Can you measure ROI on a brand?

What’s The Real Value of a Brand?

It’s not a logo, not a name, not a product – a brand is a perception. It’s how the market sees a business, service, or product offering. A well-defined brand starts with clarity of service, culture, and values. And a strong logo. It’s the visual asset that helps communicate and extend the essence of the brand through various communications and media.

The purpose of a brand is to support the growth of the business by representing meaning and commitment. This gives clarity to influencers and customers, and also business partners, employees, and investors. And all of that combined supports the process of attracting interest, inspiring use and engagement, having and sharing experiences, and ultimately building relationships.

 

What’s Being Said About Brand Metrics and ROI

Clearly brands play many roles for companies, including influencing the perceptions and impressions of customers, partners, and competitors. How do we measure these seemingly immeasurables? There are a few tools. Here are some thoughtful examples of designing brand metrics in different aspects. These measuring tools can help companies track their progress and adjust their approach as they grow.

 

Brand Activation is Bringing the Brand to Life

A brand is not a static thing, but it must be activated A brand is one part noun (being) and one part verb (doing). And it requires marketing and sales activation to build awareness and create engagement – to put it into  motion

Large companies with deep pockets for marketing can afford to buy broadcast and other paid media, hire celebrities for endorsements, and support many other high profile brand activation programs. But for so many companies in the middle market, the core marketing practices that return focused, efficient value consist of websites, SEO, PPC, display advertising, signage, listings and other online content, media, and digital sales efforts.

The marketing ROI for these channels can be measured in the form of views, click-throughs, email open rates, website traffic, downloads, requests for more information, tours, appointments and demos. Here’s an initial list:

 

Data Driven ROI: Brand Activation Metrics

Key Google Analytics Metrics

  • Site traffic
  • Bounce rate
  • Time on site
  • Traffic flow to specific pages

Specific Behavior Measures for the Real Estate Industry

  • See how current tenants are using the website
  • Front line of service / communication  
  • Prospective tenants: New leases
  • Potential employees: Recruiting
  • Current employees: Retention

Bringing People to the Site

  • Organic search (SEO)
  • PPC Keyword advertising
  • Advertising / Google
  • Display Ad Network
  • Social media marketing, including Facebook and Instagram
  • Email marketing
  • Video

 

Brand Investment and ROI Guidelines

So how much should a company spend on marketing to build its brand? That depends on the industry, the size of the business, growth goals, and many other factors. Below are some ratios and other metrics to use as reference points and guides to help set expectations for the marketing team as well as executives.

  • A good marketing ROI is 5:1
  • Five dollars in sales for every dollar spent on marketing yields a 5:1 ratio
  • A 10:1 ratio is exceptional. It’s possible but shouldn’t be expected
  • 2:1 marketing ROI is break-even and an opportunity to consider soft metrics
  • Soft metrics, like brand awareness and social media presence, may or may not drive sales, but are important to overall brand reinforcement
  • Your final budget allocation will depend on your business goals, marketplace, customers, and competition
  • Marketing is a long-term process requiring multiple touchpoints that lead to sales growth over time
  • ROI in the early months of your marketing campaign may be low as your campaign starts to penetrate your target market

 

The Many Ways to Gage the Effectiveness of a Strong Brand

While some can be measured quantitatively, others are qualitative. Here are further ways to put a finger on the pulse of the brand, some in more human terms that executives will understand intuitively.

  • Your ability to simply explain your business to people, interact easily, position yourself as a thought leader, sell prospects on your ideas and, ultimately, secure new customers
  • Differentiating your company from your competitors - Are you perceived as distinct? Are there creative or communication risks worth taking?
  • Word of mouth - Are they talking about you?
  • Strong loyalty, repeat business, and customer retention
  • Strong customer lifetime value
  • Google search volumes — By monitoring search volumes on your branded terms and watching for fluctuations, you can see if your branding efforts are paying off

 

So can you measure ROI on a brand? With the right marketing efforts and tools, yes you can! And when done right, it can be huge.