Brand equity research: How to ask the right questions

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Posted Jul 27, 2022
Trevor Brown

What is the worth of an idea? It’s easy to go online and check the dollar value of a product or organization. However, it’s not easy to know the precise value of the name, symbol, and concepts that make your business unique— your brand. The term brand equity sums up this value. Discovering your brand equity can be very beneficial to your entire business and help you get a better idea of how customers view your brand. One way to measure this is through a research methodology known as a brand equity survey. Although research like this is usually time-consuming and expensive, it's easy with an agile marketing solution.

What is a brand equity survey?

Brand equity is a crucial part of your business, and building it is critical to your future growth and success. It represents both the tangible and intangible elements of your brand. Your brand equity can have both positive and negative effects on your business. Furthermore, the foundation of brand equity is consumer attitudes about the elements that make up your brand—how people feel when they see your name, symbol, and other attributes. 

The stages of brand experience

One of the things you should know about the brand experience is that there are several stages of brand experience that lead to positive brand equity. 

  • The first stage is brand awareness—where consumers first become aware of the brand. 
  • The second stage is brand recognition. At this point, the consumer now recognizes the brand and knows its differentiating factors. 
  • The third stage is brand trial. Now your consumers have tried the brand. 
  • After this testing phase, brand preference is next. If you pass the test, consumers begin to like your brand and become repeat purchasers while their relationship with your brand deepens. 
  • The final and pinnacle stage of the journey is brand loyalty. At this point, your customers will demand the brand and undergo challenges to find it. 

Methodologies for understanding brand equity

There are three main brand equity research methods you can use. The first is to look at the financial side of your brand. This includes looking at data such as:

  1. Market share
  2. Price sensitivity
  3. Profitability
  4. Revenues
  5. Growth rate

This list is merely a cross-section of all the metrics you should already be tracking. All of these metrics are directly connected to your brand equity. That means that valuable data in these categories results from having built excellent brand equity. By tracking this data, you can indirectly measure your brand equity. 

The second group of data you can look at is strength brand equity metrics. Metrics to track here include customer loyalty rates, awareness of the brand, accessibility, retention, licensing potential, and buzz. These days, it’s easier than ever to share information on social media platforms. This technology also provides a rare data-gathering opportunity for companies to measure their brand equity by getting quantifiable information on who is talking about their brand and what they are saying. 

The third and final category you can use is consumer sentiment metrics. This is the category where a brand equity survey would come in. You can use these surveys to gauge metrics such as brand relevance, emotional connections, differentiators, value, and perceptions. Measuring brand equity by looking at consumer sentiment makes sense because, at the end of the day, consumers drive brand equity, not companies. By looking at all of these different metrics, you can get a solid understanding of your brand equity. 

Benefits of measuring brand equity

There are several reasons why you’d want to run brand equity surveys. One of the most significant benefits of measuring brand equity is the big picture perspective it provides regarding your long-term performance. Rather than just getting a snapshot of how consumers feel about your brand right now, brand equity surveys can give you a fact-based understanding of whether or not the strategies you’ve implemented are paying off. 

This bigger-picture approach can help inspire your leadership to be more willing to invest in brand-led programs and can reveal practical needs that you need to address. Furthermore, a survey like this can be used to help give your team a more unified vision. By sharing the study's findings with your team, you enable them to better understand the new strategy going forward. This allows them to buy into your current vision more fully. You could also consider including your employees as part of the survey. This method would give you a better understanding of what your employees think of your brand. 

It’s one thing to set goals; it’s another thing to track them. Measuring equity allows you to identify how close you are to reaching your goals and whether or not your brand is aligned with your vision. All of these benefits just demonstrate how valuable brand equity research can be.  

Brand equity research methods (with examples)

Relevancy is essential to your brand’s survival. Research that measures equity is critical to maintaining and improving your brand equity. There are seven main types of brand research: 

  1. Brand advocacy
  2. Brand awareness
  3. Brand loyalty
  4. Brand penetration
  5. Brand perception
  6. Brand positioning
  7. Brand value

Each of these seven types of brand equity research focuses on different aspects of brand equity: 

  • Brand advocacy research describes how loyal supporters of your brand describe it to other people. 
  • Brand awareness measures how well your brand is known in the market. 
  • Loyalty looks at how often a customer will choose your brand over a competitor, specifically because they trust you. 
  • Brand penetration focuses on how popular your brand is, which can be measured by the number of people who buy a specific brand or category of goods at least once in a given period. 
  • Brand perception questions ask about a customer’s feelings about your brand, which can help you better understand how your brand is perceived.
  • Brand positioning questions seek to define how a brand differentiates itself from competitors and where exactly it sits in the consumers’ minds. 
  • Finally, brand value refers to the selling value or the monetary amount your brand is worth. This metric refers to how much of a premium your customers are willing to pay for the unique experience you provide, even if some competitors offer lower prices. 

These methods are also categories for questions that you can put on equity surveys. For example, a great brand awareness question for a skin-care company would be – “what’s the first brand that comes to mind when you think about skin-care products?” By asking questions that fall into these various categories, you can build up a comprehensive picture (backed by data) of your brand’s equity. 

How to measure brand equity with agile market research

If you understand the value of brand equity and want to start measuring it today, one of the best ways is with an agile market research platform like aytm. Our state-of-the-art platform is easy to use and gives you access to our panel of over 100 million survey takers. Instead of weeks, you can start getting data and insights that can drive business decisions in hours. Sign up for a FREE account today!