How Data And Analytics Influence Branding

Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. BSI readers know, we regularly answer questions from marketers. Today we hear from Paul, a Reporter for Teradata Magazine in Dayton, Ohio who asks these questions on analytics for branding

Why is brand building important for businesses?

Brands allow businesses and their products and services to take on human qualities so that they can share values, make and keep promises and create emotional connections with their customers. These lead customers to be loyal to and advocate those brands.

Other business benefits of brands include increased:

  • ability to charge a price premium
  • market share
  • profitability
  • market valuation
  • negotiating leverage with business partners
  • ability to grow beyond current product categories (if the brand focuses on customer benefits rather than specific product categories)
  • ability to recruit and retain high quality employees
  • clarity of vision
  • ability to align the organization around a specific mission, vision and set of values
  • ability to mobilize an organization’s people and focus its activities

How can data and analytics shape branding?

I completely subscribe to Peter Drucker’s comment that “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” We have found that five factors drive customers to insist upon specific brands. That is, if their preferred brand is not available, they will seek it out or wait until it is available again rather than purchase a substitute product or brand. The five factors are:

  • Awareness
  • Relevant differentiation
  • Value
  • Accessibility
  • Emotional connection

Our proprietary BrandInsistenceSM brand equity measurement system measures all five of these factors for brands and their competitors. It also measures the following for those brands:

  • Importance and brand delivery on up to 24 category/brand attributes, benefits and values, leading to brand positioning maps that highlight brand positioning opportunities and threats
  • Top-of-mind brand associations
  • Brand personality attributes
  • Brand vitality
  • Brand loyalty

This system can be used to fine tune brand positioning, diagnose other problems and measure improvements that are the result of specific actions.

How can a business design a data-driven branding program?

I would include measures of awareness, relevant differentiation and customer loyalty at a minimum. These measures need to be tied to performance appraisals. Ideally, they are integrated into common measures as a part of a balanced scorecard.

What types of data are useful to a branding program?

Qualitative research/data (from focus groups, mini-groups and depth interviews) provide the richest insight on brand positioning. We make extensive use of guided imagery, laddering and projective techniques in this type of research. Quantitative research/data (as described above) is useful to ongoing management of the brand.

How can analytics help a business monitor and strengthen its brand?

We use analytics to help increase brand awareness, preference and purchase intent and ongoing customer loyalty.

How can analytics be used to listen to customers?

We listen to customers through qualitative and quantitative research, as mentioned above. But also through anthropological research, social media monitoring and customer service/support feedback loops.

What sorts of business actions can be based on customer data?

Customer targeting and brand positioning, pricing, distribution and extension strategies and tactics can all be informed by data, as can brand identity design, detailed brand messaging, and customer experience decisions.

Thanks for your questions Paul.

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