Every fierce competitor knows winning means dominating the field, capturing diehard fans, and crushing your opponents. The ability to win in the marketplace comes directly from the performance of your brands. You look to the scoreboard—your sales, profits, and your brand tracker—to know if your strategies paid off.
Winning the quarter isn’t the same as winning the game. If a coach sacrifices his players’ health to gain 6 points, the team might win the first game, but never the season. The same is true for business. Short term efforts to pick up sales can harm the long game, so business leaders need to balance activities that can pick up short term sales and those that build the long term potential of the brand.
But what is the best way to measure the brand’s health? What constitutes an effective brand health measurement process?
Let’s first define brand health as the ability of the brand to foster future performance in market share and/or revenue.
That’s why brand health measures must have a forward-looking bent and be a better indicator of future success than can be obtained by simply measuring the current level of success. Describing past success is not enough. Since brand is not the only factor in business success, a good health score is not a guarantee of high performance, but it does increase the probability.
Not all fans are the same. Some only wear team shirts, some go to every home game, and some get in verbal smack downs just to defend their team. Similarly a brand health measure should be multi-faceted to reflect different aspects of the ability of the brand to foster action amongst your target audiences. Summarize these facets into a single easy-to-communicate metric that is sensitive to changes in thoughts and feelings about the brand.
In football, the scoreboard rarely tells you what might happen next, which is why many sports analysts use a wealth of stats to try to predict success in the next match.
Use metrics that are hard-wired to guide the actions that need to be taken. Know what makes the fan base cheer. Know the place on the field that you can call your own. Learn how to exploit your competitors’ weakness. Of course, we like statistics, models and tools to simulate how different tactics and scenarios might play out in the heat of competition.
While it’s good to be in the game, it’s far better to be winning.