Small or big, companies have the same goal of establishing a strong brand that customers can relate to and will remind them of high-quality products and vital customer service.
Brand Lift Studies existed since 2005 when a company named Vizu had a goal of creating an opposite to how TV advertisers measure branding and bought a display advertising inventory to conduct surveys about the ads people saw. Since then, it has been the primary approach for advertisers in understanding the impact of their online branding efforts on consumers.
Finding out how consumers distinguish your brand and how to measure your brand’s impact is a challenge. So, how does a Brand Lift Study (BLS) help?
Brand Lift 101
Brand Lift is a marketing tool to understand the performance of a campaign. According to Google, “Brand Lift can help you align your campaigns with your marketing goals. Brand Lift’s testing methodology and large sample size can provide you with detailed insights into the influence your campaigns have on the way people feel about your product or brand.”
A term broadly used by marketers, brand lift, refers to measuring how practical a brand’s communication activities are with the continuous changes in consumer’s perception during the purchase stage.
What does Brand Lift Study Means?
When most companies conduct a brand health study once a year, successful ones perform a brand lift study after every marketing campaign is implemented. This process ensures that they are keeping track of the effectiveness of their movement and help them track the changes in their customer’s behavior toward their brand.
What does a brand lift study answer?
- Are consumers attaching the ad they see to the correct brand?
- Do consumers recall the ad?
- Did the ad influence the target market to take actions such as purchase the product?
- Does the ad increase brand awareness?
- Does the ad attract the right audience?
- Does the audience like what they see in the ad?
Through continuous monitoring, research and iteration, companies can develop more effective marketing campaigns to help them achieve their goals and promote brand growth.
How to Conduct a Brand Lift Study?
Performing market research using online surveys or group discussions will allow your brand to get insights on how local, global or regional audiences think about your ad. Specifically on how does it affect their customer journey from awareness, consideration to purchase. So, what can you ask for each stage in the funnel?
In the awareness stage, are people aware of the brand after a campaign is executed? How did they became aware of the brand, and did their source of awareness affect their response towards the brand?
During the consideration stage, how do consumers perceive the brand before and after a campaign? Were they able to recall the ad and recognize the ad’s key message? And also, ask consumers if they believe in the values of the brand.
Lastly, are consumers favoring the brand for future purchases on the purchase stage after seeing the ad? You can also ask consumers if the ad is convincing enough to encourage investment and if the critical message provided within the ad influences people to buy the product.
To back up the findings in the primary market research, you would also need to measure online metrics to validate them. For engagement, you can use likes, comments, and shares. For brand awareness, website and social media traffic will be the indicators.
Brand Lift Study Examples
Domino’s Pizza in Norway developed a campaign in 2019 announcing a “New, Bigger and Better” Pizza and used Snapchat as one of the platforms to increase reach, brand awareness, and engagement.
A Snapchat Brand Lift Study was conducted to see any significant increase in brand awareness due to the campaign. For the brand study campaign, Domino’s used multiple snap ads and filters. As a BLS method, the target users of Snapchat were divided into two groups and were delivered with a survey question.
After delivery of the survey, Domino’s gathered responses from the exposed group and control group. As a result, a significant lift is seen across all KPI’s on Snapchat. The study shows an 11% increase in brand awareness and a 135% lift on ad awareness, and the campaign messaging “New, Bigger, Better” has seen a rise of +136%. This study shows that Snapchat was successful in driving qualitative lift for Domino’s Norway.
Course Hero, an online learning platform, aims to drive awareness to its website and help students focus on their studies. Their target audience is college students, and to achieve this objective, they utilized the Spotify platform.
Students today turn to Spotify for some background music while in study mode. For Course Hero, it was the perfect opportunity to reach their target audience with their campaign message.
Their audio ad started with a question that will capture the student’s attention: “Here’s a chemistry question for you. How did you balance the equation CO2, plus H20, plus 20 more equations, plus a history paper due in the morning? Answer: Course Hero.“
Course Hero has recorded the highest ad recall through their audio ad, and it helped the business drive more robust performance. As a result of their Spotify Brand Lift Study, Course Hero reports a 50% increase in consideration from a highly targeted audience of college students, a 36% lift in brand awareness, and a 40% lift in ad recall.
Capcom, a video game company, used Twitter’s brand survey – a first-party solution enabling marketers to get insights on their brand’s campaign – to understand how their campaign, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, will perform.
The ad strategy was to use keywords and behavioral targeting related to video gamers to guarantee that it comes from the right audience. Capcom knew that Twitter users are receptive, and they could reach engaged fans on the platform. They released 20 unique tweets to keep the audience engaged and to avoid ad fatigue.
Capcom utilized Twitter’s Brand Surveys to measure the campaign’s success and surveyed these groups based on the metrics: awareness, recall, and preference. As a result, Capcom saw 40% a lift in brand awareness, a 13% lift in preference, and a 51% lift in ad recall. In addition, the company was able to use these insights from the survey to improve future campaigns and creative strategies.
Brand Lift Study with Facebook
Facebook provides a solution to measure the impact of your ad campaign, the Facebook Brand Lift Study. This solution allows you to know the actual value of advertising on platforms such as Facebook. So, how does it work?
Facebook Brand Lift Study can do this with a single campaign or all the active campaigns within your account. Once they launched the advertisement, Facebook will divide the audience into two groups: test and control. The test group will get exposed to the ad, and the control group won’t be seeing the ads.
Once the campaign starts serving impressions, Facebook will show both groups’ polls or survey questions based on ad recall, campaign message association, and brand recognition. You can predefine these questions based on your objective.
Here are examples of questions that you can configure for your brand lift study:
- Do you recall seeing an ad for [brand or product] on Facebook in the last two days?
- Have you heard of brand X?
- What brand do you associate the message X with?
Keep in mind that when you’re running a Facebook Brand Lift Study, you don’t run other campaigns to ensure the audience in the control group wouldn’t see your ads. Also, it can be expensive, and if you are a small company, the social listening tool will make better sense for your brand.
Brand Lift Study with YouTube
With billions of users watching videos daily, advertisers are leveraging YouTube to expand their reach. Like Facebook, YouTube offers Brand Lift Studies as an advertising solution to measuring the impact of a video campaign. YouTube has two types of BLS:
Brand Lift 1.0 studies can’t be set up in the channel. A Google rep will implement it, and they will convey the results at the end of the study. The benefit of this study is that the budget requirements are lower than Brand Lift 2.0.
Brand Lift 2.0 studies are the best option if you have a budget. This study provides a further dissection of results and higher impact key performance indicators (KPIs). The video campaign will drive the highest lift and offer a report on the cost per lifted user.
Although it is free to run Brand Lift Studies on YouTube, you have to meet the minimum campaign budget requirements to guarantee that you will have enough data on your study.
Similar to Facebook, the metrics for Ad Recall, Brand Awareness, Consideration, Favorability, and Purchased will be measured by showing surveys to the test and control group. But to be eligible, your campaign budget should be at least $3,500 – $5,000. This budget increases depending on how many metrics you want to measure.
Brand Lift Study with TikTok
TikTok continues to be on the rise, especially for the younger generations. For advertisers to reach an audience that can only be found on the platform, the social media platform has recently announced that they are adding TikTok Brand Lift Study, a first-party solution, to measure the moment that matters the most.
According to the platform, “TikTok BLS provides brands a refreshing approach to the traditional measuring and optimization of brand resonance. In true TikTok nature, TikTok BLS is an immersive, in-feed polling experience, with music and motion graphics that users have known and love about TikTok.”
TikTok also shared a case study from Mars Wrigley, where they conducted a Brand Lift Study for their campaign on the platform, TREAT TOWN™, and reported an increase of 14.2% on awareness, 27% on ad recall, and 13.4% on brand association.
Which Metrics Should You Measure?
Brand lift metrics typically include awareness of the brand or product, attitude towards the brand such as views on quality and value and appeal, the ability to remember (recall) favorability or the possibility to recommend the brand or product, and intent such as chances to purchase.
Knowing which metrics to measure depends on your campaign goals and target demographics. Are you targeting a market that is unfamiliar with your brand? Or do you want to direct your audience to the next step of the sales funnel, which is the consideration stage?
If the ad aims to move viewers to the purchase stage, you must measure the purchase intent. But, if the ad focuses on spreading awareness for a new product or service, you can measure the lift of the specific product. However, a healthy budget is required to measure multiple metrics.
Advantages of Running a Brand Lift Study
Although it’s expensive to conduct a Brand Lift Study, it offers multiple benefits to businesses who have the budget to run campaigns and implement them:
- Measurement. One of the benefits of running a Brand Lift Study is the opportunity to measure the effectiveness of a brand’s campaign and get an insight into the level of brand awareness between the user who has seen the ad and those who haven’t.
- Optimization. Doing the Brand Lift Study will allow advertisers to optimize their campaigns. Conducting an A/B test of Brand Lift will help identify the awareness of the ad and understand the one that works best. Through the data received via BLS, advertisers will have the opportunity to make changes to their future campaigns and get more audiences to respond.
- Competitor Insights. A simple question of “Which X products do you use?” and adding the brand and competitor in the choices will allow advertisers to measure brand desirability and assess their position in the market.
The Reason Why Brand Lift Studies Are Still Misunderstood
Even with the advantages mentioned above, why Brand Lift Studies are still underutilized?
In the pre-digital days, Brand Lift was the gold standard for measuring ad effectiveness. Today, collecting acquisition metrics such as conversions and behavioral metrics are pursued actively by brands and agencies. When measuring outcomes, why is the industry moving away from Brand Lift?
Pre-digital, although Brand Lift measurement was accurate, marketers usually had to wait until the campaign is completed for the Brand Lift to be measured. So, there was no chance to change the campaign’s direction while the ads were running.
Measuring Brand Lift also requires a high budget compared to free tools provided in today’s digital era. So, small businesses that don’t have the capacity to pull out a big budget for advertising won’t utilize this tool. Brand Lift also requires complex testing to guarantee accurate results. In return, it has been challenging to implement and would need specific capabilities to get the correct statistics.
However, these drawbacks from Brand Lift measurement cannot be compared to the digital-first metrics marketers are familiar with, such as clicks or sign-ups, which can be inaccurate at times.
Consumers are becoming more careful with the brands they choose, and businesses are striving for digital transformation; that is why marketers need a better solution to advertising. Advertising is not just about the reach or impressions but also about the audience.
The purpose of Brand Lift is to estimate the efficiency of display campaigns. The structure of the survey determines the impact of the ad. Each report contains the statistics that a business needs to measure the success of its ad campaigns. Using brand measurement allows them to see subtle differences in movement and enumerate consumers’ input to direct the brand’s strategy.
Conducting Brand Lift Studies for your campaigns helps to ensure that your campaigns will produce the right results. This study is not just about testing but understanding the type of audience influenced by your advertising campaigns.