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Brand Check-Up

A useful way for the management team to get a quick read on how the company brand is perceived and is performing in the market place is to do an annual Brand Check Up.

At their most fundamental, brands pull customers to a business. The vast majority of people when shown the brand name ‘Clearasil’ and asked what it does and for who, will universally answer – spots for teenagers! The market clearly knows that if you have a problem with spots, then the Clearasil brand solves the problem. And that teenagers are the audience.

The brand check-up is a way of testing your spots for teenagers brand power. Here’s how it works:

  • Select about 10 to 20 people at random for an informal one-to-one conversation. Some are from the company—include at least two people from sales/marketing and service. And others are customers, non-customers (but users in the category) and different user types.
  • Each person is asked a series of questions – about the company brand and then about other competitor company brands in the market.


The first question posed is, “In three words or less, what does (your) Company stand for?” If they have a problem answering the question or need a little prompting, make a note of it. If they are able to answer the first question, with or without prompting, follow-up with the following question: “What things does (your) Company offer or do, day in and day out, that supports that brand promise?”

  • Explore this further, with the following questions:
  • What products and services do they chiefly provide?
  • Who do they provide those products to?
  • What sort of people work for them?

What s appealing about Company X?

  • Do you like their ads, the information they give?
  • Is there anything missing in their products?
  • Is there anything missing in the way they do their business?

From their answers, a pattern should emerge. Here’s what to look for:

  • Can everyone define what the brand stands for?
  • Is there consistency in what everyone says the brand stands for?
  • Is there consistency between what insiders and outsiders are saying?
  • Are the words people use to describe what the brand stands for likely to inspire advocacy?
  • Are the words people use to describe what the brand stands for differentiating and relevant ( the two key attributes for brand strength)?
  • Do the things that they say support your brand promise really support it?
  • If you end up answering “yes” to all of these questions, then the Company brand communications program is likely doing its job. On the other hand, answering “no” to any of these, may require further more comprehensive diagnosis

In the same interviews probe their awareness and perception of any competitor brands in the market place that your company operates in currently (or at a future point).

  • Who are the leading provider brands?
  • What do they stand for?
  • What products / services do they provide?
  • Who do they provide those products to?
  • What sort of people work for them?


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