[Guide] The Social Media Management Maturity Model

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Published December 15th 2023

Brand Health: What is It and How to Measure It

Brand health measures how effective your brand is at helping you achieve your objectives. We explain how to measure and track it effectively.

What does it mean to have a healthy brand? And, more importantly, how do you ensure your brand metrics provide insights beyond KPIs to help guide your strategy?

Brand health is a critical measure of how well a brand performs and is perceived in the market. 

There are various definitions of brand health. Each includes a collection of metrics and approaches, but they all lead to the same thing. Brand health is essentially measured by how effective your brand is in helping you achieve your strategic objectives.

The effectiveness of your brand can be evaluated using metrics like, among others, brand reputation, brand awareness, and brand positioning. Each metric plays its own role, but together, they make your brand a powerful asset. 

These are just a few examples. We’ll talk in-depth about each of these and more metrics below.

Continue reading or jump directly to each section:

What is brand health?

Brand health is an overall assessment and measurement of several metrics that together represent a brand's performance, including strengths and weaknesses, a market position, and customer perceptions.

Brand health measurement goes beyond basic metrics and looks at competitor data, different audiences, and different data sources.

Why is measuring brand health important for your business?

Each aspect of brand health is important in its own way. Looking at the topic as a whole gives you the bigger picture to clarify your strengths and weaknesses. For example, your brand awareness might be great, but you're missing half the picture if you don't know whether it's positive or negative awareness.

If you consider all the factors together, you can work out if your brand is unhealthy, fine, or thriving (or whatever scale you want to use). From there, you can take specific actions.

If it’s unhealthy, your brand is actively damaging your organization. Using the metrics you’re tracking, you’ll be able to see why this is happening and how to stop it. When it’s thriving, you can find out how to keep this going. And when it’s fine, you can look for improvements.

It’s about getting a full understanding of your brand and how you can use this knowledge to your benefit.

Key brand health metrics and indicators (KPI’s)

Brand health measurement is only possible with something to check your performance against.

There are three key ways to make this comparison:

  1. Measuring against your own previous performance
  2. Measuring against your competitors
  3. Measuring against the top brands in your sector or product category (those you might not compete against but admire)

Here are some of the metrics that help measure brand health:

  • Brand sentiment: What’s the overall sentiment associated with your brand?
  • Brand perception: What are consumers thinking and saying about your brand?
  • Net promoter score (NPS): This metric refers to brand advocacy and relies on the people interacting with your brand, product, or service. NPS is the difference between the percentage of promoters (brand advocates) and detractors (brand critics who discourage potential new business). 
  • Web visibility: The volume of mentions a brand generates online across social media, blogs, forums, review sites, and news outlets.
  • Growth: This metric helps understand the change in the volume of conversations around a brand over time.
  • Share of voice: The percentage of mentions relating to your brand compared to other brands in your sector.
  • Search visibility: Use Google Trends to understand search interest around your brand terms over time. 
  • Purchase intent: Analyzing purchase intent can help spot business opportunities and measure campaign effectiveness. Buyer’s intent online can be measured in a query by tracking relevant mentions that use personal pronouns. Here’s an example of what this query may look like.
  • Brand health tracking: How do your brand metrics change over time?
  • Benchmarking: How do brands across the sector compare against each other and across different industries?

The metrics above are more straightforward to measure, whereas those below may require more time and effort. Brand health can also be assessed by looking into:

  • Brand reputation: What is your brand’s reputation? Is your brand’s presence positive or negative, including the media coverage? What words and themes are commonly associated with the company and its stakeholders? 
  • Brand awareness: How familiar are consumers with your brand?
  • Brand equity: What are the different characteristics linked to your brand that enhance or subtract from its perceived value by consumers? It could be the brand’s name, symbols and logos, tagline, celebrities and influencers associated with the brand, the brand’s ratings and reviews, or the size of the brand’s social media presence. 
  • Employee engagement: Marketers can analyze the volume of employee interactions on behalf of the company, employee satisfaction levels, and more.
  • Brand positioning: What unique values does your brand offer in the market? What is your brand positioning statement? Who and how is promoting your brand and its values to the public?
  • Brand delivery: Does your brand deliver on consumer expectations?

Brand health metrics collectively help marketers understand how well a brand is doing. It’s crucial to recognize that the measure of brand health varies for each company, depending on their priorities.

As you explore the topic of brand health further, keep in mind that to become more effective in measuring your brand’s health, you have to focus on the metrics that truly matter for your brand. It’s also important to note that you can only benchmark your brand against its own past performance, as you won’t have access to other companies’ metrics.

How to measure brand health

First, we can look at a few methods to gather data on your brand. With different factors involved in brand health, there are many ways to do this. After that, we can look at how to take lots of metrics and use them to indicate brand health clearly.

1. Social listening

Social listening tools, like Brandwatch Consumer Research, give an incredible amount of insight into your brand on a number of levels.

You can measure brand awareness by looking at the volume of mentions around your organization and products. You can then compare that to your competitors to see how you’re doing.

From there, you can measure sentiment around those mentions. In other words, determine whether they’re positive or negative. This can give you an idea of your brand reputation.

Next, look at your brand positioning by looking at how people talk about you. Do they associate you with the image you’re trying to project, or are you viewed entirely differently?

You could also look at employee engagement and track how successful your employees are at spreading the word on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

2. Focus groups and surveys

Conducting focus groups and surveys is another common way to do brand research. You can get a very good understanding of your brand awareness, particularly among specific groups (depending on how you conduct the survey).

You can also get a glimpse of consumer sentiment from these, and you can also gather some very in-depth qualitative data. Thinking about brand positioning and reputation, you can choose exact questions and find out more details on how people see your brand.

3. Customer feedback

Similar to focus groups and surveys, conducting regular customer interviews can give great insight into brand health.

For example, you can see whether their view of your brand has changed over time, why they chose you over your competitors, and what they like and dislike about you.

You can get this data with basic feedback forms, talking to your customer-facing employees, and conducting more in-depth customer interviews. All of these will be integral to measuring brand health.

4. Online customer reviews

Customer reviews can significantly strengthen (or destroy) sales, customer loyalty, and brand reputation. Online consumer reviews also give brands an opportunity to learn firsthand about consumer purchase decisions, experiences, and people’s level of satisfaction. 

Many, if not most, online businesses already offer a space for consumers to share their feedback regarding the products and services they’ve purchased. There are also third-party review websites, like TrustPilot, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Glassdoor, you name it, that collect consumer feedback independently of the businesses featured. 

Lastly, there are many dedicated niche forums, like Reddit, for example, where consumers freely discuss their experiences and give recommendations regarding products and services. 

Tracking brand health

When you’ve chosen your metrics and collated the data for each, what’s next? Find a way to visualize this information quickly, showing when things are changing.

In this case, a good old-fashioned spreadsheet is your friend. You could do this in Excel, Google Sheets, or any other program.

So, we want to get an immediate idea of brand health, but also easily compare current figures to previous ones for context. To visualize this, we’ll need just a single table. We’ll use a sample of brand health metrics to illustrate our example.

Format your data in a table

Once you’ve added your data to a table, you’ll want to see how everything compares to each other. We need to add some extra visual information so we can draw conclusions easily. The easiest way to do this with a table is to use conditional formatting that’s available in both Excel and Google Sheets.

You select one column’s data at a time and apply formatting to each one individually. The best option is a color scale gradient. You can choose whatever colors you want, but in this case, we’re going to pick red to show bad results and green to show good. This formatting looks at the data in the table and changes the color of cells to match specific predefined conditions. As more data gets added to the table, the formatting will automatically readjust the color of the cells based on the new information.

Once you’re done, you’ll get something like this:

That’s it. This is obviously very top-level, but you can instantly see how things are. In the above example, December is looking pretty good with all greens, while January is looking pretty bad. You can also see when some metrics are looking unhealthy, even if others are looking good. This type of brand health evaluation can be really handy for evaluating performance.

There is a big caveat to this, though. You must be careful with some metrics for the time periods you cover. Survey sentiment and share of voice might stay fairly consistent, while others, like online sentiment, can change quickly, making it harder to compare over short periods. Looking at larger periods may hide important insights, as it could mask results by averaging them.

In this case, there are two solutions: 1) only include a certain time period, like the past year or six months. Or 2) look at percentage change. This means you can see any recent changes quickly. Unfortunately, percent change means it’s hard to compare to historical data, and it removes context. It’s often worth including this along with the raw numbers, plus only considering a certain time frame.

Of course, you could set up the table differently if you like. Tailor it to your specific needs and metrics. From there, you can get an overall view of your brand health with a simple table and take action accordingly.

Make your brand health metrics count 

Tracking and analyzing your brand health metrics can help uncover the key factors driving conversations that shape brand perception.

Brands that actively monitor fluctuations in their brand health metrics are more efficient at identifying any potential crises, and they have more insight into what works and what doesn't with consumers.

Use Brandwatch Consumer Research to understand your brand better – measure awareness, online sentiment, purchase intent, and more.

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