Web Marketing KPIs: Brand Indicators Part 2—Brand Preference

All MeasureMyBrand KPIs are derived from decades of b2b marketing experience. They may prove useful to b2c CMOs as well, but chief brand marketers will likely want to evaluate these measurements to make their own judgments.

Another key indicator for business success is little-discussed brand preference. While it’s widely accepted that preference indicates the likelihood of generating more revenues and better profits, making it a leading indicator of company financial performance, it’s rarely measured.

The big question here is: Why don’t people even talk about this or define it as an objective like they do brand awareness if it’s so important?

The answer is simple: Primarily because the definition of brand preference is fuzzy. Even Wikipedia is muddy on this: It defines it as “the impact of marketing activities in the hearts and minds of customers and potential customers.” Wow! How do you even begin to measure that?Measure Brand Preference

Traditionally, measuring brand preference is done through surveys and/or by using methods like focus groups. This is because measuring brand preference assumes equality in price and availability so “participants” need to pretend that all things are equal.

While this provides insight into an important indicator, it’s fraught with issues. It doesn’t reflect the realities of a marketplace, and “participants” can’t help but be aware that their input is being measured and evaluated. Frankly, this approach is bound to skew the results, no matter how careful the study. It’s no surprise that companies have largely abandoned trying to measure brand preference.

The Web is Different
The web, however, is an entirely different type of market—one that lends itself well to objectively measuring brand preference. Certain web presence and web activity data can act as proxies in algorithms that reasonably represent the likely preference of customers, potential customers and other influencers for a brand.

The beauty of this is that data is that it is completely objective—“participants” are unaware that their actions are being measured and evaluated for preference. Therefore, the results of analyzing the data (an algorithm) is much more likely to indicate genuine preferential inclinations.

Brand preference is first and foremost a comparative measurement—it compares your brand to competitive brands.

Like brand awareness, the art in creating a way to measure brand preference is identifying the relevant data that is available for a brand and its competitors, then determining its import to preference and assigning probability and weights. And, as with brand awareness, the element of time is a critical third dimension since preference can be upset by competitive landscape changes and from company/product experiences.

As with our Brand Awareness Score algorithm, we assigned probabilities of preference and then weighted and smoothed their contributions. In all, we identified more than 50 data values to be included in our Brand Preference Score.

Get more. 

Don’t want to sift through our individual KPI blog posts?  Download the Web Marketing KPIs white paper.

The Web is a Market, Not Just a Channel.™ is a seminal white paper on the need for marketers to expand how they view the Web.

Learn about web presence optimization as a web marketing strategy.

Be sure to follow CMO Dave on his 2015 Measurement Odyssey on YouTube!