Prompted by a challenge from a colleague a few months ago, I have immersed myself in the world of brand equity measurement to answer the question; how do I know my branding efforts are having an impact?
Although definitively measuring a brand’s performance can be elusive, difficult, time-consuming, and resource intensive, it is absolutely necessary and can be done by employing impact measures. (The Stanford Social Innovation Review has endless articles exploring impact measurement; its advantages, disadvantages, uses, pitfalls, and successes).
So the question becomes; how do I know my branding activities are having an impact on my brand?
After combing through blogs, google docs, articles, books, podcasts, and academic articles, I have come across many brand measurement tools and models used in the for-profit context. For example, David Aaker’s Brand Equity Ten measures brand differentiation, brand loyalty, perceived quality, brand popularity, perceived value, brand personality, organizational associations, brand awareness, market share, market price, and distribution coverage. Bill Moran’s Brand Equity Index multiplies its market share (%) by its relative price (ratio) by its durability (%) to arrive at its Brand Equity Index score which can be used to track brand strength and value over time.
Tools too costly or resource intensive for use by an NPO.
However, not knowing the value of the organization’s brand is no longer optional. So my advice is to start simple.
- Identify what you do know then scrutinize how you think you know it.
- Identify what you want to know then scrutinize the reasons for wanting to know it. (take a look at Keys to NPO Brand Equity for some ideas)
- Leverage your online community to gather some data using a survey tool like SurveyMonkey or Fluid Surveys
Two survey tips:
- Keep it short. Keep it focussed. Start with 5-7 questions.
- Be sure you ask the ‘why’ rather than the ‘what’. For example, knowing the number of people (un)satisfied with their experience of your brand is not enough. You need to design questions that probe why they were (un)satisfied.