The road to growth isn’t linear in Marketing, with brands facing many ups and downs along the way. It’s just how we learn in marketing - by trying, testing, and then iterating based on these results.
It’s inevitable that as you make changes to your brand, your scores on ProQuo will also change, going up or down depending on the action you take or the context surrounding your brand.
Scores going down isn’t necessarily a recipe for disaster and it can actually mean there’s an opportunity to learn new things about your brand, its competitors or its category.
Say your brand had recently undergone a packaging revamp. This might cause your Consistency Driver to decline as your brand is departing from what it has previously done but you could also see Drivers like Empathy and Innovation increase as people positively respond to your new brand identity.
It’s only natural that some of your scores will decline over time. So, here’s 3 steps to take to navigate these changes.
Step 1: Creating a strategy for success
This strategy will help you to set expectations for your brand, enabling you to know which Driver changes are meaningful and which aren’t worth paying attention to.
In this strategy, you should decide which Driver scores you want to maintain, which you want to increase and which you expect to decline.
Identifying these early on will help you to stay on track, so when any changes happen within your Driver portfolio, you’ll be able to understand what these changes actually mean for your brand.
We recommend picking 4-6 Drivers to focus on. These should be closely aligned to your goals. So, if your strategy was to boost distribution, for example, Accessibility and Familiarity would be two good Drivers to focus on.
An option is also to choose Drivers that are linked to your brand’s existing proposition. If your brand was focused on sustainability, for example, then Integrity and Transparency could be good Drivers to use.
Step 2: Diagnosing your performance
Check if the changes you’re seeing on the platform are being felt across the category to determine whether your scores are relative to the category.
Are you outperforming the category norm? Is the market experiencing a general decline?
One way of checking this is by comparing your brand performance to the expectations of your category and the movements of your competitors.
To dig into these results, consider:
How the time of year may be impacting these scores – Have you just finished a peak selling period for your brand? For example, post-Christmas you may find people are engaging less with your category after indulging during the festive period. Or if you are a summer brand, like ice cream, you can expect to see a rise when the weather gets warmer.
How is the news affecting your category – Are there any macro trends that could be creating ripple effects throughout your category? For example, the rising cost of living can cause consumers to reconsider how they feel about brands with more premium positionings.
If your performance is relative – Look at category expectations or a key competitor to benchmark how you’re performing. If your scores have gone down, but your position relative to a competitor has actually improved, this tells you that your brand is performing relatively well in the category context. Here, consider reporting performance to your teams using the category expectations as a benchmark.
Are your scores different to the category?
If your brand scores are dropping, but your category and competition aren’t, it might be due to:
Reputational issues – Have you had any product recalls, negative PR or is your brand not doing enough to stand up for current social causes?
Your brand’s marketing – Is it not resonating with your audience in the way you had hoped?
Changes in media spend – Did you recently turn off your media spend? Have you shifted your channel strategy, investing more money into new areas?
If you’ve reduced media spend recently, you can use declining scores to demonstrate to senior stakeholders what the ROI of your media spend was to justify their investment in marketing.
Could awareness be affecting your brand scores?
As your brand awareness grows, it’s only natural that your brand metrics might experience a dip. This happens whenever a brand expands rapidly, as when you bring in lots of new people at once, you can end up drawing in people that may not feel as strongly about you as your existing audience do – potentially because they are less familiar with your brand.
Here, you should focus on:
Deepening this relationship – Using retargeting and customer-centric campaigns to educate people who are newly aware of your brand. By exposing this group to relevant brand messages over time, this will help to strengthen their relationship with you.
If you find it’s not external events, internal brand actions or awareness that’s impacting your brand’s ProQuo scores, you may want to dig deeper.
On ProQuo, you can use these features to gain a better understanding of your scores:
To identify who is driving the negative perception of your brand, look into individual audience segments – from gender to age and usership.
Say you’ve launched a campaign but the scores for women are a lot higher than men. It might be that the language or imagery is alienating this specific segment. How can you then pivot your next campaign to be more inclusive?
It might be that you see multiple Drivers declining. If this is the case, the best strategy is to identify the leading declining Driver. This is the Driver that is experiencing the biggest score drop. It’s likely this Driver could be having an impact on others, and you can use this to unpick these score changes to give you more of a story.
So, if your strategy was to boost distribution, for example, Accessibility and Familiarity would be two good Drivers to focus on. Using ProQuo’s Action-Plans, you can set your goal (in this case growing distribution) and the platform will surface the 4 most impactful Drivers to focus on in order to get to this goal.
Custom questions can be added to any subscription - giving brands the chance to interact directly with consumers on a topic of their choosing.
In the case of scores dropping, custom questions are a recommended action to take. This is because, you can use this opportunity to confirm your existing hypotheses around score reductions, getting closer into the ‘why’ behind these changes.
To understand what is causing your scores to drop – be it your media spend, creative assets or channel strategy - you can use creative testing.
This will help you to isolate the issue, so you can know whether it’s the ad that’s causing your brand scores to drop or just that you’re not placing it in the right locations to achieve enough coverage.
Setting yourself up for success in the future
To recap, next time your scores drop you’ll need to:
Revert back to your original strategy to judge the impact of these score changes
Diagnose what’s causing this problem – be it category changes, the result of increased awareness or brand-specific activities
Dig a little deeper using existing brand data and other ProQuo platform features
To understand more about these features or to talk about your own ProQuo Scores, contact your CS rep today.