Yahoo was sold to Verizon this year for $4.48 billion. It was tragic.
Yahoo founders Jerry Yang and David Filo created the company 1994 with a vision of a “globally branded internet navigational service to information and entertainment on the web.” However, this vision was fundamentally flawed. Through time, Yahoo has undergone 24 revisions of its vision, further confusing the market. Bringing in Marissa Meyer have done nothing to improve its brand perception. During her leadership, Meyer positioned Yahoo to be an “indispensable guide for digital transformation, yours and the world.” It was a lack-luster vision compared to Google’s aspiration of self-driving cars, drone deliveries, and glucose-sensing contact lenses.
What is Yahoo’s greatest mistake? They disregarded brand perception.
What is brand perception?
Brand perception also known as brand image plays a central part in a company’s profitability. It refers to the collective consumer perception of what a company’s product or services represents. Contrary to firm’s understanding of what their brand stands for, brand perception is owned by consumers. With the democratization of brand perception through social media and personal blogs, customer opinions have become more influential in shaping brand view.
How can you measure brand perception?
Brand perception helps to identify the position of a product or service and consequently a company’s advertising and marketing effectiveness. There’s a wide range of techniques that measure the link between brand name and specific concepts and they fall into two main categories: scaling and sorting. Scaling techniques allow us to determine if there is an association between a brand and an attribute, together with the strength of that relationship. On the other hand, sorting techniques allow firms just to know if there is an association.
Customer survey is a scaling technique that can help strengthen business branding. It is one of the most effective branding tools that allow firms to efficiently measure brand perception and its link to an overall business branding strategy. There are a couple of approaches that will enable you to capture customer feedback efficiently. Let’s explore them.
- Customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey allow firms to measure customer sentiments after a specific experience. CSAT could be done after a store visit, conversation with customer support or purchase. CSAT can be done online through free tools such as Survey Monkey or classic pen and paper after a physical transaction. It is also a good idea to incentivize customers when they participate in the survey to attract more respondents.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) looks into how likely a customer will recommend a brand. Focusing on customer loyalty, this type of survey is conducted at particular stages of the customer lifecycle. An NPS survey can be given to customers who have been using a product or service for a specified period. NPS is also a useful tool to identify brand advocates or detractors.
- Product Surveys is another branding tool that measures product satisfaction and stickiness. Product Surveys is an excellent way to gather unique and creative customer ideas that could be a valuable input in a company’s brand positioning strategy. Product Surveys are also ideally given to customers who have been using the brand for quite some time.
Social Media Listening
Leveraging Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools are not just about routinely publishing contents and tracking customer impressions and shares. As an excellent scaling technique, its true value comes from learning how customers search for your brand using specific keywords, hashtags, and mentions, so that you can align your business branding with them.
To efficiently do this, use social media listening tools. These branding tools allow companies to oversee its brand and social media presence across various channels. There is a wide range of branding tools starting from small to midsized business (SMBs) up to enterprises that offer a free trial and a suite of features. Social media listening tools provide alerts and notifications, Boolean search, community and follower demographics, influencer score and a lot more. You use these branding tools to fine-tune your social media target, know which are your brand influencers and who among your customers has a potential to be brand ambassadors.
Analyzing website traffic using free tools such as Google Analytics will allow companies to measure its brand perception through looking into how many customers typed your URL into their address bar, booked your site, clicked an email or downloaded a document. As an excellent sorting technique, it allows firms to see if there is an association between the business branding strategy and brand perception.
Also, if you are already using Google AdSense to run your digital campaigns, it is useful to analyze the traffic provided by your pay-per-click campaigns and organic search results. Assuming that your business branding goals are set-up, Google Analytics is an excellent way to see the conversion performance and onsite engagement of each customer search.
Brand perception plays a central part in a company’s profitability. If firms fail to measure how their consumers perceive and interact with their brand, they lose the opportunity to validate if the vision that they have not only for their product or service but also for their company as a whole, is still relevant. Branding tools and techniques are useful marketing and advertising weapons. However, companies must have the courage to pivot when necessary and get out of their comfort zones to live the vision that their market is genuinely asking for.