"Your brand is actually a foundational element. It isn't just something that you spend on later when you have extra money lying around. It's something that when you invest in, it carries that massive return."
That quote is from Maggie Gross, Head of Strategy at Deloitte Digital. Maggie says that brand is essential and very much worth spending money on.
However, it can be challenging to get the buy-in to invest in brand activity because there isn't a golden metric (that we've found so far) that tells you and your stakeholders that what you're doing is paying off.
So, how can you make a case for running more brand activity? It's finding a combination of qualitative and quantitative metrics that show the value of a brand investment.
- Why brand love matters
- Testing and measuring
The importance of trends and correlations
Shift the mindset that the brand is an asset, not a cost
First, you need to shift the mindset that the brand is fluffy and look at your brand as a financial asset. A strong brand can equal big money down the line.
- Prospects can be more likely to buy from your brand if they're familiar with it, like it, and trust it.
- Brand associations can be helpful for your company and others who want to be associated with your brand – meaning partnerships and collaborations with other brands to reach their audiences.
- It helps to bring down advertising costs if you're not competing for keywords – customers are going to you directly.
- Easier to hire talent when potential recruits are proud to be associated with your brand
It's easy to see how these benefits of brand awareness and activity pay off in many different ways.
Test & measure everything you can
It's essential to have a testing mentality when increasing your investment in brand activity. You don't necessarily need to go in and double your marketing budget.
Start with the main thing you know you have solid hard and soft metrics for and one you feel you can test at scale. It will allow you to start with something that gives you as much data as possible and will enable you to optimize and test your brand messaging.
Test and measure everything. There will be the metrics that you just can't with brand. And that's ok! But to prove value, you'll need to find a good balance between what you can show and the less tangible benefits.
Here are a few metrics you can begin with:
- Branded search volume – how many people are searching for your company name?
- Have your sales team ask, or have a survey asking, "Where did you hear about us?" It's first-party data, and it's a straightforward way to get some information.
- Organic traffic & sessions – are people coming to your site without needing to be persuaded by an ad? Are they looking at your site as the default for information and thought leadership?
You can measure more, and it depends on what types of activity you're running, but these are just a few simple examples to get started.
Find trends & correlations
Finally, you need data visualization to highlight trends and correlations that prove causation.
If you have your reporting set up so that you can see spikes in activity when you run a specific brand campaign, you're in a good place for being able to find correlations and potential causations.
Remember, investing in your brand impacts prospects' awareness, per ption and ultimately their behaviour towards you. And measuring softer metrics that equate to brand love is doable.