Rebranding Essentials – Part 6: Measure, Research, and Tweak

rebrandingYou created your new brand identity and rolled out your rebranding to employees and consumers. Now what? That’s what Part 6 of the Rebranding Essentials series teaches you, but first, go back and read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5, so Part 6 makes sense.


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How do you know people like and accept your rebranding? You don’t unless you monitor their thoughts, conversations and opinions, and measure the impact of those thoughts, conversations and opinions against your brand’s potential for success.

These days, it’s easier than ever to gather information from consumers (and employees) after you launch your new brand identity. Following are several options for monitoring, measuring, and researching consumer and employee reactions to your new brand using social media and market research.

1. Social Media Monitoring and Measuring

When you roll out your brand, be prepared to listen to the online buzz that might start afterwards. Everyone has an opinion and many are extremely comfortable voicing their honest opinions on the social web. Twitter and Facebook profiles are two of the best places to find these types of opinions published and conversations happening, but blogs, online forums, and other social web destinations are important to monitor as well.

There are many free and affordable tools that you can use to monitor your rebranding across the social web. Keep in mind, no social media monitoring tool is perfect, but they can give you an excellent idea of what’s being said about your brand. This enables you to jump into conversations and track sentiment and perception related to your rebranding effort. Using this information, you can tweak your brand, messages, and so on to ensure they’re successful.

Several options to monitor your brand across the web are listed below offering various types of data at different price points (or for free):

  1. Monitter: Monitter is a free Twitter app that allows you to follow real-time tweets about the keywords of your choice (such as your brand name).
  2. SocialMention: SocialMention is a free real-time social media search and analytics tool. Just enter your keywords (like your brand name) into the search box and get links, data, and more from dozens of websites, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many more. You can see a snapshot of the information SocialMention offers in the image shown at the bottom of this list.
  3. Google Alerts: You should definitely set up free keyword email alerts with Google Alerts, so you receive email messages with links to online content that has been published and includes those keywords.
  4. SproutSocial: SproutSocial is a social media monitoring tool targeted to individuals and small businesses. Pricing starts at a very low monthly fee and enables you to manage, monitor, and measure your social media activities, including brand conversations. A free trial is available.
  5. Trackur: Trackur is a social media and online reputation monitoring tool. You can also measure your social media reach and influence, starting at a monthly fee that is a bit higher than SproutSocial. A 10-day money-back guarantee is offered.
  6. Radian6: If your budget is bigger, Radian6 is one of the most popular social media management and monitoring companies with a variety of tools to help you keep track of your social media activities and online reputation.

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2. Research and Measuring

Social media monitoring allows you to listen to conversations while market research allows you to gather more information from your employees and consumers, including people who aren’t actively talking about your brand online. There are many companies and tools that you can use to survey your customers and employees.

For example, AYTM offers three ways that you can easily and affordably survey your customers and the larger consumer audience:

  1. Survey your own customer or employee list: AYTM’s ListSurvey tool enables you to conduct quantitative research and poll your own customer list to learn how they feel about your brand on an ongoing basis.
  2. Survey the larger population using targeting criteria of your choosing: The AYTM consumer panel is available to help you survey people outside of your customer list. This is a particularly important type of quantitative research for growth brands and businesses that are considering taking their brands to new markets or geographical regions.
  3. Conduct qualitative research: Through AYTM’s webcam video response surveys and open-ended question and answer surveys, you can gather deeper insight into problem areas related to your rebranding launch. You can include these types of qualitative survey features when you use AYTM’s ListSurvey tool or when you survey the AYTM consumer panel

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Don’t forget that you should always directly ask your employees and consumers how they feel about your new brand identity when the opportunity arises. Whether you’re talking to them in person, on the phone, via email, or on the social web, take a minute to ask them their thoughts about your rebranding initiative. You can even publish a question on your business blog or on your own Twitter profile or Facebook page asking your followers to send you their thoughts. Informal research is important! When you ask people for their opinions, you not only get useful feedback, but you also make them feel valued.

Tweaking the New Brand

When you find potential conflicts between your new brand and employee or public perception of that brand, you need to dig deeper to determine the source of the disconnect. Is your messaging weak? Did you launch without properly educating people about what the new brand means? Is there a bigger problem with the rebranding such as a logo that consumers detest (like what happened to The Gap) or packaging that doesn’t resonate in consumers’ minds with the brand promise (as happened to Tropicana)? If you’re not familiar with The Gap or Tropicana rebranding mistakes, read Part 4 of the Rebranding Essentials series to get the stories.

You must identify problems early in order to effectively fix them before they grow into catastrophes. That’s why brand monitoring and research are vital to your rebranding success. It’s also important to keep track of metrics related to your rebranding. While market research can provide data related to employees’ and consumers’ feelings about the brand and social media monitoring can provide data about online brand buzz and sentiment, you should also be watching for increased traffic to your website, increased sales, and so on. After all, why rebrand if it’s not going to help your business boost sales and revenues in some way?

Brand monitoring, research, and measuring should be an ongoing process, so you always know how people perceive and feel about your brand. There shouldn’t be surprises in branding if you’re always doing the monitoring, research, and measuring that you should be doing.

If you missed any of the previous parts of the Rebranding Essentials series, just follow the links below to read them now:


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Image: socialmention.com and aytm.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for business women.