Measuring branding


We make good companies look as good as they actually are. To achieve this, we must have endless conversations about brands. With the team, with our more-than-partners, with the industry. Many times, especially when we present a proposal to a potential client, a question comes up: How do you measure branding? It makes total sense: investing in a project like this for your organization is a major decision, especially if we consider that the culture of data is deeply rooted in the digital ecosystem.

We already talked about this: for us, the brand is a continuous building process to which the product mindset can be applied: understand, ideate, design, build, measure. And then start all over again, to provide more and more value. But the truth is that this iterative process also needs the Activation work at all touchpoints, not just the initial brand project.

So, can branding be measured? And if so, how do we do it?

One (or two) answers

There are two answers to the question. Ismael Barros, our co-founding CEO, offers one or the other, or both, because they are essential depending on the circumstances.

The first one is simple: we cannot measure it, but there is no need to. How do you measure how much a mother loves you? How important are you to a friend? There are things in this life that do not need to be measured; the important thing is to perceive the link.

The second, more constructive and especially useful for environments where it is necessary to justify such an investment, is that we cannot directly measure branding, the direct return on investment that our work will have, but we can measure its impact.

As with many other magnitudes in our lives, by observing specific indicators, we will be able to measure variations between moment A and a later moment B. Therefore, although we are not able to measure branding in the most rigorous sense of this idea, we can measure how the actions emanated from working on the brand and, above all, the return on the investment in this essential part for any company.

First, define metrics

With this relevant nuance in our minds, the first step is to identify the key indicators (the famous KPIs). There are hundreds of them, and their choice will depend on each business, each moment, and each context. Some of them could be these:

  • Lead quantity: more visibility and efficacy of campaigns
  • Quality of leads: that people arrive well-informed and aligned with what you offer
  • Lead conversion time: how long it takes to close a sale
  • Lifetime value (LTV): customer longevity. That is, their level of engagement
  • Access to top talent and time to hire: understanding our attractiveness to top professionals
  • Talent turnover rate: this allows us to understand, for example, whether our purpose connects with the people who assemble the organization
  • Brand relevance: citations and mentions, both quantitatively and qualitatively

To help understand our goals, who we are targeting and also what information we can get from each metric, these indicators could be classified in the following matrix:

Diagnostics and continuous construction

Once we have established the parameters with which we will measure the brand's impact, we must measure the initial state of these indicators and set reasonable, well-defined and time-bound goals so that it is easy to align all the people involved in achieving them.

Using this platform, we start working from the brand, prioritizing those actions that help us to improve the indicators. These actions can be projected outwards, such as content creation, and can also be oriented to make the brand permeate inner audiences, seeking, for example, to make the purpose or verbal identity clearer. For this, a Brand Center is an excellent partner.

A challenge that creates a return

We understand that brands are long-term constructions that are built iteratively. We should not stop at strategy and design: we must activate the brand, a process that involves the entire team.

Yes—it is difficult to estimate reasonable objectives because there are countless factors that we do not control. Likewise, it is very difficult to distill what part of the increase corresponds to branding and how much to other more operational actions. Anyway, defining a strategy and planning a mindful activation are essential parts of achieving a significant increase in the main business KPIs from the Brand Impact Matrix.

At Soluble, nothing happens because of a single person. To make this post possible, the intervention of Ismael Barros and Cristian R. Marín in the writing and Janire Fontanal in the visual design was necessary. This post is an adaptation of a reflection by Ismael in his LinkedIn profile.