Know How To Measure Your Brand by Knowing How You View It

Differentiating your product is a critical task for any brand manager. Discovering what brings true enthusiasm and connection is among our most frequent requests when designing and conducting studies for brands. Everyone wants to know “what separates my brand from that of my rivals?” But while it seems straightforward, it is not a fully objective question.

The ideas that each brand’s teams bring with them about exactly what a brand is shapes how they approach this question. 

There has been a shift from the old way of understanding brands as promises, with messaging and advertising collateral to support the promise. Today, there's an understanding that brands draw much of their power from the experience that customers have around them - in discovering, purchasing, considering, and reconsidering a company or product.

Those encounters necessitate a two-two relationship, which is why so many people in marketing and advertising believe the customer experience is as, if not more, important now than branding. A good experience is without a doubt the most important concern for organizations looking to breath life into their brands. Experience, however, is not the only method for conveying a brand.

Mark Bonchek and Cara France examined the move to considering "brand as relationship” for the Harvard Business Review.

The way we think about brands need to change. In the past, they were objects or concepts. You had a relationship with a brand. But in this social age, brands are the relationships. By defining a brand’s particular kind of relationship, companies can create greater engagement, differentiation, and loyalty.

They advocate a move away from the common current relationship that has more or less defined how we talk about the market. A brand has a “consumer.” That type of relationship is a one-way street.

In their view, pioneers in this discipline will better curate how their brands exist in the lives of their customers. This real brand relationship is the link between brand positioning as we’ve known it and what has developed as customer experience.

When brand managers start changing their viewpoint from the old way to this new model, the way they think about measuring it will have to change as well.