Editor’s note: Mark Bagnall is the head of quantitative services at Brandspeak. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared under the title “How Do You Measure Brand Performance? Five Key Steps.”

Why do you need to measure brand performance? Surely, sales figures will tell you all you need to know. If your products and services are selling then your brand is doing its job, right? Unfortunately, nowadays it is not quite as simple as that. Your products could be selling despite your brand (in which case, just imagine how much better you could be doing). 

We’ve come a long way from the days when a brand was just an ownership mark stamped onto the side of a cow. Branding has developed in sophistication and nuance. Brands now do much more than just identify who owns a product (or living creature); a brand is a conversation between the organization and the customer across every touchpoint including advertising, packaging, social media, employees, customer service and channel partners. One cannot underestimate the importance of seemingly small elements such as color, logos or tone of voice, all of which need to be consistent with your brand character and brand essence.

Marketers create and manipulate brands to convey brand personality and brand purpose, and consumers project emotions and relationships onto brands. Good branding can produce brand growth and a bad rebrand can damage sales and market share. 

An article by The Branding Journal shows how changing one small aspect of a brand – in this case, the packaging – can have a devastating effect.

Image from The Branding Journal.

This classic example of a branding failure comes from 2009, when Tropicana invested in new packaging and advertising. The main packaging change was from showing the outside of the orange to showing the inside – the juice. A small change, you might think, and for the better in that it s...