oculus360 - May 8, 2018

Tracking Brand Health and Sentiment with AI

Pause your busy day for a moment and think about the different brands that have played an important role in your life. While each of those brands most likely had a meticulously designed logo and accompanying tagline that exuded a specific image and tone, the way every one of those brands impacted you was much more than the sum of their parts.

In other words, your favorite toy store as a kid had a brand identity that was more about the exuberance of childhood and the overwhelming joy of walking the endless aisles of countless toys rather than a colorful logo and image of a giraffe.

To that point, as David Ogilvy – commonly known as the father of advertising – put it, the brand is "the intangible sum of a product’s attributes." A brand's logo and catchy tagline, although important, are ultimately the inviting entryway that leads to the rest of the home. A brand is about an overall feeling, a narrative that tells a story, conveys an emotion, and connects with an audience at a far deeper level than a well-crafted but simple logo can ever accomplish on its own.


Taking Control of Brand Perception


Branding is a two-way street. While brands can wield control of how they communicate and represent themselves to their audience, it is ultimately how that audience perceives the brand that separates the haves from the have-nots in modern commerce.

Of course, such a notion creates a significant hurdle for brands that want to maintain consistent and effective communication with their consumer base. With ever-evolving affinities and segmentation, keeping pace with such a dynamic, shape-shifting audience can make remaining relevant to the customer's fickle eye an overwhelming burden.

Brand health tracking involves the process of monitoring, measuring, and even altering consumer perceptions. As straightforward as the term might sound, the reality is anything but straightforward. Managing a set of concepts and ideas that are inherently intangible presents both organizations and their marketers a tremendous challenge. Thankfully, although difficult, gauging audience perception is in no way impossible.

Download Case Study: AI-driven Merchandising Optimization for Top 100 Retailer 

The Technology-Based Cavalry


Technology, in its varied forms, can help a company better understand their brand health and inform their brand health tracking process. In this sense, they can measure how well their marketing efforts are being received and if those efforts are received by the audience as the company intended.

Although obtaining a precise, exact measurement of a "brand" might be impossible due to the previously discussed ambiguous, almost indefinable quality that establishes much of brand identity, new technologies provide companies the ability to continually measure consumer perceptions of their brand.

While brands were once relegated to traditional tools like surveys to understand brand health, the sheer vastness of the modern digital environment – now including countless channels, websites, social media, massive e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon, blogs, and more – renders surveys alone wildly insufficient to properly gauge such a dynamic marketplace.

In fact, with such surveys representing a single snapshot in time from a small segment of consumers – usually providing biased feedback in the first place – the many outlets for social influence, particularly in the form of consumer online reviews, are a much more reliable, constant source of unaided feedback for companies to gauge brand perception.

This opportunity represented by the wealth of online consumer-generated feedback poses a problem to brands, simply based on its scope. To help transform this issue from problematic to an absolute strength, brands can leverage the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence to efficiently sift through and analyze the seemingly endless amount of consumer-generated data in a timely and effective manner.

Now, with the help of solutions like O360, brands can use AI to monitor their brand health in real time, constantly staying in tune with ever-changing consumer perceptions. Without sacrificing significant time or resources, companies can track their own brand health as well as their competitors' to monitor their brand perception relative to other companies within the space.


O360 and Your Brand Health


Rather than trying to quantify the unquantifiable, O360 concentrates on measuring both consumer sentiment – how positive or negative the consumer's perceptions are about your brand – as well as overall engagement with your brand.


As demonstrated in the chart above, brand health is gauged according to sentiment and engagement. Obviously, when both sentiment and engagement levels are high, marketing and product strategies have been effective in fostering a robust brand health.

Conversely, when engagement is high but sentiment is low, there is opportunity to improve either the product, the marketing behind the product, or both. Likewise, high sentiment but low engagement is indicative of a sound product that consumers enjoy but lacks a sufficient marketing strategy to drive significant awareness and engagement with the brand through online channels.

No matter what needs to be improved or changed, brands can establish category domains with O360 to constantly track how particular actions are affecting overall brand health. Consequently, a brand can then analyze how the overall market responds to such actions, including consumer responses to specific product attributes or occasions of product use. Using O360’s Consumer Emotion Score, brands can even better understand the target audience’s emotional response to the brand itself as well as its various attributes. Once again, AI serves as the technological foundation to these new, powerful, and prescient capabilities.

With O360, gone are the days of relying solely on the time consuming and expensive process of aggregating consumer surveys that lack the spontaneity and comprehensiveness of this new, AI-based approach. Our innovative solutions use AI to constantly measure the dynamic, ever-changing consumer sentiment and engagement with your brand to provide the most accurate and immediate measurement of brand health.

When coupled with an agile message that can pivot as needed, O360 can provide a much-needed sense of direction so brands can continually adapt their messaging to maximize consumer sentiment and engagement on an ongoing basis.


Real World Guidance


To put the power of O360’s platform into context, a leading vitamin company recently relied on our guidance to perform a brand health analysis. By partnering with O360, the company was able to extract consumer insights from conversations across numerous online retail channels. Along the way, the company discovered the terms "fruits" and "vegetables" had high sentiment amongst their target consumers in their discussions about vitamins.

Although their products certainly possessed these particular attributes, the company had not been highlighting those aspects in their marketing or merchandising.The brand health analysis had identified a shortcoming within the product marketing which presented an opportunity to elevate those product attributes within their messaging. Subsequently, O360 was able to measure the positive impact on brand health resulting from these actions through increased online conversations, engagement, and sentiment levels relative to the competition. Without the insights provided by O360, the company would not have placed the proper amount of focus on those specific attributes to maximize engagement and, ultimately, conversions.

READ NEXT: Using AI to Analyze Your Brand's Category

Agility is an absolute necessity for brands to navigate and connect through a crowded, dynamic marketplace that changes on a whim. O360’s platform is uniquely capable of helping companies measure the impact their messaging, product changes, and overall marketing campaign have on both brand identity and health. With the insights gathered through O360’s guidance, companies can fully utilize the important feedback provided by consumer sentiment and engagement data to better steer through a complicated, evolving marketplace.


Written by oculus360