Brand Building

Core Considerations for Evaluating Your Brand’s Health

Published On: June 24, 2024 | Categories: Public Relations |

How well is your brand performing? Are you confident it’s healthy and strong? Or questioning if it’s in need of revival?

Brands — like people, cars and HVAC systems — need regular checkups to ensure they’re performing optimally. A brand is a business’ biggest asset — its identity that sets it apart from competitors. Taking care of that asset and ensuring it’s working at maximum efficiency is critical to any company’s success.

To evaluate your brand’s health and performance, it’s important to start with the fundamentals to assess consumer perception, brand investment and presence, brand consistency, effectiveness, and opportunity.

Listen to consumers

“The first place to start in evaluating brand health is listening to consumer feedback,” said SA Executive Director, Strategic Communications, Laura Vanden Bosch.  “Customers have always shared their brand experiences and satisfaction with friends and family. But they’re now sharing that feedback with potentially millions of prospective consumers through online reviews and social media posts. It’s critical to be aware of everywhere your brand and business are mentioned and have a plan for managing customer feedback.”

Keeping a close eye on your brand’s social media comments is critical, along with monitoring and managing consumer reviews on common platforms like Google business listings, Facebook and more specialized sites applicable to specific industries — like Yelp, Angi and Trip Advisor.

Another easy, cost-effective strategy to evaluate your brand and marketing tactics is simply asking customers how they heard about you and how satisfied they are with your product or service. This data is especially important to gather before beginning new marketing campaigns, so it can be used as a baseline evaluation metric, along with other established quality indicators.

Review investment and presence

Other vital signs to review in brand health are your company’s investment in marketing and your brand’s presence.

While marketing investment can vary widely depending on the type of business, size, stage of growth and importance of marketing’s influence on sales, businesses who consistently invest in marketing outperform those who don’t. Most guidelines suggest business-to-business (B2B) companies invest between 2-5% of net revenue into marketing, and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies 5-10%.

In assessing how your brand stacks up against the competition, it’s important to know how your marketing investment compares to competitors — a practice known as evaluating “share of voice,” or overall marketing buy in a market.

“It’s very hard to be successful in brand performance if it’s not an equal playing field,” Vanden Bosch said.

Additional strategies to evaluate brand presence include conducting organic social media audits comparing your brand to key competitors and reviewing earned media coverage — both services Strategic America performs regularly for clients.

Seek consistency

Consistent application of established brand standards is another metric of brand health.

“Everything you do, whether internal or external, has to be true to your brand personality, and it has to speak to your audience,” Vanden Bosch said. “How consistent are you being? And are you tailoring messages appropriately to your audience?”

Conducting a communications audit of internal and external channels is a best practice that should be done regularly to ensure consistent application of a brand’s visual identity, tone of voice and key messages.

Evaluate effectiveness

“The true bottom line of a brand’s health is how well it’s performing against established competitors,” Vanden Bosch said. “You know your brand is strong when it’s optimized to effectively drive leads and generate business.”

To gauge effectiveness, check to see how easy it is for prospective customers to find your business, services or products. Start with a Google search and see where your business ranks. If you don’t appear in the top window, you may benefit from search engine optimization and marketing to have your business appear closer to the top of consumer searches and make your messages easier to find.

Be sure to also review online search results to confirm the information is accurate. Check to see if there are any reviews of your brand, and if they’re positive, or if clarifications or corrections are needed.

“It’s important to closely monitor those tactics that generate leads and ultimately convert to actual business,” said Vanden Bosch. “The goal is to set your brand up for success by having the right strategies in place to make it as easy as possible for consumers to connect with your brand.”

Look for opportunity

Finally, to ensure your brand is healthy and stays relevant, you must stay ahead of consumer trends and be aware of environmental influences. While there’s no need for a business to jump on every trend, Vanden Bosch said, it is essential to know your customers and their changing needs and wants.

“Being open to change and in-tune with customers means opportunity,” Vanden Bosch said. “Change is inevitable, and change is constant. To stay relevant in consumer’s minds, you must think ahead and adapt.”

How can SA’s services help?

Strategic America has nearly 45 years of brand experience and offers clients key insights to build brand momentum and drive business forward. If your brand needs a lift, or a thorough checkup to ensure optimal performance, the SA team has you covered. With a full-service, integrated team of brand, marketing and communications specialists, SA has the capabilities to review every aspect of your brand’s health — from search engine optimization to media relations, and everything in between.

SA’s insights can identify brand weaknesses, threats and opportunities, and develop effective strategies to build brand strength and resiliency. If your business is ready for a brand health boost, let’s get moving.

Laura Vanden Bosch is the Executive Director, Strategic Communications, at Strategic America. Learn more about our services.