The opportunities for using a brand survey as a knowledge-driven management tool
At Innolink, we are discussing brand surveys as a tool for strategic knowledge-driven leadership in a two-part series of blog posts. Part 2. The opportunities for using a brand survey as a strategic development and monitoring tool and measuring the brand experience at different stages of the path to purchase.
Innolinks’ brand surveys are good tools for strategic knowledge-driven management and reputation management, and the development of sales, customer relations, products, services, and marketing communications. A brand survey can generate a clear picture of the awareness, market position, and attractiveness of your brand, as well as of potential customers and the level of customer loyalty.
“In addition to a one-time brand survey, continuous data collection carried out for example monthly or yearly is well-suited for strategic brand development. We are indeed measuring the market position of several well-known brands on an on-going basis,” Research Manager Jukka Aro continues.
Brand surveys include suitable means for the measurement of the brand experience and for utilising information at various stages of the path to purchase.
1. Awareness and market position – Total brand awareness and top-of-mind awareness surveys determine the market position of a brand.
“I think that brand surveys are helpful in recognising one’s market position and opportunities on the market. One of my clients had very poor spontaneous awareness results, even though they run a very big business in Finland. The CEO wasn’t distressed by this, but rather stated that there’s enormous potential here,” says Research Director Pasi Lahtinen.
“The results meeting was attended by people from management and marketing, who I am sure received some good foundational knowledge for their upcoming sales and marketing actions. The monitoring of the development of brand visibility will continue next year with another brand survey,” Lahtinen continues.
Liukkala states: “Yes, low awareness can equal great potential. Brand reinforcement often means improving awareness. These days mapping out the online visibility of a business in comparison with one’s main competition and the development of digital visibility create fertile ground for attracting potential customers.
Good awareness is often made concrete by client contacts, which has happened at Innolink, too. Our brand renewal of 2018 and new bold visual look are working just fine. We have taken steps in the right direction.”
Lahtinen gets excited: “I think that Innolink’s brand is fresh, living in the present and by knowledge-driven leadership. We have been receiving more contacts recently. The employer brand and awareness have developed in recruitment as well. I always ask people how they know about Innolink. The answers vary greatly – some have applied for a position with us, some have found Innolink on Google, we have worked together with some.”
“Positivity and awareness have clearly increased. As I get in touch with new clients, more often the person at the other end knows Innolink from somewhere,” Aro sums up.
2. Images and reputation – The things that customers think of first indicate what the reputation of a brand is. Reputation reflects the entire value chain of the operation and its changes.
“I think that the words that come to mind first are manifestations of the company reputation. The images from a large enough survey sample create a visual image picture, or a word cloud. For example, the realisation of 3 to 5 values specified in the company strategy in the lives of customers can be measured on a scale of 1 to 5,” says Aro.
Lahtinen continues: “The brands of products traded in the sub-contracting universe of industrial clients are often not visible to the outside. That is why the reputation of the entire operational chain is of value. Is the brand for “Mike’s Machine Shop” reliable, on time, domestic, or indicative of the shape of the business?”
“In company operations, security, reliability, and responsibility are important criteria. I have however been surprised to notice that sustainable values are still not rated as high as other operative company criteria when making choices. Prices and other hard factors rule, and accountability and environmental issues are often the last things considered when choosing a supplier. Environmental responsibilities are however considered more and more, which is why they are worth measuring,” Aro states.
“When making questionnaires, I have noticed that environmental issues are actually being worked on by businesses that are asking how the entire production and value chain works in relation to the environment. Environmental responsibility cannot be measured, but carbon footprints can. The environment is however not one of the hard decision-making criteria, but it is included in some way,” Liukkala concludes.
3. Consideration and comparison – Brand image comparison indicates what customers think about the products or services. The purchasing decision is affected by how attractive the brand is considered and what the level of quality is seen to be.
“Brand transparency and publicity have increased significantly over the previous years. Brand-related inputs are now being received from many directions: in addition to one-directional marketing communication, you now have social media, customers, potential customers, members of personnel, and other groups,” Liukkala says.
“Brand visibility and images are important, especially online. These days everything gets Googled, and paths to purchase often start with online comparisons. If you are looking to buy for example a bike, it won’t take you long to do a Google search and compare the bikes and their price-to-quality ratios across different manufacturers. Online presence is key,” Liukkala concludes.
“We also offer an excellent consumer panel network, if you need to get informed about what consumers think of almost anything,” Lahtinen mentions.
4. Recommendations – The NPS recommendation index lets you know how likely customers are to recommend your brand.
A brand survey can be combined with a recommendation likelihood measurement of the customers who use the brand’s products or services, which is called NPS.
Innolink’s brand survey solutions cover the entire customer path
- Awareness and market position: total awareness, top-of-mind, competitor comparison, and brand position on the market
- Images and reputation: The things that come to mind first indicate what kind of reputation and attraction does the brand have
- Consideration and comparison: An image comparison lets you know what your customers think about your products or services
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
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Read also the discussion session about which needs does a brand survey respond to
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