Looking at Your Brand Through Your Customer’s Eyes

Measuring brand equity is very important to every business, but it is not so simple. How do you measure how much your customers love or hate your brand?

An excellent technique to measure brand equity is doing qualitative research through experiential methods. Doing shop-along studies with customers that claim they love your brand will give you great insights into what is that they love about you, and give you ideas on areas you might want to improve. But doing the same type of research with customers that love your competitors will help you understand what your competitors are doing better than you, and you can get great information on areas where your brand can improve to get your competitor’s customers to love your brand too.

A few years ago I had the experience to do this type of research with a brand. It was probably one of the most useful qualitative research projects I’ve done. We visited the brand’s stores with customers that claimed to love the brand, and then we did the same thing but with customers that said they didn’t like our brand and loved our competitors. The key for success here was to keep the conversation open and focus on getting feedback on these main areas:

  • What about this brand makes me feel happy/excited
  • Why is this brand the one for you
  • What about this brand makes you trust it
  • And is this brand one that you introduce or recommend to others

We didn’t ask these questions specifically when doing the shop-alongs, but they were part of the conversation we had with the customers, and that helped us get excellent feedback to measure our brand’s performance.

More often brands are looking to measure their performance because they see the impact this has on their overall results. In the HBR article A Simple Way to Measure How Much Customers Love Your Brand, Tim Halloran talks about the brand passion score and how measuring it helps a business grow a business. One of the ways Halloran mentions is that these types of studies help discover a brand’s relationship strengths and weaknesses. He also mentions that having this information helps brands benchmark against competitors, “Where do we have an edge in our relationships and where do they have an edge?”.

So knowing where you stand, and where your competitors stand in consumers’ minds will help you fill those gaps your customers see when he shops from you, and at the end help you work towards improving that relationship, and generating an even more loyal customer.

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