Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is a key set of fundamental metrics — which can be actively managed — linking the health of brand to revenue and consumer commitment.
To measure brand health — and, contrary to conventional wisdom, the authors contend, it can be measured — is to obtain a 360-degree view of a brand in its marketplace, a wide-angle view of consumers and competitors. What is required, they say, is isolating underlying elements that matter, measuring them and linking them to business performance.
Based upon quantitative survey data collected in 2007 from consumers in large sectors of the U.S. economy — food and grocery, wireless services and banking — drawn from major geographic markets nationwide, the authors offer a statistically reliable set of brand-health elements for companies to measure and to use as leading indicators of sales risk and potential: brand leadership, attractiveness, distinctiveness, satisfaction and liabilities. They then map those elements to four revenue-related expressions of customer commitment: current customer spending, risk of sales loss, revenue momentum and likelihood of referrals.
The resulting framework allows marketers and investors to “connect the dots” between key elements of brand health and business performance and to reconcile previously separate notions: brand and operations, the short term and the long term, investment and return.
In the research, the number of companies consumers named as having strong brands was surprisingly small. Fifteen companies accounted for fully 50% of the mentions and only three companies — Apple, Coca-Cola and Microsoft — accounted for 25% of mentions. The authors conclude with a set of best practices that are implied by the brand-health framework and also characterize companies that are perceived as having the strongest brands.