Studies have shown that – on average – around 5% of a company’s stock value derives directly from the company’s image. Companies with a strong image or reputation attract more customers, retain more customers, and attract better employees. In short, branding is a key means of achieving differentiation.

Branding studies are designed to measure brand awareness, establish the essence of a brand, advise how to make the brand values as clear and positive as possible, and advise how to make a market’s awareness and recognition of the brand increase.

A key output of many branding studies is a competitive brand map, which uses satisfaction and perception scores provided by customers to statistically plot the relative strengths of competing companies against each other.

In a brand map (see below), the attributes towards the center of the map are least differentiating, whilst those towards the borders are most differentiating. The same principle applies to the suppliers or brands on the map – the nearer they are to the border, the more distinct their corporate position. A supplier or brand with a truly unique positioning will be plotted near to an attribute towards the border of the map, but a distance away from competing suppliers.

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