How to Measure Your Brand’s Credibility, Visibility, and Distinctiveness

Visibility, credibility, and distinctiveness are three crucial dimensions of modern brand positioning. So how is your brand performing in these three dimensions? You can find out by doing some simple surveys of your own. Billion dollar marketers use expensive and complex research methods, but all marketers can and should reduce their goals and strategies to measurements — hopefully simple, inexpensive ones!

You can ask an informal gathering of prospective customers (a panel or focus group if you want to get fancy about it, but a come-for-pizza chat group is fine, too), to discuss how credible, visible, and distinctive you, your company, your brand, or a specific product is. This qualitative research will give you words, feelings, images, and a better intuitive sense of how you stand on these dimensions in comparison to competitors. Ask questions such as the following:

  • Who is the most credible (trustworthy, reliable, high quality)?

  • Who is the most visible, and why? Where do you see or hear about them? Why are they so well known?

  • Who is the most distinctive (unique, different, modern, economical, advanced, sophisticated, traditional — or whatever word describes points of difference)?

  • Where do we stand? First, second, third, or not in the running?

If you have an opportunity to present a survey by e-mail, web, or paper, use the following template to gather data on your (product, service, company, or self) three elements of success. Rate each question with the following scale: 1 = not at all, 2 = below average, 3 = average, 4 = above average, 5 = excellent.

Three-Dimensional Strategic Analysis of Brand Market Strength
Credibility Rating Visibility Rating Distinctiveness Rating
Good reputation? Local/regional brand? Unique qualities?
Appropriate branding? National/global brand? More advanced?
Good evidence? An e-presence? More specialized?
Good ratings/reviews? An e-following? More green?
Competitive pricing? Publicity? Looks/sounds special?
Fits in line of products? Available for purchase? Packaged uniquely?
Packaged well? Ongoing communication? Total:
Total: Package attracts attention? Divide by 6 = Distinctiveness score:
Divide by 7 = Credibility score: Total:
Divide by 8 = Visibility score:

A score of 3 is, by definition, average, so you had best be at a minimum higher than 3 on all scales. But the real question is, how high do you need to be to create an easy-to-notice difference? Probably above 4, preferably approaching 5.

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