Most business owners understand that their marketing efforts have a direct impact on revenue. Marketing is an investment, not an expense. It is essential for increasing brand awareness, engaging prospects, and building long-term customer relationships.

As with any investment, it is important for businesses owners to measure and track their marketing initiatives to see what is generating positive return on investment (ROI).

ROI can be expressed in a simple formula:

(Benefits – Costs) / Costs = ROI

Yet, for many businesses, attempts to quantify dollar-for-dollar return on investments can fall short. That is because simple ROI doesn’t take into account one very important part of marketing: defining how you connect with customers.

Connecting with customers on an emotional level takes a strong brand. What is arguably the linchpin in a company’s marketing strategy is often the most difficult to pigeonhole.

A brand is not a logo.

It isn’t a brochure, a website, or an ad.

A brand is a company’s essence. It exists in the mind as an unspoken promise between a business and its customers.

That doesn’t exactly fit in a spreadsheet.

So, how do you measure the success of something as intangible as a brand? Look beyond ROI and focus on the three A’s of brand success: Association, Awareness, and Allegiance.

Association — A strong brand takes one key differentiating aspect of a company and encapsulates it. What does your brand say to customers? A customer survey that incorporates evocative word association questions can help you decide whether your brand is living up to your expectations.

Awareness — Do people know that your brand exists? If your company is online, Google Analytics can help you ascertain brand awareness. Look at the keywords people are using to find your site. How many of them are branded? The number of visits your site receives from branded keywords can help you identify how many people are aware of your brand.

Allegiance — Knowing the level of commitment your customers have to your brand is important for determining its overall success. Repeat business over time is a good indicator, but it is only part of the whole picture. Understanding the emotional quotient of brand allegiance, or loyalty, is another key component that may only be understood through surveys, interviews, and by analyzing interactions (which may include participating in social media).

While looking outside of ROI for insights may feel like building a house without blueprints, it adds a meaningful dimension to your marketing program and allows you to ensure the health of your marketing investment for years to come.

About Profile by Design

A brand is more than a great logo, brochure, website, or ad — but these deployment systems are part of building a strong branding strategy. At Profile, our designers can help you promote your brand by developing and incorporating custom keying mechanisms that resonate with your target audience. Keying mechanisms are visual and messaging cues that allow each tool in your marketing arsenal to support the rest. Contact us today to request a free review of your current marketing strategy.

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