SPIUDgI1r16CsQxkYdDNImNXCV3Rrf2EXM&index=1
Painting Coconuts is a documentary posted in January of 2013 that takes viewers behind the scenes of the model-building genius of the Audi Quattro® Experience. This one-of-a-kind slot car track creates a virtual driving experience with the world’s first car-mounted camera and iPad display/controller to put participants in the seat of a model Audi Quattro as it streaks around the highly detailed model track. “Drivers” take control of a custom-made 1/32 scale Audi A4 model slot car to test their on-track skills and promote the luxury auto brand. This documentary was a great way to leverage the investment in building the track, bringing it to the masses in a well-made 15-minute film (though it could have been 9 minutes with the same impact). It didn’t necessarily stir me to any form of action, but it did raise my awareness of the Quattro and associated it with detailed craftsmanship and driving enthusiasm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQxOKtCWEGE
Legendary documentary director Albert Maysles helped Mitchum keep it’s slot on retail shelves.
Mitchum rekindled interest in the heritage brand by sponsoring a nationwide contest in search of the “Hardest Working Man in America” in 2010. The deodorant/antiperspirant brand worked with CAA Marketing, director Brett Ratner (“Rush Hour,” “Red Dragon”) for a branded-entertainment program that played to its heritage and tagline: “So effective you could skip a day.” The winner was Chad Pregracke, founder of Living Lands & Waters, who alone racked up more than 50,000 votes for the award. Chad hauled over 6 million pounds of garbage from America’s rivers and their water sheds over the last 10 years, working seven days a week and selling what he could from the trash. See http://vimeo.com/64632163 for a short video case study including traditional and social media programs supporting the program and results.
Telling v Selling
Why are branded documentaries becoming so popular? My knee-jerk research reaction while writing this blog was to pit branded documentaries against traditional advertising effectiveness. But after doing some research, I realized it’s just not that simple: They are two entirely different forms of promotion, like PR and advertising. Branded documentaries deal with issues. They tell longer-form stories that engage viewers in causes of social conscience, learning, or special interest, then associate the content with a brand through sponsorship or some other non-direct means. By contrast, advertising deals with overt selling messages based on direct product use features and benefits. You might say the contrast could be summed up as “Telling versus Selling.”
Can documentaries actually convert customers or make paid promotion more effective with a halo effect? I’d love to see a study on that.
The motivational model consumers use to make purchase decisions appears to be changing. One major driver is the growing culture of social responsibility (aka “causes”). Brand consumption is no longer an “I” thing, but now a badge of community consciousness. Consumers and customers feel and show others that by “participating in brands” (aka buying and using them) they’re actively making the world a better place. The emotional logic goes something like this:
“This documentary makes me feel strongly about this cause →This brand is associated with this cause → (they must be providing some kind of support for it, right?) →So by buying their brand (consistently), I can support this cause →This makes me feel good because I am making the world a better place!”
Another driver of brands’ increased investment in documentaries is the ubiquitous adoption of online video by the world’s population:
Online video now accounts for 50 percent of all mobile traffic and up to 69 percent of traffic on certain networks. (Bytemobile Mobile Analytics Report).
52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Invodo)
In attempts to replicate top performers’ results among
their peers, many organizations instinctively look to traditional
methods. Additional training and messaging, managing toward strategic goals, internal promotions, compensation incentives, and research lead the list. But today forward-thinking organizations are finding success with technology-driven peer-to-peer (P2P) employee collaboration strategies.
P2P collaboration can galvanize employee engagement efforts
to a point of measurable return on investment (ROI). Much like
social media’s effect on consumerism, peer-to-peer collaboration among employees is empowered by new technologies and efficiencies that can take employee engagement to a whole new level — including bottom line results. At this new level there is a “P2P Effect” that takes on its own momentum. With it, an organization can improve business performance in targeted areas and clearly track it to ROI.
The gaps between strategy and execution are very real and at the heart of why so many business growth plans fail. Communication, alignment, staff attrition, “agendas,” and a hundred other factors contribute to breaches between strategic leadership and the ultimate actions of the tacticians who execute the plans.
A common challenge among organizations is how to identify these myriad gaps, define directives that fill them, and align leaders on making them happen…all while remaining aligned with the core purpose of the organization (aka brand vision). Addressing this challenge requires a business process that spans a 360-degree view of the organization and its environment on every front, including external forces such as suppliers, distributors and customers. This process can be the catalyst that brings the business model to life.
An ideal solution might be found in a well-defined, repeatable process that strives to make the lives of all the organization’s stakeholders better at once. By aligning common goals of all the organization’s stakeholders and corporate goals, core skills, talent, and assets, the process would guide operations to satisfy the ‘ultimate equation:’ Customer Expectations = Customer Experience. That means aligning employees, leaders, partners/distribution channels, operations, and others with customer goals in a holistic business process.
B2B marketing folks are often deer in the headlights when their CFOs challenge them for proof that brand building funds return value on their investments.
Financial executives – especially in B2B organizations– often have a hard time justifying brand-building investments. That’s mostly because when marketing folks like us are asked to provide ROI calculations for the big bucks we request, we morph into deer in the headlights before their very eyes.
So what do we do? We cloak brand building in marketing execution expenses that the financial guys can wrap their heads around. Simply put, we expense it. Feeling wimpy yet? You’re not alone. But now it’s time to help your CFO understand the value of building brand equity and put it in the asset column where it belongs…because investment in assets and a solid valuation methods are things they can relate to.
Who Doesn’t Want Higher Business Valuation?
For many middle-market B2B companies, brand equity falls off the financial radar completely, mostly because there’s no official GAAP measurement formula for organic brand equity. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, only 26 percent responded they found their “brand equity” metric very useful. That’s pretty sad, considering that some prominent marketing researchers believe brands are one of the most valuable assets a company owns. This is a measure brand and marketing managers should leverage in their stakeholder relationships.
Who doesn’t want 5% – 20% more company valuation?
Even in B2B, where “branding” is looked upon as something more suited for consumer products, brand equity can account for 5% – 20% or more of a company’s market value. And who wouldn’t want that (except maybe for that Cheerio-lobbing cherub who disses Jimmy Fallon on those Capital One commercials)?
In certain industries, increasing customer loyalty by 2% can impact the bottom-line in the same way as a 10% reduction in costs (The Market Research Executive Board, “Measuring Brand Equity”). The report continued to cite that a composite of companies with brands considered by business leaders as “superior” grew 402% in the 1990s while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose only 308%. And if that tidbit doesn’t cause pause in your CFO, toss this one at her: research finds that companies with the largest gains in brand equity generated an average current-term stock return of 30%, while companies with decreases in brand equity lost 10%. This is the kind of cred bean counters need to begin viewing brand as an investment instead of an expense.
What is brand equity really?
Brand equity trends are a good barometer overall brand health. But much like measuring the happiness of hippos, no single, comprehensive, industry-wide definition for brand equity exists. If pressed for a broad definition, brand equity essentially addresses the financial value that a brand’s identity, persona, and emotional appeal add to a product or service. It’s less about function and more about the customer experience and relationship. It all comes down to RAPPORT.
“Emotional value” is a pretty squishy thing to measure in financial terms, but it is undeniable that even in B2B, emotional attachment is a powerful issue. Though it may be expressed on different levels than B2C, people are still involved in the decision-making, influencing, and purchasing processes. And where there are people, there are emotional attachments.
The bottom line is…well, the bottom line…meaning that even if a brand has an emotional connection with its stakeholders, differentiation in the marketplace, high awareness, and easy accessibility, but not sustainable sales and margins; what’s it worth? This could be one reason why many B2B financial folks hold limited regard (and approve fewer, smaller budgets) for supporting this “phantom asset” than in B2C.
The flaws in most approaches to B2B brand equity measurement are their overemphasis on marketing factors and diminished emphasis on business, financial, and operational efficiency factors. After all, equity is a financial concept, so brand equity measurements – especially in B2B companies – should be less about the marketing aspects and more about the business and financial impact, right? One hitch: Marketing folks are more comfortable identifying and measuring brand equity drivers (marketing factors) that are great for prescribing ways to improve the financial equity of a brand, but not so good for measuring the equity. See the difference?
A Scorecard Just for B2B Brand Equity
To provide measurement of brand equity specifically for middle-market B2B brands that balances the marketing (external) and financial (internal) dimensions of the brand, I’ve crafted a scorecard that balances the two. The scorecard framework is based on the perspective that brand and business objectives always work hand-in-hand, because neither would exist without the other (if you believe that brand is a relationship with stakeholders). Another point to keep in mind is that the scorecard metrics are not meant to be used as isolated snapshots, but rather assessed in trends, taking the measurements at different periods over time and watching the delta and direction. This trending approach averages temporary influences and favors long term outlooks for valuation and predictive modeling.
The Devil’s in the Details
Dimension: The aspect of the brand to be measured
Eight select business and marketing dimensions of the brand are identified from a balanced “branded-business” perspective
Internal/External: Categorizing each metric as internal or external
Internal factors are things that can be controlled internally, such as setting pricing, aligning people, or switching operational processes or investing in specific capital equipment. These are business metrics. External factors are controlled by forces outside the brand organization. They include factors such as media, marketing, events, economics, etc., and affect the dimensions of external culture, awareness, and preference.
Loyalty is a bridge between internal control factors and external control factors because the organization (internal) has control over loyalty programs, but customers (external) are ultimately the ones who control the loyalty score. These unique qualities make loyalty a very powerful indicator of brand health because they provide an ultimate measurement for the faithful delivery of the brand promise.
Metric: The specific measurement for each dimension
1. Financial: Price premium and positioning over median category pricing
This is a traditional brand equity measure. One caveat: Make sure the category is segmented very carefully (whether you are valuing a product or corporate brand). Price premiums can skew heavily either way if the category includes competitive alternatives or substitutes positioned off your target. If you’re valuing a corporate brand, you can quantify corporate perceived price positioning by using a “basket of brands” approach against the market median pricing of an equivalent basket for each competitor. This is an internal metric because the B2B brand has control over its pricing.
2. Operational: Operational alignment score
Operational alignment occurs when the operational aspects of an organization and its people are all in alignment with the brand strategy. This means that everyone in a line position knows what to do on a daily basis in their jobs to support the brand’s delivery to its customers. This often combines elements of the corporate and product brand strategies. Operational alignment is not given much credit in the brand equity spreadsheet, but it can dramatically reduce costs in many ways. This is an internal metric because the B2B brand has control over its operational investments, processes, and policies.
Brand delivery is a brand touch point metric that assesses the alignment of stakeholders’ beliefs of what the brand delivers to them, above and beyond the functional aspects of the product or service. When employees and customers share the same understanding of what the brand is delivering (attributes beyond the functional), a brand is well aligned. When operationalized in every employee and customer group, this metric can pinpoint areas of misalignment, leading to clues for significant improvements in customer satisfaction. This is an internal metric because the B2B brand has control over setting and meeting customer expectations.
4. Loyalty: Net Promoter Score
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of customer advocacy and evangelism. Essentially, it measures the percentage of branded customers who actively refer a brand within their personal and professional networks. High NPS has been related to strong brands and sustainable financial success. This is a hybrid internal and external metric because the B2B brand and the customer each have some control over loyalty.
5. Awareness: Brand awareness score
Brand awareness alone is a measure of marketing success and not necessarily financial success. But combined with the other metrics in this scorecard, it can help drive financial success. This is an external metric because awareness is a customer perception factor.
6. Recognition: Logo/packaging
Brand recognition is an important dimension that helps quantify not only differentiation, but also the degree to which a brand cuts through the noise of the modern marketing landscape. It is an external metric because it is customer perceiption-based.
7. Preference: Market share trend
This metric is a traditional bell weather and helps round out the competitive success of the brand. This is an external metric because it deals with the external market competitive milieu.
8. Cultural: Buzz metrics (segment or industry) Social media has made “buzz” an undeniable part of our brandscape. Measuring resonance with brand positioning amidst current socio-economic trends is another facet of awareness, but includes richer customer positioning connotations. This is a purely external factor because it is in the control of customers.
All metrics should be expressed in percentages and averaged together for a composite score. Each or any of these factors can be weighted to accommodate specific industry peculiarities.
Once you begin treating your brand investments like investments instead of expenses, you’ll be surprised at how much more confident you’ll be in your brand budget discussions.
Contact GroPartners Consulting for guidance on how to measure your B2B brand equity, either corporate or product. 847-845-6970