A Corporate Brand Dashboard with the Top Key Performance Indicators

Highlights

  • A brand dashboard displays key performance indicators that show how brand investments impact company revenues.
  • A good brand dashboard goes further to shift information from being merely interesting to being actionable. It delivers data-driven and fact-based insights that answer key questions, help people make better decisions and encourage action to lift performance.
  • A great brand dashboard includes comparison points, such as industry benchmarks, to provide a relative ranking of what's working and what needs improvement.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

The are four big challenges with brand dashboards.

First, too many display what is easy instead of what is important.

Second, too many dashboards display too many metrics that bury the signals among the noise. Analytics work when they direct the users' attention to the highest priorities. Fewer but higher impact measures will outperform a broad collection of clouded metrics. When implementing a brand dashboard, I often get asked how many metrics should be included. The answer is always the same, as many as will get acted upon.

Third, they fail to show the inter-relationships among key performance indicators. This is evident when metrics are viewed as standalone measures and not holistically. This can be remedied by categorizing and identifying correlations among metrics.

And fourth, they fail to change behavior, initiate a course correction or achieve a business outcome. Simply creating a view of key performance indicators (KPI) falls short of inducing action. However, when KPIs are aligned with objectives, linked to actions and project payback, information goes from being merely interesting to driving action.

The brand metric is not the goal. It's a recommendation for action. Action is the goal.

The takeaways here are too focus on what matters, keep your eye on the prize, view brand investments holistically and display key performance indicators that change behaviors.

When configuring our Johnny Grow brand dashboards for clients the first thing we do is start with a brand measurement framework.

B2B Brand Measurement Framework

The above example aligns with the buyer purchase process and identifies the most important B2B brand metrics so that they can be manipulated to impact different parts of the sales funnel. It also shows some of the tools we use to capture the source data.

Once you have identified the top key performance indicators, you can automate the process to harvest the data, update the data model, calculate brand value and deliver real-time information to the people who can act on it. The below dashboard is a design we created for a mature client. It has more key performance indicators than most companies will initially use but I'm including it to show several sample metrics.

Company Brand Dashboard

See the brand dashboard that shows how brand investments impact company revenues and profits.

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For every key performance indicator, you have to know why it matters, how to calculate it and how to improve it. Below are some examples.

Brand Awareness

People buy from companies they know and trust. Brand awareness improves first time purchases from new customers and repeat purchases from existing customers. And these actions increase new customer acquisitions and customer lifetime value.

You can drive awareness with public relations, content marketing, content syndication, social media and marketing campaigns.

The awareness metric is measured by the feedback of customers related to your identity during a defined period. Feedback can be expressed through a variety of measures and channels such as social networks with impressions, likes, mentions, tags and shares.

You can also use tools like Google Analytics to track organic, direct and referral traffic to your website. These measures can indicate whether your PR and branding campaigns are driving your target audience to your website. Measuring your website traffic, social channels or other sources in parallel to campaigns will demonstrate how much impact those campaigns are achieving.

There are a few different types of brand awareness metrics that can bring more specificity to the measure and show more precise improvement opportunities.

Top of mind (TOM) awareness is important for B2C companies, and some but not all B2B companies. That's because many B2B buyers will perform much more purchase exploration to seek out potential suppliers.

TOM and spontaneous awareness are measures based on unprompted questions. For example, "What brands come to mind when you think about CRM software?"

Spontaneous awareness is measured as the percentage of respondents that mention your company at all, not necessarily mention it first.

Prompted awareness uses a list of brands and asks which one the person is familiar with. It is measured by the percentage of respondents that mention your company first (and unprompted).

The combination of aided and unaided questions measures your company awareness as well as your competitors.

Share of Voice

Share of voice is a visibility metric measured by customer feedback for the company identity within a specific channel for a period of time. It is also a leading indicator to brand awareness.

It measures the percentage of conversations within a topic or industry that include your company or product. A high share of voice leads to increased awareness. But one big caution. Just making noise will deliver disappointing results. The message is key when making investments to improve share of voice. That's why most share of voice campaigns are based on disciplined marketing messaging.

Social listening tools such as HootSuite or Sprout Social can be effective for measuring Share of Voice.

A derivative metric is Social Share of Voice which measures how many people mention your company on social media compared to your competitors. Mentions can be either direct (e.g., "@JohnnyGrow") or Indirect (e.g., "Johnny Grow").

The calculation of SSoV percentage = (company mentions/total mentions) * 100. Note that total mentions include your mentions plus your competitor mentions.

SSoV is a comparison that shows if the brand is relevant within a target audience and among competitors.

Engagement Rate

Engagement Rate measures the number of human interactions with a content article or offer relative to the total number of followers. Interactions normally include open rates, likes, shares and comments. But they may also include thinks like inbound links and referrals to your website, bounce rate, click-through rate and conversions.

This KPI measures content relevance and whether your content is resonating with you target audience.

The calculation is as follows:

Average Engagement Rate Percent = (Total mentions/total followers) * 100.

Note that the total mentions include likes, comments, shares to your post and the like.

To improve engagement rate you need to first know where your customers hang out. B2B customers are more likely to engage on LinkedIn while B2C customers are more likely to be found on Facebook or Instagram.

Once you know where they congregate, you need to deliver remarkable content. I often get asked how I define remarkable content. The short answer is any content that gets remarked upon, such as with comments and shares. Conversion optimization is another technique to improve engagement rate.

When people engage with a brand they become more emotionally invested and indirectly connect their social sphere to the brand.

Brand engagement is a precursor to initial and repeat purchase transactions, correlates to customer loyalty and increases customer lifetime value.

An interesting study from Sprout Social found that engagement increases average customer spend by 57 percent and increases company preference over competitors by 76 percent. These are significant numbers that should not go unnoticed.

Brand Salience

We live in a short-term attention economy and that's why brand salience is important.

Daniel Kahneman became the first psychologist to win a Nobel prize in Economics. His research found that our brains are designed to conserve energy and prefer to make quick, emotional decisions. His book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, shows how to appeal to emotions to impact company affinity and financial results.

His findings are reflective of the Brand Salience metric. The Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science defines brand salience as the propensity for a company identity to be thought of by buyers in buying situations. This is essentially buyer company recall at the moment of truth.

It's measured by presenting target audience buyers with a randomized list of purchase decision criteria or category attributes and asking them which companies they associate with each value. A key lesson is that no one value normally results in a purchase decision which is why a short list of values must be considered together.

Brand Salience Measure

The point here is that each metric you choose to display should have a direct and measurable correlation with company financial performance. If investment in the performance metric doesn't move company revenue or profit by more than the investment amount, its time to reallocate the brand budget.