We’ve previously stressed the importance of brand awareness in understanding a brand’s health. Brands, however, must also progress from brand awareness into a deeper understanding of attitude and usage as well, before they can build a compelling brand strategy.
Although these last two factors of brand health are independent of one another, they are equally important. While awareness creates a brand attitude, usage results from brand awareness and the right attitude.
Lastly, brands that can formulate a holistic understanding of their brand in relation to each metric is also more likely to succeed in generating a strategy with the greatest potential impact on their consumers.
What is Attitude?
Attitude truly builds upon the foundation built by brand awareness-as well as brand perception. Just recall your understanding of brand perception, and you won’t land too far away from the definition surrounding brand attitude.
Perceptions are simpler in that they are a reaction to a sensory impulse from an interaction with a brand. Attitudes, on the other hand, can affect consumer behaviors without any interaction with a brand or before one. But once perceptions are formed around an experience, attitudes are more likely to result. In other words, perceptions can dictate attitudes.
Nonetheless, it’s important to clarify that a brand’s perceptions don’t only influence attitudes towards the brand it interacts with. Attitudes can affect many different motivations, like a bad experience eating at a specific fast food restaurant, can leave a consumer to change their attitude toward every similar fast food option.
Attitudes can then be credited to any brand, product, or experience and are a very important aspect for brands to measure at a broader scale and as often as possible.
Understanding the components of a brand attitude is the first step to not only learning how to measure it appropriately, but also helps to understand how to change it. The three components of brand attitude include:
- Belief: cognitive information that creates a state of mind specific to a particular object such as a brand, product, or experience
- Emotion: affective information or emotions related to the object in question-can be a feeling as a result of a belief as well as an independent emotion
- Behavior: Resulting action due to a belief and emotion
An example of these components in action, specific to brand attitude, could start with a consumer who believes a fitness app will help them lose weight. The thought of losing weight makes them feel excited. Put it all together, they believe a fitness app will help them lose weight, they get excited about that possibility and they download an app.
You can see from that example, that a brand who incited that initial belief may have the better chance of getting the consumer to download their app. So how and if a brand gets a consumer to believe something, is the key to changing attitudes. If beliefs change, a consumer’s intentions and emotions are more easily swayed.
Thankfully, attitudes can be impacted by strategies that create social influences. Wendy’s fast food understood this and has recently begun adopting a more active stance in their social media to sway brand attitudes towards their brand and competitors. By making fun of McDonald’s or others, they are able to impact brand attitudes that may lead to more usage or adoption of their products.
Understanding brand attitude regularly helps further our understanding of consumers and their behavior. Measuring attitude is most commonly done through market research that can utilize Likert scales or qualitative feedback that gauge agreement and sentiments towards certain topics. These insights can then translate into attitude understanding.
Brand tracking studies are the easiest format for evaluating customer attitudes on an ongoing basis. Doing so helps with a consistent understanding of a brand’s strengths and weaknesses and the external factors that may be impacting them. In a sense, brand tracking studies help discern which “levers” to pull in order to shift consumer attitudes towards your brand’s needs.
What is Usage?
Usage, while just as important as brand attitudes and awareness, is a smaller aspect of brand health. Leveraging usage as a metric grants brand managers the ability to translate success in the metrics of brand awareness and attitudes into actual sales.
Measuring usage can also easily be done through tracking studies or custom research, and can incorporate a variety of topics related to usage:
- Purchase frequency: last purchased, most often purchased, frequency of purchases, etc.
- Actual usage: frequency of usage, number of users, etc.
- Timing of usage: when purchased, time of use, etc.
- Audience: who the users are, what else they’re using, etc.
Since all of the factors above require consumers to recall their own usage, it can sometimes be difficult to accurately measure, but persistently measuring usage can help offset the concerns of self-reported feedback and keep the information top-of-mind.
Further, frequently assessing brand usage is important to learn more about brand loyalty-those users who have a high propensity to buy a brand’s product again. Determining how usage leads (or doesn’t lead) to brand loyalty can then guide strategies to increase market share.
For example, if brand awareness is high and brand attitudes are positive, but usage isn’t on par with them, a brand can determine where else their problems may reside. In some cases, there could be a disconnect between the product and brand fit.
Understanding Usage-and all Elements of Brand Health
Consequently, understanding awareness, attitudes, and usage together can help to improve market projections, analysis, and consumer understanding-and even help identify new opportunities.
Not measuring all elements of brand health together could mean missing out on:
- How consumers learn and hear about your brand, so you can allocate resources and plan campaigns strategically
- What consumers feel and think about your brand and products and how that influences their customer journey
- What factors into the usage of a product and how that insight can be leveraged to increase more users and improve products
Fundamentally, regularly measuring awareness, attitudes, and usage helps to understand when you need to focus on promotional efforts, customer experience, or product improvements. Reach out to us to learn more about our tracking offerings and learn how they also incorporate insights into the usage of competitor or secondary products to help you optimize your strategy relative to the entire marketplace.
Related Blog Posts
What is Brand Perception and Why Does It Matter?
Important Measures of Brand Health: Awareness
How To Gain Stronger Product Awareness