Measure brand perception

1. Define exactly what types of perception you want to measure in order to focus your research and gain more valuable insights.

Measuring brand perception means identifying what your audience associates with your brand. Different types of brand perception include: First impression perception: The first terms that come to mind when your audience hears about or sees your brand in the news. Competitive perception: How your audience perceives your brand in relation to that of your competitors. Rational perception: How your audience considers the tangible attributes of your brand. Emotional perception: The emotions your audience feels when encountering your brand in any environment. Buy-in from key stakeholders sets the stage for successfully leveraging the insights gleaned.

2. Monitor online mentions of your brand by setting up Google Alerts for brand term variations.

Use Google Alerts as a qualitative tool to measure brand perceptions. Although the results may not be statistically representative, they present a helpful overview of brand sentiment. Google Alerts identifies all online mentions and discussions of your brand terms, including your business product names.  Set up Google Alerts for all terms pertaining to your brand. Use the Alert Preview window in the setup process to determine whether a keyword is relevant enough to be included. Change Alerts Settings depending on the volume: Receiving a notification as-it-happens for All Results in Any Region is best for new brands with low mention volumes. Meanwhile, once-a-week for Only the Best Results in your target geographic region is suitable for high mention volumes.

3. Monitor online reviews of your brand on Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and industry-specific channels to identify points of friction that negatively affect brand perception.

Monitoring online reviews can be an effective qualitative method of identifying negative brand perceptions. They are also common reference points for new customers. So, an awareness of what your customers are saying about your brand can help you zero in on basic perception issues. Google My Business and Facebook reviews are relevant for almost any brand with an online presence. Brands in niche industries can also monitor reviews on sites like Angi, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.

4. Use social listening tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social to monitor brand mentions on social media.

Some advanced tools allow you to gauge brand sentiment. They reduce your manual analysis load and allow you to measure perceptions based on your social media mentions. As an added benefit, you can systematically engage with brand mentions on social media, helping you improve brand perceptions over time.

5. Deploy Net Promoter Score surveys at key customer touchpoints to determine brand favorability.

NPS surveys measure brand favorability by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your brand on a scale of 1 to 10. Within that scale: 1-6 are brand detractors who need additional convincing to have a positive brand perception. 7-8 are neutrals who like your brand but don’t feel enough positive feelings about it to promote it. 9-10 are promoters who will publicly promote your brand or leave a positive review. Deploy the NPS survey at the purchase point to create a baseline of brand perceptions by new customers. You can also use the same survey again at relevant intervals after the initial purchase point to track improvements or downturns in brand perception. Common timeframes include: One week after the transaction for instant-use products that require little to no onboarding time. One month after the transaction for more complex products or extended shipping times. A month before the expiration of a current subscription to gauge retention for recurring revenue models. Track your overall NPS score to better understand general brand perceptions, or analyze the score by audience segment for more nuanced insights.

6. Assess price, value, and qualitative brand attributes through in-depth customer surveys with representative audience samples.

Find a survey tool, like Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey, that fits into your budget and integrates with your CRM. Then, establish a framework of questions that cover your specific definition of brand perception. Limit your survey to 5-10 questions to keep response rates high. Question types to consider include: Cognitive questions that ask about what comes to mind when customers think of your brand and what words they would use to describe it. Emotional questions that ask about feelings and their level of emotional attachment to your brand.  Competitive questions that ask respondents to compare your brand to that of your direct competitors. Experiential questions that require respondents to describe their experiences with your brand. Define your audience, depending on whether you want to survey a cross-section of your entire customer base or a specific audience segment within that larger group. Then, schedule an end date for your survey. For single sends, leave the survey open for 7-14 days before evaluating results.

7. Schedule a monthly or quarterly perception monitoring checkpoint to assess current initiatives and adjust data collection methods as needed.

Meet with all relevant stakeholders, including your marketing team, to review and evaluate your Google Alerts, online reviews, NPS data, and survey responses. Regular review meetings that cover all relevant data collection methods allow you to detect trends and make adjustments. For example, highly positive NPS scores that contrast with largely negative online reviews may signal a need for product feature improvements. Data inconsistencies are also an opportunity to adjust your measurement efforts. For example, negative NPS scores with positive customer survey responses may require the calibrating of survey questions.