July 24, 2019
This is the second of a three-part series of blogs about evaluating brand effectiveness. In my previous blog about brand effectiveness, I discussed the broad dimensions of brand evaluation: awareness and perceptions and commerce.
Now it’s time to discuss three different approaches used to evaluate brand effectiveness. 1. Repeat Baseline Research The first approach to brand evaluation involves repeating the audience research that should have been done as part of your brand development process. This research established a baseline that shows current awareness and perceptions among key audiences. Your brand and brand campaign are designed to move your audiences from that current state, to a desired state. This type of brand evaluation will not only tell you whether your brand has traction in the minds (and hearts) of your audience, but it will also give your insight into their media habits and channel preferences which will help you further refine your message strategy. If you never repeat a baseline study, you will never know if your brand is effective and you may never be able to properly communicate to students. 2. Measure Brand Utility As I noted in the previous blog, your brand should positively impact the flow of resources to your institution. The key is to establish a baseline (there’s that word again) for each of the discrete measures below and others that are pertinent to your business goals.
[In case you missed part 1 in this series: Broad Dimensions of Brand Evaluation in Higher Ed]
An increasing number of schools opt to create a visual dashboard to enhance their understanding of these data. Many of these dashboard key performance indicators (KPIs) should be expressed as specific brand goals in your larger brand plan. From a recruiting/retention perspective, a strong brand should help:
From an advancement perspective, a strong brand should help:
From an institutional perspective, a strong brand should help:
One important reminder: While showing progress on one or more of these measures is an indicator that your brand is working, it is very difficult to isolate the impact that other processes, procedures, and events might have on these measures so proving direct causality is difficult.
3. Tuition Pricing Elasticity and Brand Value Study™ The third measure of brand effectiveness involves undertaking a Tuition Pricing Elasticity and Brand Value Study™ to determine how much your brand influences a student’s desire to attend and pay for an education at your institution. In many respects, a tuition pricing study melds both awareness research and an evaluation of your brand’s utility. This means that a pricing study will show you:
When you consider what type of brand evaluation to pursue, it’s important to take a step back and ask a few questions:
Those questions will help you identify timeliness and need for a brand evaluation. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick for more information.