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Analysing the strength of your brand

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Measuring levels of awareness and gauging people's perceptions of your brand.

How do you know you have a strong brand?

Sensitive staff and trustees who know who their key customer groups are and what they think will have a good sense of the strength of the brand. There are also more scientific ways of measuring brand strength.

Measuring awareness

An example of unprompted awareness is where a large number of people (around 1,000-2,000) are asked to name the charities they have heard of, without the interviewer providing any names or hints. This is usually done through a regular omnibus survey such as NOP. In such surveys the top scorers tend to be Cancer Research UK (scoring at the high end of 30-40 per cent) and Oxfam, NSPCC and RSPCA in the 20 –30 per cent range.

Prompted awareness would involve the interviewee being asked whether they have heard of specific charities, for example, “Have you heard of Oxfam”. Scores over 90 per cent are usual here. In a sense the absolute scores are less important than the trends: is your charity going up or down over time? Less well known charities and local charities will only register on prompted awareness but the trends are still significant.

Measuring perceptions

Measuring prompted and unprompted awareness doesn’t tell you what people think about your brand, so asking a smaller number of people (because of cost) how they regard you can be very valuable.

A good way can be to give the interviewee a list of descriptors of the charity (tailored to your organisation and market) for them to agree or disagree with, for example:

  • modern/old fashioned
  • trustworthy/very trustworthy
  • helps partially hearing people or only deaf people.

In this way the charity can build up a picture of how it is regarded and its strengths and weaknesses as perceived by different customer groups, for example, beneficiaries, supporters, close stakeholders and regulators.

The research must be done by people independent of the charity and interviewees must be given genuine assurances that their views will remain confidential and unattributable.

Getting a picture of the charity’s strengths and weaknesses through its customers’ eyes will give you an agenda for change. Once you have changed, the research will indicate to whom you need to tell what and provide the basis of planning how to communicate to people and which channels to use.

Page last edited Jul 25, 2017

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