Research confirms ways to build higher equity, prices, market share
Head of Client Service
Kantar Millward Brown, Shanghai
Consumers in China have never had such rich exposure to brands. The ubiquity of brands and the seemingly indefinite touchpoints that brands can leverage to engage with consumers have provided marketers with exciting new opportunities to craft their marketing campaigns. More importantly, this also means that marketers in China have never had instantaneous access to such rich data generated by these emerging touchpoints.
It is tempting (and relatively easy) to add yet another metric onto your Brand KPI Dashboard, which is accessible at your fingertips. Yet more does not necessarily mean better. Having too many so-called Key Performance Indicators imposed onto a brand will not only make marketers lose focus, but may also result in biasing their decisions to short-term KPIs that appear to be more sensitive, such as CTR (digital click-through-rate), which might in effect be detrimental to the long-term equity of the brand.
More than ever, it is imperative that marketers need to move away from being overly-obsessed with descriptive metrics that tend to tell you “what happened, after it’s happened,” to focus on metrics that matter for the greater success of the brand—the Core Equity Indicators (CEIs).
MEANINGFUL What is the purpose of your brand? What does your brand mean to your target consumers? What do you want your brand to be remembered for? These questions should be the ones that will keep marketers awake at night and day.
For most categories, being Meaningful is the strongest driver for building Brand Power, which is Kantar Millward Brown’s BrandZ™ metric to measure long-term brand equity.
DIFFERENCE Creating a point of differentiation that is meaningful to your consumers will make your brand go a long way. This is particularly important for brands that wish to trade up its target consumers by commanding a premium price.
By integrating our attitudinal survey data with behavioral purchasing data using our shopper panel we showed that brands that are perceived to be different, could command a far higher price point. Brands that can charge more are much more likely to be seen as different.
SALIENCE Be the first to mind when it matters. In a world where nobody has time or inclination to think hard about trivial daily decisions, a brand has a better chance of being chosen if it comes to mind more quickly and easily than competitors, making it the obvious and easy choice.
Combining data from two of the world’s largest databases (brand equity data from Kantar Millward Brown’s BrandZ™ with behavioral shopper data from Kantar Worldpanel) proves that Salience has a very strong relationship with Volume Share, demonstrating that if a brand comes readily to mind for many different people in the context of many different choice contexts (needs, uses or occasions), then more people will choose to buy it.
This means that future brand growth will come from increasing mental availability among as many people as possible in order to drive penetration which will in turn drive greater mental availability and frequency of purchase.
In a nutshell, to ensure that we have strong brands, both now and into the future, it is critical that we get the earliest possible indicators of what matters for sales success. Fastermoving measures of salience/mental availability can provide early signals of both shorter- as well as longer-term success, and we know that measures of equity correlate with long-term sales. So, measuring the Core Equity Indicators about your brands against the competition will tell you quickly if you are going in the right direction.