Brand equity | 7 min read

Brand Equity Tracking: Why and How to Get It Right

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How do you measure brand equity? It’s not just about the number of likes and shares you get on social media. It goes much deeper than this, and the only way to do it is to make brand equity tracking a priority.

Great brands aren’t created overnight. Rather, they’re the byproduct of consistent hard work, effort, and intention. They start with an idea, which gives way to things like names, purposes, and visuals, which eventually lead to recognition and success. Brands grow in value over time as more people become familiar with your name and reputation. This value is what we call “brand equity” and it’s something you can track to see just how much your value is increasing. 

For new or lesser-known brands, tracking brand equity makes perfect sense. You want to see how much your brand is growing and how your marketing efforts are paying off. But even well-known brands should track equity. As new competitors enter the field and other competitors grow and shift, you want to make sure the brand you’ve worked so hard to build isn’t being overshadowed.

Here’s what you need to know about brand equity tracking, including its role and how to do it the easy way.

What Does Brand Equity Measure?

brand equity

Brand equity is the measurement of a brand’s value according to consumers’ perceptions of the brand. In other words, the brand’s value comes from the brand’s name and reputation, not the products or services it offers. 

When brands have high brand equity, they can justify charging more for their services and products, kind of like how brand name items sell for more than generic products or unfamiliar brands.

Brand equity measures how consumers (specifically, your target audience) feel about your brand. What’s more, you can measure how your brand stacks up with your competitors. Compare your brand performance across markets and learn more about what makes your brand special in the eyes of your customers. 

What Is Brand Equity Tracking?

Brand equity tracking is the intentional process of tracking and measuring your brand equity over time. Brands need to monitor their health over time to see how perceptions may be changing. This can be helpful on its own, but it becomes even more valuable when you’re comparing these changes against your marketing efforts.

As you launch various campaigns, you can see the impact they had on your brand via conscientious tracking. 

Adding brand equity metrics to your marketing playbook can further demonstrate just how impactful your marketing efforts are. These metrics give you direct insight into not only how many people you reach, but also how you influence their perceptions. Because let’s face it, reach doesn’t spur buying decisions; perceptions do.

Why Brands Should Measure and Track Brand Equity

brand equity

Your brand is a living, breathing, evolving entity. You have the chance to win more customers and change their perceptions every time you publish content, advertise your products, connect with customers, or get mentioned in the media. Over time, these individual actions can build up in value. 

Just as your brand evolves, so does your brand equity. It’s important to know where your brand equity currently stands in relation to your competitors. The answers might surprise you. Once you know your starting point, you can prioritize the right actions and decisions that can help you increase your brand equity. 

Your brand equity can influence everything from your pricing strategies to how and where you market yourself. Premium brands can get away with charging premium prices. People already view them as luxury companies and perceive their quality to align with their prices. This is a little harder to do when you don’t have brand equity to support that image. 

You might also find it easier to successfully introduce new products or services when you have brand equity. Take Campbell’s for instance. The soup brand has a loyal fan base that spans multiple generations. People may feel more inclined to try new soup recipes the brand introduces simply because they have Campbell’s name. Another soup brand that isn’t as well known may have a harder time getting buy-in. 

The same can be said for just about any household brand name: Apple, Samsung, Oreo, Starbucks, McDonald’s, you name it. When consumers trust a brand, they’re more likely to try new products the brand offers.

All of this boils down to a brand’s ability to attract and retain customers. Your brand equity can make this easier or more difficult for you. When you’re consciously tracking and measuring brand equity, you’ll be able to manage it and treat it like a priority. 

6 Ways to Perform Brand Equity Tracking

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Now that you know the value of brand equity tracking, how exactly do you go about it? There are a few different paths you can follow.

1. Measure Brand Awareness

Brand awareness refers to how much of your target audience knows your brand exists. The greater your brand awareness, the more likely customers will choose your brand when they need something you can provide. 

You can learn more about your brand awareness via surveys, social listening tools, and brand equity tracking platforms like Linkfluence. Ask and answer questions such as:

  • When customers need X, which brands are they most likely to think of?
  • Do customers mention our brand in everyday conversations?
  • How much of our business comes from referrals?
  • Are the media mentioning our brand?
  • How many people are searching for our brand and branded products or services online?

A high level of brand awareness gives your brand more equity. This increases your chances of being the go-to choice in a specific category when it’s time to make a buying decision.

2. Gauge Customer Sentiment

You don’t just want customers to know your brand exists. You also want them to think positively about your brand. This is referred to as customer sentiment, the emotional connection a customer has about a company. 

Awareness alone isn’t enough to drive sales. You can probably think of a handful of brands that leave a bad taste in your mouth. Hopefully, no one feels that way about your brand. 

Measuring sentiment helps you understand your target audience’s attitudes toward your company. Knowing this can help you reveal potential barriers to purchasing, as well as challenges you may face when trying to increase brand equity.

For example, Firestone lost its customers’ faith with the unusually high fail rate of its tires back in the 1990s, leading to a massive recall. It’s difficult to recover from disasters like these. 

Even the most customer-centric brands experience “mea culpa” moments in which they make mistakes that affect their customers. A mistake can negatively impact customer sentiment, but how you handle that mistake can turn customer sentiment around in your favor. 

Tracking sentiment can help you know where you stand with your audience at all times, even when there isn’t a mistake or disaster happening.

3. Compare Engagement Metrics

Engagement is a clear testimonial that your target audience sees and hears you. It goes beyond brand awareness to show that others are listening, and that all your content creation isn’t for nothing.

Examples of engagement metrics include, but are not limited to:

  • Post reach
  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Click-throughs
  • Average session duration
  • Number of pages visited per session
  • Conversions

It’s helpful to compare your own engagement metrics to those of your competitors. Competitive benchmarking can help you put your own metrics into perspective by getting an idea of the industry average. It can also show you whether your content is performing better, worse, or about the same as your competitors.

4. Review Financial Performance

Financial data, such as sales and revenue, can support your brand equity, too. Look at financial data over time to see if you’re making more sales and generating more revenue. If so, that’s a good sign your brand equity is moving in the right direction. 

Also, review your total customer lifetime value to see if that value is increasing. Low churn, low customer acquisition costs, and high referral rates can also bode well for your brand equity. 

To use financial performance in your brand equity tracking, it’s helpful to have historical data. This isn’t feasible for new brands, as you’ll lack any data to compare to your current performance. But you can still monitor sales and revenue from month to month to see how quickly you’re growing.

5. Analyze Share of Voice

Share of voice refers to how often your brand is mentioned in conversations and the media compared to others in your niche or industry. The more mentions, the greater your share of voice. 

When people are talking about your brand, they’re usually not talking about your competitors. This helps you increase your brand awareness as well as create top of mind awareness. When your competitors are left out of the conversation, you’re automatically more visible in the market. This gives more people an opportunity to learn about your brand, which can lead to greater engagement and recognition. 

6. Leverage a Brand Equity Tracking Platform

A brand equity tracking platform like Linkfluence helps you track and measure all of the above at scale. It centralizes your brand equity tracking efforts so you can monitor your equity at a glance, or dial into deeper insights as needed. 

What’s more, you can track your brand equity in real time as it evolves. Consumers and markets are constantly shifting. In the era of viral content and social sharing, a brand can start trending in a matter of minutes. Using a real-time platform allows you to stay on top of conversations happening about your brand (or a competitor’s) so you can take the next best step.

Simplify Brand Equity Tracking with Linkfluence

At Linkfluence, we’re helping our clients keep a finger on the pulse of their brand equity at all times. Our platform analyzes social conversations across millions of sources in real time, allowing you to stay on top of your reputation, visibility, and competition. Learn more about how consumers talk about your brand and the topics they associate with it. See how you stack up against competitors and get a fuller picture of how you perform in the market.

Learn more when you request a demo.

 

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