Net Promoter Score (NPS), sentiment, image, brand awareness: there are many ways to measure the performance of a brand, But however you measure the performance of a brand, the questions remains how you can positively influence these scores?

When a negative brand performance trend begins to emerge, an organisation will quickly invest in campaigns to try and reverse the trend. This can be a good solution, but only in the short term. To ensure that the positive effect is lasting, communication must continue – and this costs money, a lot of money. Based on the Brand Performance Study*, a recent survey conducted on the effects of brand management, it is possible to positively impact the performance of the brand through much more sustainable investments.

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Prove what you promise

The results of the Brand Performance Study show that the more that brand promises are proven, the more likely consumers are to recommend the brand to others. You may think that it is easy to prove the promises that you make as a brand, but it is very clear to see the difference between a brand that does this very well, and one that doesn’t. In some organisations, the brand is intertwined so well throughout the organisation that the promises are almost automatically embedded in the culture of the organisation. When this is the case, it is immediately clear when you interact with that particular brand. In practice, however, we see that unfortunately these organisations are the exception, rather than the rule. For most organisations it is therefore important to reorganise the brand to achieve this. We are starting to see this occur in more businesses, and the brand manager is also becoming a much more common role in an increasing number of organisations. And this is where the change begins.

We have a brand manager, what’s next?

The success of a brand manager is dependent on many factors. The tasks, responsibilities and competences assigned to the brand manager are crucial. These are often still limited to the communication side of branding, such as brand positioning, corporate style, tone of voice, and brand research. With a little luck, the brand manager also has influence on the campaigns being deployed. This allows the brand manager to contribute to the short-term improvement of the brand performance. But the key question here is, can these campaigns also be used to improve brand performance in the long term as well? Fortunately, the answer is yes.

The influence of communication on NPS is relatively limited

Traditionally, communication strategies are quickly put in place to improve brand performance. According to the Brand Performance Study, of each of the brand touch points examined communication has the least impact on the NPS score. Products and services, the 3D environment, and behaviour have a larger positive impact on brand performance. The question that arises is whether or not the budgets for communication can and should be better spent elsewhere. While it is clear that investing in communication can improve the NPS in the short term, placing more time and effort into meeting the brand promise in the other three brand touch point categories will better improve brand performance in the long term.

Invest in the brand organisation

“Where do I have to invest exactly?” I hear you asking. The results of the Brand Performance Study show that brand promises are best proven when the brand is well organised internally. This means, among other things, that a department must be primarily responsible for the brand, the entire organisation must recognise the importance of the brand and must act accordingly. In addition, a relevant, credible and distinctive brand positioning must be formulated which is rendered into brand building blocks and policies. It will take effort, investment, and crucial expertise to raise an organisation’s brand management to this higher level, but research shows that it does pay off in the end. So to answer your question, I would begin by reserving a substantial portion of your marketing budget for the organisation of your brand.

More information about the Brand Performance Study:

The results of the Brand Performance Study have been collated in the book Brand Management Insights, which is available to purchase here (currently only in Dutch, English version is coming soon!).

Interested?

Would you like help with organising your brand, or would you like to learn more about how your brand (management) is currently performing? Please get in touch, and let’s discuss how we can help.

Sources:

*Bolhuis, W. & Lenderink, W.A. (2017). Brand Management Insights. VIM Group, Amsterdam.

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