Rebranding by the numbers: metrics to measure your ROI

Rebranding by the numbers: metrics to measure your ROI

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Friday, September 3, 2021 | Nicole Kemp, Leigh Furlong

If you’re managing a rebrand, there are two common questions you need to be prepared to answer. How much will this cost? And what return can we expect from this investment?

The first question is challenging enough to respond to — especially since it is likely more than you think or have budgeted for. But with some careful budgeting and a thorough inventory of all the branded assets that need to be converted, you can provide an accurate estimate of the investment your rebrand will require. 

The second question could take years to fully answer. You’ve more than likely looked at your leading indicators, like brand awareness, understanding, and affinity, to help you make the case for why a rebrand is vitally important. Those drive your rebranding strategy and are the basis for the goals you’ve set for your new brand. But lagging indicators, such as audience engagement and sales, that show progress toward those goals take much longer to assess. In order to evaluate those lagging indicators over time, it’s crucial to establish a baseline now that will become your benchmark for future comparison. 

Baselining and ongoing analysis of both indicators is the best way to measure your ROI holistically and accurately—and develop the data-driven insights to continually manage and evolve your brand. Here are key metrics to look at before, during, and after your rebrand in order to accurately measure success.

Track metrics in 4 key areas to shed light on your rebrand’s impact

You know where you want your revised brand strategy to take your organization. But to prove your rebrand achieves your desired outcomes, you need to know where you stand now to have something to measure against. You’ll need to establish your baseline and then faithfully track your progress six months, one year, two years, and even five years down the road.

You'll need to establish your baseline and then faithfully track your progress six months, one year, two years, and even five years down the road

Collecting this data helps you even if it ends up showing you’re not achieving your desired results. Why? It gives you the information you need to course correct, get back on track, and ultimately achieve a successful outcome. 

It’s important to understand that there can also be outside factors that influence the metrics listed below. Be careful not to attribute every change — positive or negative — to your rebrand if there are other factors that impact your results. After all, correlation doesn’t equal causation. But in general, tracking these four metrics can help you measure your rebrand’s impact — and troubleshoot problems if necessary.

1. Brand value

Your brand isn’t just an idea or a construct. It’s an asset that has tangible, calculable value. That’s why more companies are engaging with brand valuation experts to help them quantify exactly how much their brand is worth. This is especially important to do for companies considering a rebrand due to an M&A. It’s helpful to know how much equity each brand brings to the deal. 

When rebranding, it’s illuminative for any company to know exactly how much their legacy brand is worth and then assess the value of the brand over time.

2. Brand impact

Brand impact can include a number of metrics such as brand awareness, understanding, affinity, and preference. To measure how your rebrand affects all elements of brand impact, you’ll need to conduct market research before your rebrand, during your rebrand, and on a regular basis after your rebrand. Many companies track things like:

  • Does your brand come to mind when you ask your audience unaided questions about your industry? Are you top of mind for them; are you in their consideration set?
  • How does your audience compare your brand to your primary competitors? 
  • Are prospective customers familiar with your services or products?
  • Are your customers loyal? How likely are they to choose your brand over another?
  • How likely is it that your customers would recommend you to others?
  • What is your target audience saying about the new brand? Social listening sentiment and conversation amongst followers are key indicators.

Conducting market research regularly will not only allow you to gauge whether your brand’s impact changes positively or negatively, but gives you great insights into your target audience’s preferences and behaviors. 

3. Sales performance

As a marketer, you are always tracking leads, conversions, and sales revenue. And while it’s not always easy to correlate changes to these metrics to one thing or input, they are directionally important numbers to watch during a rebrand. Give the brand change time to settle with the market before putting too much weight or value in any dips or increases to these metrics. You want to ensure clear communications and messaging has been delivered around any brand changes, and give time for your audiences to see the changes and hear what you have to say. Even then, the metrics should be monitored over the long-term and alongside other important inputs or influences (e.g., campaigns, events) to have a more holistic view of how the brand impact is trending.

4. Digital metrics

There are myriad of metrics that can help you track your brand’s impact in the digital space, which you are already likely tracking. These metrics don’t always give you the full story, but again, are directionally important to understand any changes in your audience’s online behaviors. Keep a close eye on:

  • Website traffic (number of visits, time spent on site)
  • Google ranking 
  • Number of website form submissions
  • Number of downloads (e.g., gated assets)
  • Paid media clicks and conversions
  • Number of social followers, likes, comments, and mentions

Anticipate that some of these metrics will naturally drop temporarily after you rebrand. After all, it takes time for your new brand to gain traction. However, if you see an unexpected dip — for example, your Google ranking drops you from page 1 to page 3 — that could be an indicator that something is wrong. Use the insight you glean from these digital metrics to ensure your rebrand is on the right path.

Quantitative metrics illuminate the qualitative value of your rebrand

You know why your company needs to rebrand — and you’re confident in the benefit a new brand will bring to the bottom line. By establishing quantifiable metrics in a variety of areas, you’ll demonstrate the quantitative benefit and track whether your rebrand delivers the ROI you’re expecting.

It all comes down to what you’re trying to achieve. Whether you’re repositioning your brand in the market, launching new products and services, entering into a merger or acquisition, or evolving your brand to meet new consumer norms and expectations, tracking salient metrics will show how well you’re reaching your goals.

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