Scorecards are essential for running a business, but often they measure the wrong things, or — worse — measure without focus or purpose.
A whole brand's scorecard is all business. It focuses on three things — actions at every level of the organization, not just marketing communications; business results, and strength of brand purpose.
The operating principle is straightforward. A brand is the entirety of your business. It depends on a big, unifying idea to drive everything you do because everything you do matters when it comes to building a brand, which is why the concept of a “whole brand” is so important.
In studying brands over the last three-plus years, we’ve learned a lot about what fuels success. All brands have pretty much the same endgame — they’re in business to offer something to people that makes life better for them. Business results — market penetration, brand preference, loyalty, and advocacy — are the goals.
Our critical insight is that you can identify a set of actions that will determine your level of marketplace success. Those actions, if carried out well, are leading indicators of business outcomes. It’s a classic example of independent and dependent variables. “A change in x brings about a change in y, where x is brand action and y is business impact.
We have found, in multiple studies, that a single number — the Whole Brand Index™ (WBI) — can explain up to 70% of how well a brand will do in a competitive market. The implication for brands is that any brand can benefit from obtaining this number and learning how it works.
It’s a simple artifact, but rich in detail.
The easiest way to envision this concept is through an example. The one shown below uses data for Nike obtained from our 2022 national consumer whole brand study. Nike scored the highest WBI in our study for its first years, so you will see some eye-popping numbers here.
We won’t attempt to explain every item in this scorecard, but here’s the big picture.
Start near the top with “Headline Numbers.” The Whole Brand Index™ (WBI) is the pivotal metric. It’s on a 100-point scale and Nike's score of 90.4. The Market Performance Average (MPA) is an aggregated number, on a percentage basis, reflecting how well Nike performs against its competitors in six different business results, according to the consumer study.
The second batch of numbers are “drivers'' that underlie and ultimately determine the Whole Brand Index. Most of them are subunits of the WBI, using the same 100-point scale.
The final batch of numbers are drivers for the MPA.
ACTIONS TO TAKE:
Ask yourself: Are the metrics we are collecting now giving us deep insight into where our growth comes from? Would a whole brand scorecard give us valuable data we don’t have now?
Grade yourself first. Pull your team together and informally grade how well you do on some of the components you see on our scorecard. Do that for both the WBI and MPA components.
Know your core idea. You can do this before grading yourself if you like, but regardless — take time to do it. Does your brand have a single, unifying idea that is the heart of all you do? Is it clearly stated and does everyone understand it?
We have developed tools for helping brands assess their whole brand status. You can learn more here. We would love to answer any questions you have and assist you in building out a whole brand scorecard for your brand.
This article originally appeared in the Whole Brand Briefing newsletter.
Want to build a whole brand for modern consumers? Sign up for the Whole Brand Briefing, our newsletter serving up inspiration, actionable insights, and ideas you can use to create your brand’s biggest possible future.
For a thorough evaluation to help your brand build its biggest future, contact our Chief Growth Officer, Jason Parks, at email@example.com.