Brand Health: Why Is It Important in the Age of Modern Marketing?
The way we talk about brands has changed. Just listen to the way social media influencer-types describe their personal “brand” — it’s almost as if it’s become a way to describe your hobbies or preferences (“Oh, yes, that leopard print laptop sleeve is so on-brand for you!”).
The concept of a brand isn’t anything new, nor is the concept of “brand health,” which is how a brand is perceived in the market and how well it delivers on its relative aims.
In recent years, the way we track a brand’s health has changed and, some might argue, is easier than ever thanks to all the available data.
These days, we’re privy to a wealth of information that makes reaching that target customer easier than ever before. Data is your friend and the lynchpin of all that makes digital marketing so powerful.
Without it, you have no story to tell about your campaigns. Data is concrete, reliable, and solid. Data is pure information — and while the data can be open to interpretation, there are no doubts when it comes to numbers.
The topic of brand health, though, can seem vague and hard to quantify.
It’s almost like the je ne sais quoi of a company — that indefinable quality that makes you want to click the “SHOP NOW” button or stay loyal many years later.
So, when we talk about modern marketing, why does the concept of “brand health” often get lost in the discussion? With our beloved acronyms of CPC, CPA, and CTR, it’s all too tempting to get caught up in the finer details.
All the statistics at our fingertips (especially through the LumenAd software) can make it easy to forget about the value of brand health and how it directly influences, well, everything.
Though it may seem like an ambiguous topic, it’s fairly easy to define the relative strength or weakness of a brand’s health based on digital marketing KPIs, such as impressions, click-through rate, conversions, and many more.
A strong and healthy brand is like someone who you’d like seated next to you at a dinner party; lively, attractive, amusing, aware, and with substance.
A robust and brawny brand, like a good ad, keeps something in reserve, allowing for a space where the customer can live.
I, along with many consumers I imagine, would like to think of myself as a rational shopper. One who makes purchase choices based on an amalgamation of quality, price and availability.
However, in my heart of hearts, I know that more often than not, I make purchases emotionally (and no, I’m not just talking retail therapy).
How you feel about a brand is directly tied to their brand’s health. It’s that gut feeling at the point of purchase, that tips the scales and makes you get off your butt and walk across the room to grab your wallet, the feeling of “this is a good idea.”
That’s why brand health is vital to your business, no matter the size. Brand health is synonymous with consumer trust.
So, how can we track, monitor, and evaluate brand health?
Besides the more granular details, there are three main overarching elements to consider when evaluating brand health: awareness, positioning and delivery.
A healthy brand has a high level of competency in all of these fields. And they all feed into each other — without strength in one sector, the others will not survive.
This may seem like an obvious one, but nonetheless vital when assessing your brand’s health.
The amount of brand awareness is equal to the brand’s impact. If your target customer has no awareness of your brand, they cannot and will not purchase it. Simple as that.
Say you have a killer online store. You’ve figured out your niche, know who your customer is, and you’re stocked to the brim with stellar inventory.
This is all well and good, but if your customer doesn’t know who you are, then nobody will come knocking on your door.
Brand awareness is key for the objective of an initial digital marketing campaign.
For a gut-check on Brand Awareness:
- Check out your branded keywords and look at what people are searching for to find you.
- See if your ads have a healthy number of impressions, which will determine if you’re able to reach the right amount of eyeballs to build awareness.
Consumers today have a staggering amount of options to choose from when making a purchase.
Successfully positioning your brand can set it apart from the masses and help you better reach that desired customer.
A brand with a successful positioning strategy will always be innovating new ways to occupy that coveted spot in the consumer’s mind, constantly re-evaluating their methods, and asking themselves the important questions.
What position does this particular brand hold in the target customer’s mind? How does that customer perceive the brand? And what distinctive area does the brand hold in the current market or industry? How can companies compete to better hold the coveted spot of TOMA (top of mind awareness)?
The classic advertising “Rule of Seven” states a customer needs to see or hear an ad seven times before they make a conversion (i.e., the desired action).
Luckily, modern advertising technology is able to crush those seven touchpoints in no time with strategies like retargeting to already interested customers.
Once that prospective customer has displayed interest in your brand, perhaps by interacting with an ad, it’s a cinch to keep engaging them and improve your brand’s positioning.
For a gut-check on Brand Positioning:
- Take a good look at how social KPIs and CTR are performing.
- Ask yourself, “How much are people engaging with your ads on social platforms? Do they care enough to keep learning more?”
At the end of the day, it’s about what the quality of product or service a brand can deliver.
No matter what stellar marketing tricks you have up your sleeve, if you’re touting a subpar commodity, your brand will suffer.
We’ve become accustomed to the standard that most everything — from restaurants to gyms to doggy daycare — comes with customer reviews.
In the digital sphere, brands are constantly being rated on their delivery. You no longer have to dig out your Zagat’s Guide to hear what one diner thought of any dining establishment.
A quick online search can lead you to sometimes thousands of reviews ranging on everything from the service to the atmosphere, and yes, sometimes even the food.
In this day and age, brands no longer have the luxury of set-it-and-forget-it. Brands, whether they like it or not, are constantly being rated.
Those who don’t deliver value to their customers will find their brand health in trouble, no matter how strong their awareness or positioning strategies may be.
Brands who consistently live up to their reputation have the capacity to build life-long customers and a strong presence in the market.
The resiliency of a brand is built on their promise to deliver a quality product or service, time and time again.
For a gut-check on Brand Delivery:
- Look for an uptick in conversions, or perhaps a declining CPA over time.
- Keep an eye out for anecdotal evidence, reviews and anything that can prove consumer trust can measure a positive delivery.
So, are you feeling motivated now to bolster your brand’s health, or perhaps perform a gut check?
Maybe you already feel confident about your brand’s health and want to back up that confidence with raw data.
Here at LumenAd, we’re unabashed data nerds — data nerds with purpose, that is! With all the data we are able to pull into software like ours, it’s simple to perform the gut-checks outlined above.
The power is now in your hands, my friends! Pump your brand full of the antioxidant green smoothies of marketing and give it a long and healthy life.
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