Marketers may soon find their brands measured by heartbeats as much as by online surveys and social media engagement. New technology allows companies to study facial responses, vocal inflections, and other emotional cues that reveal how consumers truly feel about brands and experiences.
Why Metrics Matter
In today’s commoditized marketplace, where it is increasingly difficult to differentiate your own products from competitors’, brands are recognized as one of a company’s most valuable intangible assets. When both diagnostic and prescriptive, metrics help managers understand whether (and to what extent) the brand is on track relative to its positioning. Knowing how your brand is perceived enables you to “course correct” as necessary so that the brand is better aligned with overall business objectives, can head off emerging liabilities, and can take advantage of momentum or spikes in positive perceptions. Leveraging key metrics results in winning strategies and tactics both internally within the organization, and externally in the market.
As the tools for brand measurement evolve, so must marketers’ understanding of what brand measurement includes and how to use that information to create a competitive advantage. Tried-and-true brand health metrics — such as awareness, consideration, and purchase intent — still serve a purpose, but these measurements are inherently diagnostic. They might educate marketers on where their brands stand relative to the competition or even alert them of problems on the horizon, but they are not prescriptive enough to recommend a course of action.
By tracking brand-specific attributes that reflect strategic positioning (and comparing those attributes to baselines, benchmarks, and targets), marketers can develop systems that not only tell them when to respond to changes, but also advise them on future strategic directions. As new tools allow marketers to move beyond survey-based measurements, the possibilities expand even further. Facial recognition, biometrics, and voice technologies remove all bias from the equation, revealing consumers’ true opinions and emotions.
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