As a business owner, you have to understand the assets you have available. If you don’t know all of the different tools you have at your disposal to face the problems that running a business inevitably brings with it, you’re like a military commander who doesn’t know how many troops they have fighting for them. You can’t expect to find success if you can’t make good use of the resources you have available to you.
One of the biggest assets you have available to you is your brand: the image you’ve built up for your business, and the personality consumers ascribe to it. If you understand how people think about your brand you can use it more effectively as a communication tool: trying to send a message that’s fighting the values of your brand as your customers understand it only creates confusion, and may undermine your business.
You need to know how people think about your business in order to make sure your messaging flatters the brand you’ve built. Fortunately, there are tools you can use to listen to your customers, and make sure you have accurate data to base your decisions on! For most businesses, the best thing to do is to work with a market research firm that can provide you with analysis from experts in the area.
One of the tools they’ll use is their brand index – a ranking of brand strength for the businesses in a particular industry. Different firms arrive at their measure of brand strength in different ways, but the best metrics to establish brand strength are unprompted recall, purchase intent and net promoter score – or, the extent to which customers know who you are, actually want to buy your products and whether they would recommend your brand to friends.
You can also engage in brand tracking surveys: these are a vital tool for the business owner. In a brand tracking survey, consumers are asked not just about your brand, but about key competitors, and invited to rank them for the most important qualities in your industry and, crucially, explain why they think what they think about your business.
This can give you a vital insight into not just your own business, but also your competitors, and reveal weaknesses that you can take advantage of to push your business toward success. There’s no better advantage than spotting a mistake a rival has made: it lets you learn from their misfortune without any of the financial or reputational loss incurred!