How to Measure Brand Perception— and Why You Should

On a good day, brand perception can be very difficult to quantify. However, it is one of the most vital metrics your company can have when it comes to brand visibility and marketing success, as it directly effects your bottom line.

In this article we’ll cover tips on measuring your brand perception and why it matters. Here are some hints:

  • Brands that are perceived as strong have higher profit margins.
  • 89% of shoppers are more loyal to brands that share their values
  • 90% of consumers trust people in their social network

brand perception

And without further ado, here are 10 tips to help you measure and quantify brand perception:

1. Measure Your Conversation Volume

How often are people talking about your company? The first step in understanding brand perception is to see how often you’re being mentioned. To do this,  you need to start broad and then narrow down from there.

For example, if you’re Coca Cola, you may want to start by searching “soda,” “pop” or “soft drink” to see how you’re represented in the industry. This will give you a starting place to measure your footprint. And it’s from this point that you can begin to measure on various spectrums, like timeframe, possibly comparing volume of a few years ago versus 15 minutes ago. This allows you to measure impact, and whether your voice is growing or waning in the public mind.

2. Compare Consumer Conversation to News Outlets

A good summary metric will reveal a lot about brand perception. And you need to be able to compare your impact on not only consumer outlets, but news media as well. For example, below we can see Coca-Cola’s comparison of volume on social networks and news outlets over the past month. We can see that news outlets are relatively quiet, while socially this beverage brand had some recent spikes.

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A brand might ask themselves why the news seems to be so silent while consumers are talking a lot. And they could quickly find their answer, as the next logical step would be to explore what’s behind these conversation lines.

This is simple to explore in NetBase Quid, as clicking on the blip on the 5th, for example, reveals the tweet powering the spike. It speaks to Trump being photographed with a bottle of Coca Cola in a picture after calling for a boycott of the company. The post originated from professor, with a verified account on Twitter, reacting to a report of a meeting Trump had. And this illustrates how sometimes news and social networks talk differently about the same thing.

3. Listening in on Consumer Conversations

It’s not enough to just measure volume, of course. Without viewing the posts which are causing these spikes (or flatlines), a brand has no way of knowing if the consumer(s) behind the mention are talking about them in a positive light.

Bad news seems to travel faster than good, so having social listening tools to view these individual posts is critical to monitoring brand perception.  If it’s all good things, like this sweet little bird dressed in a Coca-Cola top hat on a consumer’s Tumblr – then, great!

coca-cola-bird-for-brand-perception-win

But if it’s something negative like a bad experience, you’ll want to engage a disgruntled consumer as quickly as possible to minimize damage to your brand perception. Nothing is worse to a consumer than feeling like the company they supported doesn’t care – social analytics helps keep you in the know, including where you’re being talked about.

4. Location, Location, Location – Know Where Consumers are Talking

Over four billion people use social media worldwide. But where, specifically, are your consumers? Do they tweet? Or are they budding photographers on Instagram? As a brand you need to know where people are talking. Identifying domains and outlets where these folks are active is great for tracking conversations and also for ad targeting as a part of your marketing strategy.

505-coca-cola

5. Who Are You? Playing Data Detective

Having social analytics on your side is like having an investigative unit on your team. It can tell you the who, what, where, when and why of your consumers. And once you know where they are, it’s time to find out who they are. Understanding things such as common interests and age can help inform messaging and connect meaningfully. And it offers another powerful way to control your brand perception.

6. Survey the Sentiment

So much of consumer behavior comes down to emotions, including choosing which companies consumers support. And what they feel about brands is readily available for dissection in online discussions. Using sentiment analysis tools, your brand can discover how consumers feel about you and how your company measures up against competitors on an emotional scale. Establishing an emotional connection to your audience starts here. Brands can track sentiment to better understand brand perception in any context – whether it’s for a campaign in process, or to perform research around something you’re testing out for the first time. There’s an emotion tied to it – find it!

7. Identify Trends

Trends are hot one day, and freezing cold the next. As temperamental as they are, identifying trends is one wild horse you’ll want to lasso regardless. They can be a game changer in the game of brand perception. Being a first mover in your category for something that consumers hold dear, something that speaks to their values, is huge. 89% of consumers are more loyal to brands that share their values. So, if your consumers values are on display and trending, it’s time to hop aboard and hold on tight till it dies down – and then grab on to the next value-led trend.

8. Competitive Analysis & Share of Voice

With so many brands vying for attention, having a solid estimation of your brand’s share of voice is crucial. And understanding how you’re being perceived offers insight around how to capture a larger chunk of consumers in your category. A competitor analysis is perfect for this job. All of the KPIs you apply to yourself can also be applied to your competitors’ efforts. You can see what your competition is doing well, where they’re dropping the ball – and how their consumers feel about all of it. This allows you to avoid mistakes they’ve already made or learn a few tricks to boost your own visibility.

pepsi-and-rc-cola-comparison

9. Utilize Influencers

And when it comes to visibility and brand perception, nothing can help you more these days than your very own influencer. According to a Nielsen study, over 90% of consumers trust people in their social network, including influencers. These powerful online personalities have followers in the thousands, which is extra reach that any brand can use. And having one batting for your team, increases positive brand perception, particularly when you can combine it with a viral channel:

@jaeceeraefriendddd #ImAGhost #PersonalFinance #REMDreamCheck #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #bear #cocacola♬ original sound – JaeceeRae

10. Engage Your Employees as Brand Ambassadors

Employees are your ace in the hole, though many companies ignore how amazing they can be. Having an employee interact genuinely and enthusiastically for your brand can help customers feel comfortable with your company. Your internal dynamics matter to customers – it makes you seem more authentic and likeable (or otherwise, depending on what’s shared!). By simply tweeting or posting, your employee brings more brand awareness via social media platforms. And having access to this trusted employee’s social media following offers additional insight around your brand perception.

How is your company perceived online? If you’re seeking to strengthen your bond with consumers and positively influence brand perception, reach out for a demo!

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