The boardroom buzzes with questions: "Is our brand working?" "Are we getting our money's worth?" Brand building often feels like a gamble, its impact shrouded in a fog of "intangibles." But fear not! Here's a 10-second test to gauge your brand's true potential and a deeper dive into ways of measuring return on investment (ROI).

Imagine, a potential customer stumbles upon your brand for the first time. They spend 10 seconds absorbing your logo, messaging, and overall vibe. What impression do they get? Does it spark curiosity, trust, or indifference? The research shows that your brand has 7 seconds to make a first impression. So, in reality, I’m being generous giving you 10 seconds.

The Blind Brand Test:

  1. Gather a group of people unfamiliar with your brand. Show them your logo, tagline, and a sample piece of content (e.g., ad, social media post) for 10 seconds each.
  2. Ask them: What emotions or associations come to mind? What do they think the brand is about? Do their interpretations align with your intended message? What do they feel?

Now record their reactions and ask yourself some questions:

  • Did their reactions and feelings align with your brand values?
  • Did they understand clearly who your company is and what you do?
  • Were their impressions positive or negative?
  • Did they find your visuals appealing?
  • Was there any confusion?
  • Did what they see spark interest, curiosity or enthusiasm? Or were they indifferent?

This simple test of a person’s first impression can already tell you a lot about whether your brand is working.

Beyond the 10 Seconds:

Beyond this 10 second test, we can dig much deeper in measuring the ROI of your branding investment. Here are some ways to start:

  1. Brand Awareness and Recall: One of the simplest ways to measure brand performance is through brand awareness and recall. Surveys and focus groups can gauge the level of brand recognition among your target audience. According to a study by Nielsen, brand recall can increase purchase intent by up to 86%. By tracking metrics such as aided and unaided brand recall, businesses can assess the effectiveness of their branding efforts in creating top-of-mind awareness among consumers.
  2. Customer Perception and Loyalty:  Monitoring metrics such as brand sentiment, customer satisfaction scores, and Net Promoter Score (NPS) can provide insights into customer perceptions and loyalty. Research by Bain & Company shows that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can lead to a profit increase of 25% to 95%. By understanding the correlation between branding efforts and customer loyalty metrics, businesses can quantify the long-term value of their brand investments.
  3. Digital Engagement and Social Metrics: In today's digital age, brands have access to a wealth of data through online channels. Monitoring metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, and click-through rates can provide valuable indicators of brand engagement and audience interaction. According to a report by Hootsuite, 73% of marketers believe that their efforts through social media marketing have been "somewhat effective" or "very effective" for their business. By analysing digital engagement metrics, businesses can measure the impact of their branding initiatives in driving online visibility and engagement.
  4. Sales and Revenue Growth: Ultimately, the success of branding efforts should translate into tangible business outcomes, such as increased sales and revenue. While attributing sales directly to branding can be challenging, tools like marketing attribution models and customer journey mapping can help businesses connect the dots between brand exposure and purchase behaviour. A study by Deloitte found that strong brands command a price premium of up to 23% over competitors. By correlating brand investments with sales performance, businesses can assess the ROI of their branding efforts in driving bottom-line results.

Continuously engage your audience, and track key metrics like:

  • Brand awareness: Website traffic, social media engagement, brand mentions.
  • Brand perception: Customer surveys, sentiment analysis tools.
  • Customer acquisition cost: Track how much it costs to acquire new customers.
  • Customer lifetime value: Analyse how much revenue each customer generates over time

While measuring brand performance and ROI may be challenging, it's important for businesses to recognise the intrinsic value of branding. By adopting simple yet effective measurement techniques and focusing on long-term outcomes, businesses can justify their brand investments and reap the rewards of a strong and memorable brand presence. So, how will you measure the impact of your branding efforts, and what insights will you uncover along the way?