You have just been named brand manager for your company’s most important brand. You immediately want to learn all that you can about the brand and its health.
What are some indicators that your brand is either doing really well or that, conversely, it is in big trouble?
- Is your brand constantly in the news? Is the coverage positive or negative?
- Is there a lot of buzz about your brand in social media? Are people talking about it or is there a deafening silence regarding your brand?
- Is your brand expanding its distribution, or is its distribution static or even contracting?
- Is there a lot of buzz about one or more competitive brands? Does that buzz dwarf the buzz about your brand?
- Is a new competing technology or substitute product dominating the news? Is your brand about to become obsolete?
- What is your brand’s top-of-mind awareness in its most important product and service categories? Is it the first brand recalled or is it not recalled at all?
- Are your brand’s unit sales increasing or are they flat or decreasing?
- How attitudinally loyal are your brand’s customers toward the brand? Do they indicate that they would recommend the brand to a friend? Do they indicate that if they had it to do all over again that they would purchase your brand again?
- Do you see a lot of people using your brand?
- Does your brand command a price premium?
- How sensitive are people to the price of your brand’s products and services?
- What are people writing about your brand in product review websites? Are they raving about it or are they registering their complaints?
- What adjectives do people use to describe your brand? Visionary, popular, innovative, fun, exciting? Or boring?
- Are your organization’s employees jazzed about the brand? Are they actively promoting the brand with their friends and families?
- How much innovation occurs with your brand? What percent of its sales are from new products? Is it more than 40% or less than 10%?
- Is your brand supported by an exceptional service culture or do customers complain about their interactions with your organization’s employees?
- Are you investing in brand advertising and other forms of marketing communication or has funding for that pretty much dried up?
- What percent of your brand’s total revenues is spent on marketing the brand and its products and services? 15% or more or 5% or less?
- Does your organization’s leadership team view marketing as a mission-critical function or does it perceive it as a cost center and overhead?
- At what level in the organization (and to whom) does your most senior marketer report? The CEO, the president, the CFO, the COO or someone even lower in the organization’s hierarchy? What does this say about how your organization values marketing?
- How much time and effort does your organization spend trying to more deeply understand its customers? How much marketing research is performed every year?
- Is there at least one full-time marketing research person on staff?
- Does your organization measure the equity of its brand at least annually?
- Are brand metrics included in your organization’s common measures?
- Are company leaders held accountable for achieving brand equity targets?
- Is your brand’s market share increasing or decreasing?
- Is your brand’s total revenues increasing or decreasing?
- What are the backgrounds and experience levels of your organization’s brand managers and other marketing professionals? Are they marketing MBAs who graduated at the top of their classes at top business schools with five or more years of relevant experience or are they former engineers or people with only high school educations?
- How much training does your organization provide to brand managers and other marketing professionals?
- Are you excited about your new role as the brand’s manager? Is it an honor to hold that position? Or are you concerned that it is a dead-end job?
I wish you great success in determining and improving your brand’s health and vitality.
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