At least once a year, you owe it to your brand to be doing an overall deep-dive business review. The consumer behavior is constantly evolving and maneuvering in the marketplace, influenced by market trends, economic conditions, need states, and other brand choices within the category. I will show you how to use consumer tracking data, the brand funnel analysis and how it matches up to the brand love curve.
How to use consumer tracking data
Tracking or household panel data helps you understand what’s going on in the marketplace and will match up to what’s happening at the store level. As discussed in the strategy section, you are either trying to get more people to use your brand (drive penetration) or try to change the way they use your brand (drive purchase frequency). This tool uncovers the data; then you need to put a story to that data.
A: Penetration is the percentage of households who purchased your brand product at least once during a measured period.
B: Buying rate or sales per buyer is the total amount of product purchased by the average buying household over an entire analysis period, expressed in dollars, units, or equivalent volume.
C: Purchase frequency or trips per buyer is the number of times the average buying household purchases your product over a time period (usually one year).
D: Purchase size or sales per trip is the average amount of product purchased on a single shopping trip by your average buyer. It can be calculated in dollars, units, or equivalent volume.
How to analyze your brand using brand funnels
Every brand should understand the details of their brand funnel, the best tool for measuring your brand’s underlying health. It is the equivalent to knowing your personal blood pressure or cholesterol scores. A classic brand funnel should measure awareness, familiarity, consideration, purchase, repeat, and loyalty. At the very least, you should measure awareness, purchase, and repeat. It is not just about understanding the absolute scores on the funnel but rather the ratios that explain how good of a job you are doing in moving consumers from one stage of the funnel to the next.
I will show you how the robustness of your brand’s funnel explains where your brand sits on the brand love curve. The broader the funnel, the better connected your brand is with consumers.
Absolute brand funnel scores
A: Starting with the chart above on the left, the first thing to do is look at the absolute brand funnel scores. There are many types of comparisons you can do, whether you compare to last year, competitors, or category norms.
B: Then look at the brand funnel ratios, which is the percentage score for how well your brand can convert consumers from one stage of the funnel to the next. To create ratios, divide the absolute score by the score above it on the funnel. In the example above, take the familiar score of 87% and divide it by the awareness score of 93% to determine a conversion ratio of 91%. This means 91% of aware consumers are familiar
Brand funnel ratios
C: For the chart on the right, lay out the absolute scores and the ratios in a horizontal way to allow a comparison. You will notice these are the same scores as “A” and “B” in the previous chart. The crucial numbers for Gray’s Cookies are the ratios of 91%, 94%, 77%, 25%, and 12% at the top of the chart. Then bring in a close competitor (Devon’s) with their absolute and ratios scores to allow a direct comparison.
D: Then find the ratio gaps by subtracting the competitor’s ratio scores from your brand’s ratio scores. In the example, the first ratio gap is -7% ratio gap (91% – 98%) which means Devon’s does a 7% better job in converting consumers from awareness to familiar than Gray’s Cookies.
E: As you create ratio gaps along the bottom, you can see where your ratio is either stronger or weaker than the comparison brand. Finally, start analyzing the significant gaps between the two brands and tell a strategic story to explain each gap. Looking at the example, you can see Gray’s and Devon’s have similar scores at the top part of the funnel, but Gray’s starts to show real weakness (-23% and -51% gap) as it moves to repeat and loyalty. You need to address and fix these gaps with your brand plan.
Matching consumer analysis to the brand love curve
You can begin using your consumer tracking, brand funnel, market share, and the voice of the consumer to help explain where your brand sits on the brand love curve.
Indifferent brands have skinny funnels, starting with very poor awareness scores. Consumers have little to no opinion. Concerning performance, you will see low sales and poor margins. Your brand plan for indifferent brands should increase awareness and consideration to kickstart the funnel.
The like it brands have funnels that are solid at the top but quickly narrow at the purchase stage. Consumers see these brands as ordinary and purchase only on a deal. When they are not advertised or on sale, sales fall off dramatically. These brands need to close potential leaks to build a loyal following behind happy experiences.
The love it brands have a reasonably robust funnel but may have a smaller leak at loyal. They have stronger growth and margins. Look for ways to feed the love and turn repeat purchases into a ritual or routine.
The beloved brands have the most robust brand funnels and positive consumer views. These brands should continuously track their funnel and attack any weaknesses before competitors exploit them. Also, it is time to leverage that brand love to influence others.
To kick-start your review of the consumers, here are 10 probing questions:
- Who are your possible target consumer segments? Are they growing? How do you measure them?
- Who are the consumers most motivated by what you have to offer?
- Who is your current target? How have you determined demographics, behavioral or psychographic, geographic, and usage occasion? Generational trends?
- How is your brand performing against KEY segments? Share, sales, panel or funnel data, tracking scores? What about by channel or geography?
- What drives consumer choice? And, what are the primary need states? How do these consumer needs line up to your brand assets? Where can you win with consumers?
- Map out the path to purchase and use brand funnels to assess your brand’s performance in moving through each stage. Are consumers changing at stages? Are you failing at stages?
- What are the emerging consumer trends? How does your brand match up to potentially exploit them? Where would your competitors win?
- What are the consumer’s ideal brand experiences and unmet needs we can address?
- What are the consumer’s emotional and functional need states? How does the brand perform against them? How are you doing in tracking studies to meet these benefits?
- What is the consumer’s perceptions of your brand and your competitors? Voice of the consumer.
This consumer deep-dive is part of a larger overall deep-dive business review. To read more, click on the link below:
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At Beloved Brands, our purpose is to help brands find a new pathway to growth. We believe that the more love your brand can generate with your most cherished consumers, the more power, growth, and profitability you will realize in the future.
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