In this episode of In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris talk about the power of brand. What is brand strategy? How do we effectively measure our brand marketing? Listen in to learn the difference between a branded house and a house of brands, how to think about brand strategy, and what the most important brand measurement methodology is for digital marketers.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

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Christopher Penn
This is in your insights, the trust insights podcast.

In this week’s in your insights, we are talking all things brand strategy. It’s one of the upcoming search terms that we identify in our predictive analytics forecasting for stuff that is important to marketers. So, Katie, let’s begin with some basics. In terms of brand, what is brand mean to you? before we can even talk about brand strategy? What does brand mean?

Katie Robbert
Well, I think it means different things to different companies, because you have this notion of a house of brands, and then you have this other idea that it’s a branded house. And so, you know, what we’re really talking about is, you know,

we are not, we don’t have a lot of products, per se, or we don’t have companies underneath our company. So, you know, our brand is trust insights. But if you have companies where the past brand is, you know, something that’s not really a service, or a product, something people don’t even really think of, and then the products themselves are the brands such as, you know, a vacuum or a specific kind of shoe or a clothing line, that’s, you know, a house of brands instead of a branded house. And so it can be a bunch of different things. So first, you need to figure out, you know, what is your, you know, what is your offering, or your products, your brands? Or is your company name your brand? So that’s sort of the first thing, you know, so again, for trust insights, our company name is our brand, we don’t have you know, the, we have services, but it’s not the trust insights, predictive analytics product. So predictive analytics doesn’t become its own thing. That then people then forget that trust insights is the parent brand,

Christopher Penn
right? So in your example, you have Toyota, and then you have the Corolla, and the pre isn’t the camera and things like that. Exactly. How important for a company is the branded house versus the house of brands? Because for Toyota, as an example, the Toyota master brand is the one that people want to seem to have on the tip of your tongue, and then the individual models within it, are the ones that people buy based on their needs, like, do you want to buy an SUV, then you get the high level? Do you want to an energy efficient car, you get the Prius Prime. But

people do talk about their Prius, in the absence of the Toyota name, because it’s implied, you know, what the Prius is, you don’t know, the no one else has one. And therefore, it is its own brand. So in terms of of what you could measure, you could measure both independently, or you can measure them both together. But from a strategy and planning perspective. What’s the brand strategy there? Is it the house of brands of the brand and house? Or both? Or how do you think about that?

Katie Robbert
Well, I think you’ve started to answer that question. It’s an end, it depends. And so if, you know, Prius is a name that stands on its own without having that, you know, define or have it being a Toyota Prius, people know what a Prius is, and they know that it’s associated with Toyota, then you don’t necessarily need to worry as much about Toyota because you don’t have a version of a car. That’s a Toyota. It’s the thing that describes the, the car itself. So if it’s a Toyota, it’s probably a Prius or a Corolla, or whatever the other ones are. But if you say, a Prius, it is only a Toyota. And so you know, I think from a measurement perspective, you obviously want to start off measuring both. You want to see how much cash a brand cachet Toyota has, versus how much the individual offerings have. And then you can start to understand, well, what’s the thing that our customers, how do they talk about us? How are they associating, you know, their products with a in a positive or negative way, because maybe there’s sort of negative sentiment about Toyota as a company, but very positive about Prius as a product, those are both important. So, you know, it depends. And I think that where you start is you try to understand both versions, and then you can start to really focus in and winnow down to the thing that’s most important to your customers.

Christopher Penn
So let’s talk about the measurement of those brands. Because they certainly if your brand is distinctive enough, you can find it in terms of what your average marketer has access to. We have things like surveys, you have branded organic search, which you can see inside your search console, you have social media mentions and things, what sort of from a brand management and measurement perspective, what stuff matters should matter to the average marketer, what are the things that they can measure that they can measure accurately, and that they have control over changing?

Katie Robbert
Well, so the you sort of have two questions. So what they can measure versus what matters are two different things. You know,

so you can measure mentions, you can measure, measure how big your audiences you can measure, you know, how impactful your content is, but it’s all going to come down to What’s your goal. And so if your goal is to be the biggest brand in the world and have the most awareness, then you probably want to be measuring things like social media, you know, how many likes engagement reach, you’re building your audience, if you actually want to measure, you know, conversions, and people actually buying the thing, then your customer journey is going to look a little bit different. So that’s really where you want to start is What’s your goal, what matters the most to you and your brand. And from there, you can start to

measure things such as, you know,

Christopher Penn
organic search, you can measure your social media, you can measure your content, your paid. What what’s your perspective on this, I’m worried about social media only because of the massive number of bots and also, social media mentions with today’s software. Still don’t do a great job with sentiment, especially with any kind of negative sentiment sarcasm or or conflict conflict. So as an example, let’s say you have two coffee companies. You could say, I bloody hate, Dunkin Donuts, coffee, it’s so weak I’d rather have Starbucks instead, if you are monitoring for the the Starbucks name, you’re going to pick up that mentioned is negative across the board, even though the person is expressing preference for Starbucks because they don’t like the fact that Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes like you know, brown water, which I personally think it does.

And so social media between bots, between sentiments to me is good for qualitative but very imprecise for quantify the impact of your brand.

Take any company that has been through a massive reputation crisis? Like Yes, you’ve got 100% awareness and, and, and, and brand brand power, but everyone hates you. So it’s it’s not as good a measure as opposed to things like NPS scores like what is your intent to recommend trusted insights to your colleagues in the next 90 days? What is your intent to buy something from Trusted Sites in the next 90 days, those are much more much stronger indicators. But for the average marketer, they’re a lot more expensive to measure. Because you have to run you have to field surveys, you have to do the surveys properly, you have to have a put together good panel. To me, I think the feels like the good middle ground for the average marketer is brand organic search. Like if no one’s ever looking. If no one ever types your name into Google for any reason. You’ve got an awareness problem. I have nobody ever types in Katy Rivera, and to Google. That to me says yeah, okay, there isn’t a brand there yet. If no one types Prius into into Google, then Toyota has a serious problem. And because you can parse the linguistics a little more easily. You can say like, you know, Prius reviews is someone who’s got some internet Prius, warranty issues or Prius, recall, is also like, Oh, that’s, that that’s not so good. And so I think I feel like a brand new search is a good, balanced mix of social media being just free for all and the super, super expensive, I’m going to commission a panel of the focus group and stuff and on the on the high end. So in terms of that balance between wild west and super expensive, how can how can marketers when they’re trying to measure their brand, do it affordably, but also accurately?

Katie Robbert
Well, so a great place to start. So you had mentioned surveys, and all marketers have access to some kind of a survey tool, whether they realize it or not. So Google consumer surveys is a great example. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a decent amount of data. And you can even keep it really, really small. In terms of the number of questions and say, you know, have you ever heard of this brand? Hey, that’s a great question to ask a bunch of consumers, you know, a representative sample, you can ask 1000 people, you know, spend a little bit of money and just find out to people even know who you are, have you ever even heard of it? You can do even like a little bit of word of mouth research, some very unstructured, and just ask people on social media, like within your personal network, or put something out on Twitter and be like, have you ever heard of this brand? You know, so there’s ways to get started? If you want to do something more structured than obviously you can design a full survey you can start to do, Chris, what you’re mentioning, or around a deeper dive into the analytics to find out, you know, are people mentioning and talking about this brand? on the internet? And what are they saying? And is it positive? Is it negative? Are they looking for branded search? But yeah, I think that there’s a really there, there are easy ways for people to get started. And, you know, it’s mentions, it’s really super sort of quick and dirty. Consumer surveys to say, do people even know who we are?

Christopher Penn
What about the the CMO problem, this is something that a lot of folks in b2b marketing tackle, which is like, I don’t care about consumers, I don’t care about the audience. I care about the fortune 500 CMOS, I need my name to be on their minds and lips all the time, how do we go about measuring that because normally, you would commissioned a market research firm to spend, you know, 80, to $100,000, for them to go and telephone, all those folks, and they can get a certain number of them. But again, your average marketer probably does not have access to that kind of budget, or cannot get approval for that kind of budget. So what are some other ways we could get at them? So you know,

Katie Robbert
Chris, that’s a great question, how can a marketer sort of get on the minds of the CMO, you know, it’s something that’s going to be really difficult to do. So you have to kind of work your way up, we recently ran into a situation, I shouldn’t say run into a positive situation where we were contacted by someone who wasn’t the CMO. But they were working on behalf of the CMO. Because typically, they’re not the person doing the research, you have somebody else who’s in more of a junior position. So making sure that you have information that is that will reach sort of every level within the organization that you’re targeting. So that you can start to build that brand awareness internally at those companies that will then filter up into the C suite. So that you know, you have your marketing analyst saying, Hey, I came across this really cool thing, I think it’s worth your time to take a look at that’s a way that marketers can really start to break into becoming aware of those companies becoming aware of them.

Christopher Penn
Yeah, the other thing I was thinking on that front is maybe if you know if you can tell based on things like what people post on Twitter, the publications that those CMOS share the most often like Forbes, and so on, and so forth. And you were to put together a comprehensive list of everything that, you know, the one or 200 CMOS that you can see publicly grab their last year’s worth of social posts, and then just do a very quick analysis like this publication like Business Insider or a strategy and business, the publications they share the most. You could as a proxy measurement, that’s okay. How much coverage? Did we get into it as a company as like, t mobile or Apple or whoever kind of of percentage of that coverage? Did you get to know that you’re getting at least in front of where the audience puts their eyeballs on a regular basis will be interesting is as podcasting continues to grow. Being able to measure mentions in key shows shows that a lot of people listen to like, you know, Bloomberg podcasts, if you make it into Tompkins shows, you’re going to be in the ears of the people that you care about, as opposed to like, random general audiences. So this, there’s potentially a bunch of different ways to chip away at this. The question is, which one’s work best for you? So one of the things that we always come back to and we probably should have started with, is is planning, when we’re talking brand strategy, what sort of the planning process that you put together, you think about for not only measuring, but then deciding what to change? Based on what you measure?

Katie Robbert
I think it goes back to the original question of, you know, what is brand strategy? So what? What does that mean to you as a company do you is is your most important thing that people say the name of your company 10 times a day? Is that that the thing that matters most to you? Or? Do you just want them to be able to find you on the internet to then purchase stuff from you? So it’s really starting there? You know, for us, yeah, it would be cool if trust insights was a household name, but we care more about making sure that we have offerings that people

find value in and that they want to purchase, and that we can be helpful. So, you know, whatever they’re called, it doesn’t matter. You know, we want to make sure that, you know, we’re meeting the needs that people have in the digital marketing space. And so it’s, that’s the first place you need to start is What do you care about the most in terms of your, you know, brand awareness, brand reputation, what you’re known for?

And then from there, you can start to whittle it down to, you know, do we care most about having, you know, an award winning blog, do we care most about, you know, having the biggest audience reach on social media, and from there, you can start to figure out, here’s what I need to measure, here are the tactics that I need to employ in order to meet those goals.

Christopher Penn
I wonder if it even makes sense then to do a customer journey audit to so this is where our brand is weakest? it? Maybe it is, you know, awareness is consideration as evaluation is a purchase. And then do you build your your brand strategy to address where its weakest? Or is it it is a two prong approach where like you going back to what you’re saying at the beginning, if it’s a house of brands versus a branded house, the branded house really much it very much is that broad awareness I want, you know, if you’re Toyota, you want to be the first car company people think of versus Tesla or Ford. But if you have problems later on in the customer journey about that consideration, and that evaluation, that’s when you move to the house of brands, okay, I’m sold on buying a Toyota because I know of the brand Now, which one do I want to buy? What kind of car am I interested in? And maybe that’s where you switch strategy set brand at the house of brands?

Katie Robbert
Right? And I think you’re absolutely right, you do need to understand what your customer journey looks like. But again, you need to also have your goals in mind of what you care about the most. And so if your, if your end goal is to sell more things, than your customer journey should look different from if your goal is to just be a household name.

Christopher Penn
I mean, ultimately, we all have to sell more.

Katie Robbert
Well, ultimately, yes. You know, but that’s not necessarily the priority for some companies, or they have sort of those competing priorities of they want to be the household name, and they want to sell more things. So you’re going to have two different strategies in that sense,

Christopher Penn
right? So to wrap up for where we are, you have the house of brands, you have the branded house, and you have to understand what your brand strategy is measuring the customer journey to figure out where your your your revenue problems are weakest, and then figuring out what kind of audiences as you want to get to and then what the tools are that you have to get at the audience in order to measure them and get guidance from them. Anything that we’re missing on our on our brand strategy, strategy.

Katie Robbert
This is the brand strategy strategy. You know, that’s a great question and I would pose it to the audience, let us know what you think we’re missing.

Christopher Penn
Alright, so please leave a comment on the blog post that goes with this interesting such as please subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter will talk to you next time. Take care.

Thanks for listening to in your insights, leave a comment on the accompanying blog post if you have follow up questions or email us at marketing at trusty insights.ai. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on your favorite podcast service like iTunes, Google podcasts stitcher or Spotify. And as always, if you need help with your data and analytics, visit trust insights AI for more


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