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Diagnose Brand Health to Improve Business Growth

Have a significant and well-targeted impact on business success and growth by knowing how your brand performs, identify areas of improvement, and make data-driven decisions to fix it.

Brand leaders are often faced with overwhelming obstacles in building a strong brand, such as a misunderstanding of the benefits of a strong brand by key stakeholders, limited visibility on brand performance, insufficient information to make clear, indisputable data-driven decisions and convince, and limited resources.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

Intangible assets, such as brand recognition accounts for almost all of a company’s value. Despite its intangible nature, the brand is at the heart of every business, and has a direct impact on business growth, profitability, and revenue. While measuring its real value on the marketplace can be difficult, a brand with high traction will attract customers and keep them for as long as it keeps evolving and adapting to its dynamic environment. That’s why successful business leaders allocate at least half of their marketing budget to brand building efforts.

Impact and Result

  • Importance of the brand is recognized, endorsed, and prioritized.
  • Support and resources allocated.
  • All relevant data and information collected in one place.
  • Brand performance is made visible.
  • Ability to make data-driven recommendations and decisions on how to improve.

Diagnose Brand Health to Improve Business Growth Research & Tools

Diagnose Brand Health to Improve Business Growth Executive Brief – A deck to help diagnose brand health to improve business growth.

Provides guidance and tools required to perform a thorough brand diagnosis, measure brand performance, pinpoint gaps, and areas for improvement, allow for clear, data-driven recommendation and decisions on how to fix and optimize the brand, communicate, and align with key stakeholders. All the tools will also be in place to continuously monitor and optimize brand.


SoftwareReviews — HIGH-TECH ADVISORY, WHERE GROWTH ACCELERATES

Diagnose Brand Health to Improve Business Growth

Have a significant and well-targeted impact on business success and growth by knowing how your brand performs, identifying areas of improvement, and making data-driven decisions to fix it.

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

SoftwareReviews is a division of Info-Tech Research Group Inc., a world-class IT research and consulting firm established in 1997.
Backed by two decades of IT research and advisory experience, SoftwareReviews offers the most comprehensive insight into the enterprise software landscape and client-vendor relationships.

Analyst Perspective

Brand Diagnostic and Monitoring

In the ever-changing market landscape in which businesses operate, it is imperative to ensure that the brand stays top of mind and quickly adapts. Having a good understanding of where the brand stands and how it performs has become crucial for any company that wants to stand out from its competitors and succeed in a crowded and very dynamic market.

Unfortunately, the brand does not always receive the attention and importance it deserves, leaving it vulnerable to becoming outdated and unclear to the target audience and to losing its equity.

Knowing how the brand is perceived, as opposed to how individuals within an organization perceive it, addressing any brand-related issues in a timely manner, and implementing processes to continuously monitor its performance have become key tactics for any company that wants to thrive in today's highly competitive market.

Photo of Nathalie Vezina, Marketing Research Director, SoftwareReviews Advisory.

Nathalie Vezina
Marketing Research Director
SoftwareReviews Advisory

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

Because it is vulnerable to becoming outdated and unclear to the target audience and to losing its equity, it is essential to ensure that the brand is performing well and to be attentive to these signs of a weakened brand:

  • Low number and quality of leads generated, poor conversion rates, and declining customer retention and loyalty
  • Lack of understanding of the value proposition; lack of interest and interaction with the brand
  • Higher customer acquisition/marketing costs
  • Difficulties attracting and keeping talent, partners, or future investors
  • Low/slow growth; devaluation of the brand due to low brand equity
Common Obstacles

Building a strong brand is an everyday challenge, and brand leaders often face what may seem like overwhelming obstacles in achieving their goal. Here are some of the roadblocks they regularly face:

  • Limited visibility on brand perception and overall performance
  • Insufficient supporting information to make clear, undisputable data-driven decisions and convince key stakeholders how to improve brand performance
  • Limited resources (time, budget, headcount, tools) to diagnose, measure, and execute
  • Stakeholders may not be fully aware of the benefits of a strong brand and the impacts that a weak brand can have on the overall performance of the business
SoftwareReviews’ Approach

This SoftwareReviews blueprint provides the guidance and tools required to perform a thorough brand diagnostic and enable brand leaders to:

  • Know how the brand performs; pinpoint gaps and areas for improvement
  • Make clear, data-driven recommendations and decisions on how to fix and optimize the brand
  • Communicate, convince key stakeholders, and align on proposed solutions to optimize the brand’s performance
  • Continuously monitor and optimize the brand

SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight

The brand is a company’s most valuable asset that should never fall into disrepair. In fact, business leaders should ensure that at least half of their marketing budget is allocated to brand-building efforts.

What is a brand?

The brand – both intangible and the most valuable asset for businesses.

Despite its intangible nature, the brand is at the heart of every business, small and large, around which rotates what drives business success and growth.

While measuring its real value on the marketplace can be difficult, a brand with high salience will attract and retain customers for as long as it keeps evolving and adapting to its dynamic environment.

Up to 90% of the total market value of companies is based on intangible assets, such as brand recognition. (Source: Ocean Tomo, 2020)

Multiple bubbles with the biggest bubble highlighted and labelled 'BRAND'. The other bubbles say 'IDENTITY', 'LOYALTY', 'TRUST', 'STRATEGY', 'GROWTH', 'AWARENESS', and 'VALUE'.

What makes a brand strong?

Perception Matters

The brand reflects the image of a company or a product. The values it conveys and how it’s being perceived have a direct impact on a brand's ability to stand out and grow.

A brand is strong when it:

  • Projects a positive image
  • Has a clear positioning and value proposition
  • Is authentic and inspiring
  • Conveys values that resonates
  • Is socially engaged
  • Builds awareness
  • Is consistent
  • Delivers on its promise
  • Inspires trust
“In the past, a brand is what a company told you it was. Today, a brand is what people tell each other it is.” (Source: Mark Schaefer, 2019)

Investing in building a brand, a top priority for businesses

Company Valuation

Branding has become a top priority for companies to increase the value of their business in the marketplace. A good market value is essential to attract and retain investors, obtain future rounds of financing, grow by acquisition, and find buyers.

The more equity a brand gains, the higher its market value, despite the company’s annual revenue. While annual revenue is factored in the equation, the equity of the brand has a greater impact on the market value. A brand whose market value is lower than its revenue is an important indicator that the brand is weakened and needs to be addressed.

Revenue and Growth

Most successful companies are investing heavily in building their brand, and for good reason. A strong brand will deliver the right messaging, and a unique and clear value proposition will resonate with its audience and directly impact customer acquisition costs, outperform competition, enable higher pricing, and increase sales volume and customer lifetime value.

A strong brand also helps develop partner channels, attract and engage high-value partners, and allow for actionable and incremental KPIs.

Talent Acquisition and Retention

Brands with strong values are more attractive to highly skilled talent without having to offer above-market salaries. In addition, when a brand inspires pride and shares common values with employees, it increases their motivation and the company’s retention rate.

Retaining employees within the company allows for the development of talent and retention of knowledge within the organization, thus contributing to the sustainability of the organization.

It's no wonder that employer branding has become an essential element of human resources strategies.

“Sustainable Living Brands are growing 69% faster than the rest of the business and delivering 75% of the company’s growth.” (Source: Unilever, 2019, qtd. in Deloitte, 2021)

Symptoms of a weakened brand

Know if your brand is suffering and needs to be fixed.

Brand leaders experiencing one or more of these brand-related symptoms should consider rebranding or optimizing their brand:
  • Low number and quality of leads generated, poor conversion rates, and declining customer retention and loyalty
  • Higher customer acquisition vs. marketing costs
  • Difficulties attracting and keeping talent, partners, and investors
  • Slow or low growth and devaluation of the brand due to low brand equity

With visibility into your brand and the supporting data that provides a thorough diagnostic of the brand, combined with ongoing brand performance monitoring, you will have all the information you need to help you drive the brand forward, have a significant impact on business growth, and stand out as a brand leader.

The largest software companies have an average market cap of 18X their revenue (Source: Companies Market Cap, May 2022)

Building a strong brand, an everyday challenge

Brand leaders are often faced with overwhelming obstacles in building a strong brand.

Limited visibility on brand perception and overall performanceInsufficient information to make clear, undisputable data-driven decisions and convince key stakeholders how to improve brand performanceStock image of a person pulling a boulder.
Misunderstanding of the benefits of a strong brand and negative impacts of a weak brand on business valuation and growthLimited resources (time, budget, headcount, tools) to diagnose, measure, and execute
Only
54%
of businesses have a B2B brand program in place for measuring brand perceptions. (Source: B2B International, 2016)Only
4%
of B2B marketing teams measure the impact of their marketing/brand building efforts beyond six months. (Source: LinkedIn’s B2B Institute, 2019)50%
of marketing budget is what successful brands spend on average on brand-building efforts. (Source: Les Binet and Peter Field, 2018)
82%of investors say name recognition is an important factor guiding them in their investment decisions. (Source: Global Banking & Finance Review, 2018)77%of B2B marketers say branding is crucial for growth. (Source: Circle Research)

Making brand performance visible

Implement data-driven strategies and make fact-based decisions to continuously optimize brand performance.

Diagnose your brand’s health
Know how your brand is being perceived and have visibility on its performance.
Cycle titled 'BRAND' with steps 'Diagnose', 'Identify', 'Fix', 'Keep Monitoring' and back to 'Diagnose'.Identify trends and areas of improvement
Rely on undisputable and reliable data to make clear decisions and educate and communicate with key stakeholders.
Keep monitoring your brand’s performance
Stay on top of the game and keep away competitors by continuously monitoring your brand’s health.
Fix issues with your brand in a timely manner
Don’t lose the momentum. Achieve better results and have a greater impact on your success and chances to grow.

Qualitative and quantitative brand performance measures

Segmented by SoftwareReviews Advisory into three categories for a comprehensive diagnostic.

Icon of a megaphone.Icon of a head with puzzle pieces.Icon of coins.
Brand Equity
  • Awareness
  • Perception
  • Positioning
  • Recognition/recall
  • Trust
Buyer’s Behavior
  • Interaction with the brand
  • Preference
  • Purchase intent
  • Product reviews
  • Social engagement
  • Website traffic
  • Lead generation
Financial
  • Revenue
  • Profit margin
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • Intangible asset market value (IAMV)

Benefits of a strong and healthy brand

A healthy brand is the foundation of your success.

Ensure a better understanding of the value proposition and positioningDrive more interest, interaction, and tractionIncrease brand awareness and equityGenerate higher number and quality of leads
Achieve higher and faster conversion rateBuild trust and improve customer retention and loyaltyAttract and keep talent, partners, and investorsAchieve higher and faster growth

Efficiently Diagnose Your Brand’s Health

1. The Challenge

The most common obstacles in organizations when it comes to knowing how their brand performs and how to fix it are:

  • Limited visibility on brand perception and overall performance
  • Insufficient supporting information to make clear, undisputable data-driven decisions and to convince key stakeholders key stakeholders how to improve brand performance
  • Limited resources (time, budget, headcount, tools) to diagnose, measure, and execute
  • Stakeholders not fully aware of the benefits of a strong brand and the impacts that a weak brand can have on the overall performance of the business

77% of B2B marketers say branding is crucial for growth (Source: Circle Research)

90% of the total market value of companies is based on intangible assets, such as brand recognition (Source: Ocean Tomo, 2020)

50% of marketing budget is what successful brands spend on average on brand-related efforts (Source: Les Binet and Peter Field, 2018)

Brand Diagnostic Methodology
Communication & Alignment
    Legend item purple, Head of Branding. Legend item light blue, CEO, Leadership. Legend item orange, PR/Comms. Legend item dark blue, Digital Marketing. Legend item green, Customer Success.
  • Engage and unify the team
  • Communicate and present
  • Align on next steps
Data Collection
    Legend item purple, Head of Branding. Legend item dark blue, Digital Marketing. Legend item green, Customer Success.
  • Identify and document internal and external changes affecting the brand
  • Conduct internal and external brand perception surveys
  • Gather customer loyalty feedback
  • Collect digital performance metrics
Data Analysis & Interpretation
    Legend item purple, Head of Branding. Legend item light blue, CEO, Leadership. Legend item orange, PR/Comms. Legend item dark blue, Digital Marketing.
  • Analyze data collected
  • Identify issues, trends, gaps, and inconsistencies
  • Compare data with current brand statement
Report & Presentation Building
    Legend item purple, Head of Branding.
  • Build report with recommendations
  • Prioritize brand fixes from high to low positive impact
  • Build presentation
  • Legend item light blue, CEO, Leadership. CEO, Leadership
  • Legend item purple, Head of Branding. Head of Branding
  • Legend item dark blue, Digital Marketing. Digital Marketing
  • Legend item orange, PR/Comms. PR/Comms
  • Legend item green, Customer Success. Customer Success
  • Optional
  • Legend item grey, Optional. Product Dev & Marketing
  • Legend item grey, Optional. Sales
2. Uncover the Symptoms of a Weakened Brand
  • Low number and quality of leads generated, conversion rate, customer retention and loyalty
  • Misunderstanding of the value proposition; lack of interest and interaction with the brand
  • Higher customer acquisition vs. marketing costs
  • Difficulties attracting and keeping talent, partners, and investors
  • Low/slow growth and devaluation of the brand due to low brand equity
3. Get the Most Out of the Brand Diagnostics
  • Stakeholders recognizing the importance of the brand
  • Endorsement and prioritization of the project
  • Support and necessary resources allocation
  • Tools to easily and effectively measure the brand’s performance
  • Visibility into the performance of the brand
  • All the data in hand to support recommendations and make informed decisions
4. Brand Diagnostic Kit

Includes:

  • Brand Diagnostic Tool
  • Brand Diagnostic & Recommendation Report Template
  • Brand Diagnostic Presentation Template
Logo for Software Reviews

Who benefits from diagnosing the brand?

This Research Is Designed for:

Brand leaders who are looking to:

  • Detect and monitor brand performance, issues, trends, and areas of improvement
  • Optimize and fix their brand
  • Develop strategies, and make recommendations and decisions based on facts
  • Get the support they need from key stakeholders
This Research Will Help You:
  • Get the visibility you need on your brand’s performance
  • Pinpoint brand issues, trends, and areas of improvement
  • Develop data-driven strategies, and make recommendations and decisions based on facts
  • Communicate with and convince key stakeholders
  • Get the support you need from key stakeholders
  • Put in place new diagnostic and monitoring processes to continually improve your brand
This Research Will Also Assist:
  • Sales with qualified lead generation and customer retention and loyalty
  • Human Resources in their efforts to attract and retain talent
  • The overall business with growth and increased market value
This Research Will Help Them:
  • Have a better understanding of the importance of a strong brand on business growth and valuation
  • Align on next steps

SoftwareReviews’ Brand Diagnostic Methodology

0. Communication & Alignment1. Data Collection2. Data Analysis & Interpretation3. Report & Presentation
Phase Steps
  1. Engage and unify the team
  2. Communicate and present
  3. Align on next steps
  1. Identify and document internal and external changes affecting the brand
  2. Conduct internal and external brand perception surveys
  3. Gather customer loyalty feedback
  4. Collect digital performance metrics
  1. Analyze data collected
  2. Identify issues, trends, gaps, and inconsistencies
  3. Compare data with current brand statement
  1. Build report with recommendations
  2. Prioritize brand fixes from high to low positive impact
  3. Build presentation
Phase Outcomes
  • Importance of the brand is recognized
  • Endorsement and prioritization
  • Support and resources
  • All relevant data/information is collected in one place
  • Visibility on the performance of the brand
  • All the data in hand to support recommendations and make informed decisions
  • Visibility and clear understanding of the brand’s health and how to fix or improve its performance

Insight summary

The Brand: Intangible, yet a company’s most valuable asset

Intangible assets, such as brand recognition, account for almost all of a company’s value.1 Despite its intangible nature, the brand is at the heart of every business and has a direct impact on business growth, profitability, and revenue. While measuring its real value on the marketplace can be difficult, a brand with high traction will attract customers and keep them for as long as it keeps evolving and adapting to its dynamic environment.

Making brand issues visible

Having a clear understanding of how the brand performs has become crucial for any company that wants to stand out from its competitors and succeed in a crowded and highly dynamic marketplace.

Data-driven decisions for a strong brand

Intuition-based or uninformed decisions are obsolete. Brand leaders must base their decisions on facts to be able to convince key stakeholders.

Building a strong brand, an everyday challenge

Brand leaders often face overwhelming obstacles building strong brands. They need guidance and tools to support them to drive the business forward.

Get team buy-in and alignment

Brand leaders must ensure that the key stakeholders are aware of the importance of a strong brand to business growth and value increase and that they are aligned and committed to the efforts required to build a successful brand.

Investing in brand-building efforts means investing in your success

Successful business leaders allocate at least half of their marketing budget2 to brand-building efforts, enabling them to set themselves apart, significantly increase their market share, grow their business, and thrive in a highly competitive marketplace.

Guided Implementation

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with a SoftwareReviews Marketing Analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

Your engagement managers will work with you to schedule analyst calls.

What does a typical GI on this topic look like?

Brand Diagnostic

Data Analysis & Interpretation

Report & Presentation Building

Communication & Alignment

Call #1: Discuss concept and benefits of performing a brand diagnostic. Identify key stakeholders. Anticipate concerns and objections.

Call #2: Discuss how to use the tool. Identify resources and internal support needed.

Call #3: Review results. Discuss how to identify brand issues, areas of improvement, and trends based on data collected and to interpret key metrics.

Call #4 (optional): Continue discussion from call #3.

Call #5: Discuss recommendations and best practices to fix the issues identified and resources required.

Call #6: Discuss purpose and how to build the report and presentation, Prioritize the brand fixes from high to low positive impact.

Call #7 (optional): Follow up with call on report and presentation preparation.

Call #8: Discuss key points to focus on when presenting to key stakeholders and the desired outcome.

Call #9: Discuss how to leverage brand diagnostic tools now in place and the benefits of continuously monitoring the brand.

Call #10: Debrief and determine how we can help with next steps.

Key deliverable:

Blueprint deliverables

Each step of this blueprint is accompanied by supporting deliverables to help you accomplish your goals:

Brand Diagnostic Presentation Template

Sample of the key deliverable, the Brand Diagnostic Presentation Template.

Pre-built and fully customizable PowerPoint template to communicate key findings, areas of improvements, and recommendations to key stakeholders, align on next steps, and prioritize.

Brand Diagnostic Report Dashboard

Sample of the Brand Diagnostic Report Dashboard deliverable.

Auto-filling dashboard built into the Brand Diagnostic Tool Kit. Ready to be saved and shared as a PDF.

Brand Diagnostic Tool Kit

Sample of the Brand Diagnostic Tool Kit deliverable.

Comprehensive Excel Workbook to gather and interpret brand performance metrics. Includes survey questionnaires.

Bibliography

“71% of Consumers More Likely to Buy a Product or Service From a Name They Recognise.” Global Banking & Finance Review, 5 December 2018. Web.

B2B Marketing Leaders Report. Circle Research, n.d. Web.

Binet, Les, and Peter Field. Effectiveness In Context: A manual for Brand Building. Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, 12 October 2018. Ebook.

“Current Trends in the World of B2B Marketing, 2016 Survey.” B2B International, 2016. Web.

Intangible Asset Market Value Study. Ocean Tomo, July 2020. Web.

Largest Software Companies By Market Cap. Companies Market Cap, May 2022. Web.

“Unilever, purpose-led brands outperform.” Unilever, 6 October 2019. Web. qtd. in Kounkel, Suzanne, Amy Silverstein, and Kathleen Peeters. “2021 Global Marketing Trends.” Deloitte Insights, 2020. Web.

Schaefer, Mark. “The Future Of Branding Is Human Impressions.” Mark Schaefer Blog, 3 June 2019. Web.

The 5 Principles Of Growth In B2B Marketing - Empirical Observations on B2B Effectiveness. LinkedIn B2B Institute, 2019. Web.

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Guided Implementation #1 - Brand Diagnostic
  • Call #1 - Discuss concept and benefits of performing a brand diagnostic. Identify key stakeholders. Anticipate concerns and objections.
  • Call #2 - Discuss how to use the tool. Identify resources and internal support needed.

Guided Implementation #2 - Data Analysis & Interpretation
  • Call #1 - Review results. Discuss how to identify brand issues, areas of improvement, and trends based on data collected and to interpret key metrics.
  • Call #2 - Discuss recommendations and best practices to fix the issues identified and resources required.

Guided Implementation #3 - Report & Presentation Building
  • Call #1 - Discuss purpose and how to build the report and presentation, Prioritize the brand fixes from high to low positive impact.
  • Call #2 - Follow up with call on report and presentation preparation.

Guided Implementation #4 - Communication & Alignment
  • Call #1 - Discuss key points to focus on when presenting to key stakeholders and the desired outcome.
  • Call #2 - Discuss how to leverage brand diagnostic tools now in place and the benefits of continuously monitoring the brand.
  • Call #3 - Debrief and determine how we can help with next steps.

Author

Nathalie Vezina

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