Given the amount that businesses invest in brand and branding, this is a very good question.
Of course, for any business wanting to spend less, the solution is to sack your advertising agency and engage a suitable qualified marketing to consultant to work with your HR team to create and deliver your brand.
Such a brand will cost less to establish and deliver better outcomes.
Returning to the question, here are my initial thoughts on how to measure those outcomes, or the impact of your brand and the branding process.
- Staff quality
The optimal brand will attract and help you retain the best people. A well-defined and executed brand will attract people who share your values and buy into your vision and mission. It will also help to ensure those people stay longer. Measure quality and retention
- Staff productivity
Research has continually demonstrated that the best brands extract the highest levels of productivity out of staff – and those staff are more inclined to work for the brand rather than just money. People who buy into your brand will work harder. Measure productivity.
- Sales margins
One of the primary objectives of effective branding must be to build value into a brand, which in turn should in the short term, substantiate the margins being charged and in the longer term provide an environment in which margins can be increased. Measure margins
- Influencer support
There are a number of audiences out there which are not your target audience that can still influence the success of your businesses. They will include financiers, financial markets, governments and regulators. Your brand impacts their behaviour. Measure influencer impact
- Brand engagement
Brand communities are growing in importance as a cost-effective tool for driving the long terms customer relationships that deliver repeat business and referrals. Customers who may but again or refer will not join a product community but may join a brand community. Measure membership
- Product sales
While branding will impact on enquiry rates it is likely to impact more on conversion rates. Repeat customers and referees will ask for a brand, while many initial enquires will simply look for a product that offers a solution and ask about the brand. Measure enquiry and conversion rates.
- Audience perceptions
Advertising agencies focus a lot of attention on awareness – now many members of your target market know you exist. While this is important, so is the perception of audience members. Consumers buy on perception and not the awareness of a brand. Measure perception.
- Positive media
Strong brands are more likely to attract positive media coverage and are less likely to attract negative media coverage. The media is attracted to brands they believe the community has empathy with. Monitor media coverage
- Crisis outcomes
Every business and every brand will experience a crisis from time to time. How that business or brand deals with that crisis and the outcomes is in part a measure of the quality of the brand and the effectiveness of the branding process. Monitor crises and the outcomes.