What factors contribute to better brand performance?Posted on: November 10, 2023
by Ben Nancholas
Semrush’s State of Content Marketing: 2023 Global Report states that 49% of businesses surveyed identified increasing brand awareness as their top goal, and identified building a brand-loyal community as the focus of their biggest investments this year.
In business, brand performance is intricately linked with competitive advantage and long-term success and profitability. How well a brand is performing will directly inform any number of business-critical decisions, from new product development to marketing strategies to resource allocation.
The benefits of strong brand performance are manifold, including increased:
- brand recognition and customer recognition
- customer loyalty and confidence
- brand equity
- ability to attract top talent.
How well is brand contributing to organisational aims and objectives? How much value is brand creating? And, the million-dollar question: how can brands increase their effectiveness and performance?
How can brand performance be measured?
What are the hallmarks of great brand performance?
Understanding and analysing how a brand is performing is central to assessing the impact of brand activity and generating growth in given target markets. Various brand performance metrics provide quantifiable insights into how brands perform against competitors, how they are perceived in the eyes of potential customers, and which aspects of brand are – or aren’t – succeeding.
There are a wide range of brand metrics marketers can analyse to gain a well-rounded picture of brand performance and health:
- Performance metrics – Revenue, profit margin, market share, customer lifetime value, brand equity.
- Perception metrics – Brand awareness, brand associations, brand preference, brand perception, purchase intent.
- Behaviour metrics – Website traffic, lead generation, customer acquisition, social engagement, product reviews.
Tracking the right metrics supports brand development over time. For example, it helps catch any downward trends ahead of time – enabling marketing professionals to make proactive decisions that can press brand advantage – and avoid negative brand image.
What key factors affect brand performance?
Numerous factors have the potential to impact brand performance. The customer experience, across all touch points, can have a profound impact on how a brand performs. Here are four of the most common:
- The quality of product a customer is presented with
- The customer service they receive
- How usable they find the website
- The connection they have with brand messaging.
Brand reputation – the overall perception of a brand by customers and stakeholders – is rooted in a brand’s actions, behaviours, and messaging. Reputation encompasses aspects such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), and perceived transparency and trustworthiness.
The channels and tactics brands use to advertise their offerings can affect wider brand performance. Marketing efforts – for example, content marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media – may positively, negatively or neutrally impact wider performance.
Competition within the market can have a direct impact on brand perception, pricing power, and market share – all of which feed into overall brand performance. Competition will include the availability and quality of alternative products and services, pricing differences, the number and strength of competitors, and customer and supplier bargaining power.
What are the best ways to increase brand performance and brand effectiveness?
Think of some of the biggest, most household brand names. Perhaps Apple, Google, Nike, Mercedes, Coca-Cola, Netflix, or McDonald’s spring to mind?
While they’ve succeeded in weaving themselves into the fabric of modern society and global consciousness, their recognition and fame wasn’t created overnight. So, what’s the secret to a successful brand?
Marketing professionals who want to develop a strong brand strategy and, ultimately, a strong brand, should:
- Highlight differentiation. Allow customers to see and understand what sets your brand apart from others. This might include brand values, product and service offerings, sustainable operations, brand story, outstanding customer service, authenticity, or any number of other aspects.
- Embrace smart analytics. The right analytics tools offer insights into brand performance data that supports marketing campaigns and targeting decisions – both of which help to drive growth and underscore brand value. Choose key performance indicators (KPIs) that are directly correlated to financial gain, customer loyalty, and brand awareness.
- Prioritise customer experience. Creating positive, impactful experiences should be front-of-mind for all marketers and brand strategists. Providing seamless, personalised experiences, investing in customer support and after-care, and taking customer feedback onboard are all customer-centric strategies that, if done right, can build brand loyalty.
- Enhance brand reputation. Focusing on driving strong brand reputation may look like implementing meaningful CSR initiatives, policies and practices, assessing partnerships and affiliations, monitoring online and social media reviews, and addressing any learnings, and acting in an honest, transparent manner with customers.
- Evaluate marketing activities. Consider whether current marketing efforts are having positive impacts, and whether a brand is finding their target audience via their chosen marketing channels. For example, Hootsuite reports that 50% of brands are regarded as ‘higher quality’ after posting on LinkedIn, with brands witnessing a 33% increase in purchase intent resulting from LinkedIn ad exposure. Developing targeted campaigns, leveraging content marketing, making data-driven, informed decisions that support marketing optimisation, and choosing the right tactics and channels will all help.
Building brand performance is an ongoing task, and this list is not exhaustive. For example, enhancing brand performance will also require:
- undertaking competitor and market research
- defining brand strategy
- navigating competition
- adapting to evolving market and buyer behaviours
- investing in innovation.
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