Lots of start-ups tend to ignore Brand Equity and Health Metrics, also, because it isn't that clear how to measure and optimize around them. Brand often gets this connotation of being this 'immeasurable' element, sort of an emotion you can't quantify. Therefore it often gets overlooked and most just focus on Digital Marketing and Customer Support metrics.
However Brand Equity can value a LOT and improving around it can help your business grow successfully.
Established companies, especially brand-first product companies (e.g. FMCG, where brand is sort of the key differentiator vs. competition), have very complex brand studies and work, with companies like Nielsen and Ipsos to get the most in-depth data and insights with robust benchmarks and best quality survey respondents. (But to be honest their metrics are often boring to look at as they just change very little over time... :))
Now, if you don't have the sufficient amount budget aside to work with these big research firms, that's not a problem. There are plenty of different ways to do your own research.
Consider this. You only need around $5.000 of budget to replicate your own brand survey on either Survey Monkey or Qualtrics. However it is important that you have already some market awareness, otherwise the results will be poor - or you will mostly learn about market competitors vs. your own brand.
One of the most common scores in the industry, the NPS score measures how likely users are to recommend your product to a friend or relative, or in other words consumer loyalty.
Most commonly the question is being asked in the following way:
On the scale from 1 to 10 how likely are you to recommend product XYZ?
To calculate your final score you should be following this structure:
NPS = % Promoters (users that votes 9-10) - % Detractors ( users that votes 0-6)
>50 is considered ''excellent'' and above 70 is considered ''world-class''
What this score can help you with, is to benchmark yourself against industry competitors and conduct regular researches to see is how your NPS score evolves. You can always include people that use competitor products in this same survey to get your vs. competitor NPS Scores.
While the NPS Score has its limits, it is still one of the most widely used metrics across various industries to benchmark ''product/brand love'' or consumer loyalty.
Brand Health Funnel
Once your start-up has gained some market awareness, you can start measuring your Brand Health Funnel. This includes a couple of benchmarks that tell you:
1. Unaided Awareness / Brand Recall: How many people think about your brand or a competitor brand in a given industry. You can ask about the first 3 brands they recall or more than that.
Which tampon brands are you aware of? - Brand #1: _____________ (leave empty space to fill in) - Brand #2: _____________ - Brand #3: _____________
2. TOM: Top of mind is basically the brand consumers recall first (Brand #1) when filling in the unaided awareness question.
3. Aided Awareness: Now you give people a couple of examples of brands in your industry, let's say tampon brands, and ask them which of these brands they know.
Please mark all the tampon brands you are aware of: - Tampax - Private Label - etc.
4. Consideration: After that, you can ask people if they consider any of these brands now or in the future (keep the selection of brands the same than used for the Aided Awareness question)
Please mark all the tampon brands you consider using now or sometime in the future: - Tampax - Private Label - etc.
5. Usage: And finally you can ask if survey respondents use any of these brands
Please mark all the tampon brands you are currently using: - Tampax - Private Label - etc.
Now what to do with these scores? Well first they will tell you your brand scores and the ones of your competitors and, second, they let you identify gaps of improvement.
A great way to look at it is be looking at ratios of your brand vs. competitors and see who has got the ''healthiest funnel'' and where you loose consumers throughout the funnel.
Below an example of a graph that shows it well ( it includes some slightly different metrics to ours, but the same rules apply):
The CSAT Score
Another question that is often asked to understand your customer satisfaction is the CSAT Score.
How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the product XYZ you received? 1. Very unsatisfied 2. Unsatisfied 3. Neutral 4. Satisfied 5. Very satisfied
To measure your satisfaction score, only responses of 4 ‘satisfied’ and 5 ‘very satisfied’ are included in the calculation. It has been shown that using the two highest values on feedback surveys is the most accurate predictor of customer retention.
% of satisfied customers =(Number of satisfied customers (4 and 5)/ Number of survey responses) x 100
CSAT (and NPS) scores should be supplemented with more qualitative research to understand the drivers behind the scores so you can take action to improve key areas.
The Product Market Fit Score
Another really interesting way to ask your questions, but less known as of today, is what some of the guys did at SuperHuman. The survey, as described in the linked article, goes deeper into understanding product market fit and which audience to listen to when it comes product improvement. However for this article, I'm just going to focus on one more question, which can be used as an alternative to the NPS Score:
1. How would you feel if you could no longer use product XYZ? A) Very disappointed B) Somewhat disappointed C) Not disappointed
The most important is to get to a score of > 40% amongst the 'very disappointed' users. This indicates that your product has a strong, loyal following and you have found product/market fit.
Additional Metrics To Consider
Brand attribute and perception questions
Acquisition channel questions
Ratings & reviews
Social/ online sentiment, brand share of voice (mostly via dedicated platforms such as Brandwatch)