By Jennifer Holland, Certified Brand Strategist, Holland People+Brands
Successful companies track performance. They create success metrics to see weekly, monthly and quarterly trends. This kind of visibility in a business is often referred to as KPI’s, or key performance indicators. These KPI’s create a snapshot in time, as well as positive or negative trends.
With metrics on the sales, expenses, profitability and operational efficiencies, the business generates an early alert system for its overall health. If the metrics are positive, and the business is on plan, the employees, management and C-suite can be more proactive for solutions and innovations to ensure long-term sustainability. If the metrics are negative, however, the business must move quickly toward corrective actions. Such visibility may avoid not having time to correct problems and forcing drastic actions—like laying off employees or reducing inventory through a fire sale.
It’s easy to see the benefits of reviewing standardized KPI’s on a regular basis.
A company’s brand is a valuable asset; it has the potential to be the single most valuable asset the business owns. Yet, how many businesses have identified success metrics for their brands? How many businesses have implemented Brand KPI’s as a way of understanding how their brands are performing?
Of course, this leads to another great question. Do you know what your brand stands for? What is your brand promise? Having a clear understanding and simple communication of what your brand stands for is a required step before a business develops Brand KPI’s.
Once these questions have been explored, and the brand positioning is properly set, ask yourself how you will know your brand promise is being delivered. An obvious way to find this out is with a customer survey to determine if there is a gap in perception of what you think verses what is actually being delivered.
If the customer loves your brand, they will become brand loyal and no longer even consider your competition. That means tracking repeat business is a great Brand KPI. The longer you retain a customer, the more profitable your business becomes. Why? The cost of acquiring that customer drops dramatically, and they will spend more with you than a new customer who doesn’t know you or trust you—yet.
Now, think for a moment about who is delivering your brand promise. Your employees, of course! Do your employees know what your brand promise is? Do they understand how to deliver on your brand promise in their everyday role? Consider building brand metrics into your employees’ performance review, and you will have taken an important step toward hardwiring your brand into the culture of your business.
Another Brand KPI might be your employee turnover rate. If you aren’t attracting, connecting and engaging the right people capable of delivering on your brand promise, then you have a brand problem that must be addressed.
If your business products or services command a premium price, that is another indicator of brand value. There are many ways to evaluate your brand’s performance and to establish success metrics to give you a quick snapshot of the return on your brand investment. Successful, growth-oriented businesses understand they must track their brand’s performance and create accountabilities inside the business to ensure its success.
Traditional, and perhaps more familiar, brand metrics include brand awareness, brand understanding, brand uniqueness, and brand consideration to name a few. What’s most important is to start with a clear brand promise and determine what metrics will alert you of success or—hopefully not—failure.