Progress: it’s the other name for business. In order for any business to succeed, and grow, progress must be made toward goals.
How will you, an entrepreneur or business owner, know if progress is being made? Should you look at your customer list, your conversion numbers or your bank account?
You can look at these things all day, but without a structure through which to measure their performance, you might as well stare at a blank page. Every factor affects all other factors, and no aspect of any business exists in a vacuum.
So what is a brand manager, entrepreneur or business owner to do?
Learn all about KPIs: How to establish them, how to record them, how to measure them, how to compare them…and how to use them to build your brand.
KPIs: For Building your Brand
What is a KPI?
A KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is a metric that is measured to determine if a business is on-track for reaching its goals.
And there’s so much more:
Strategic, well-thought-out KPIs monitor how efficiently any business strategy is being executed, as well as how effective that strategy is.
KPIs that are calculated to closely monitor business performance will not only indicate progress, they will show specifics about gaps between anticipated performance and actual performance.
Translation: KPIs that are masterfully designed and diligently monitored will tell a business owner how well his brand is performing AS WELL AS how far off (or above) the mark each is landing.
Why is this necessary?
- When problems are identified, they can be fixed.
- When areas of strength are identified, they can be grown.
- When brand strategies (and branding strategies and marketing strategies) are known to either work or not work, they can be scrapped, revamped or capitalised upon.
- When all involved are using the same metrics to measure performance, everyone is “on the same page,” language is simpler and communication is more effective.
- When KPIs are maintained over time, they can be reviewed and compared against things like economic confidence and unrest, staffing shifts, political changes, global issues…and be used to predict future brand performance in similar situations. Adjustments can then be made, ahead of the curve.
- When uncertainty is replaced with hard facts, everyone feels more confident in their roles, as well as what (and how much) is expected of them.
- When team members can see facts about how their performance affects the brand’s performance, everyone feels more accountable and vested in the brand’s success.
- When tasks are presented as accomplishments (with proof that things have been accomplished), rather than just jobs, employees are converted to team members and team members to brand advocates.
So, I’m sure by now you’re thinking my brand needs KPIs.
What’s next? How can you implement a KPI plan that exposes problems, highlights strengths and gives you real facts on which to hang your brand-growth hat?
The KPI struggles are real. If you’ve never done this [successfully] before, you’re sure to wonder how to identify those metrics which will best indicate performance (profit, client acquisition, investments, money earned per sale, money spent per sale, average client value, etc.). You might also wonder how you’ll get all team members on-board when it comes to measuring and monitoring, and how you’ll convert all the data you collect into strategy adjustments.
Here’s a bit of advice I’ve compiled for you:
- List your goals. These are specific goals, like increase net profit from Operation A by 7% in 2 years. These are what we’ll call Larger Goals.
- Create a list of smaller goals necessary for accomplishing each larger goal. Imagine that your Larger Goals are perched at the tops of individual sets of stairs. If each step was a smaller goal, what would it be called?
- Determine what measurements will be the best indicators of progress. If your goal surrounds increased profit, some KPIs might be net profit per sale, number of sales, and the like. Use what you know about your brand to decide which metrics (when increased) will most closely correlate to an increase in your goal area.
- Set milestones. How many more customers will you need to acquire in order to reach your goal? How much time will you have to acquire them? What will the average spend of each customer need to be? Where will these numbers need to be by the end of next month, in 6 months, in a year…in order to reach your goals? Monitor progress and adjust as needed to ensure that you’re always on track (or ahead).
- Use data to draw conclusions. If one area is suffering, use what you know about what’s going on around it to determine why. The same goes for when one area is booming. There’s always a reason. Find it.
- Use those conclusions to adjust your strategy going forward. You’ve heard that the “best indicator of the future is the past.” If something worked yesterday, there’s a reasonable chance that it will work tomorrow, too. Of course, variables exist and must be accounted for, but in general, the setting and reading of KPIs are exercises in study, adjustment and prediction.
Do you find yourself fighting the KPI process? Do you fret over what to measure, and then what to do with your findings? You’re not alone, and that’s why we’ve put together a selection of levels of live events and support systems for you. Visit our website for more information on all we have to offer, and pay special attention to our B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamps, our one-day events designed to make your brand more credible, visible and profitable.