Measuring Brand Essence with Market Research: Definition, Benefits, Process

Brand essence is the core characteristic that defines a company. It is an intangible attribute that separates a brand from the competition. 

A good brand essence should meet the following criteria: 

  • Authentic: Is it credible? 
  • Memorable: Is it short, punchy, and crisp?
  • Unique: How does it stand out from competitors? 
  • Sustainable and Scalable: Will the brand essence work as the company grows?  
  • Relevant: Is it relevant to customers and target audience?

This blog post will discuss what brand essence is, why it’s important, how to measure it with market research, and some real-life examples! 

Measuring Brand Essence with Market Research

What is Brand Essence?

At its core, the brand essence sets the foundation for the company’s brand development and serves as the inspiration for other components of the brand.

By measuring brand essence, organizations rely on data-driven insights to create:

  • Logos
  • Taglines
  • Advertisements
  • Website copy and imagery
  • Packaging 

Additionally, the brand essence can be thought of as a simple formula:

Brand Essence = Goals (what you want to do) + What you do + Your values (how you do what you do) 

Why is Measuring Brand Essence Important? 

Data-Driven Marketing

As brand essence forms the personality of the brand. In other words, it helps companies build a story. 

This leads to better marketing strategies, and it’s easier to sell products to customers who already know what the brand is known for. 

At the same time, it allows the company to build bonds with customers and meet their emotional expectations.

Recommended Reading: What is Data-Driven Decision-Making and Why It's So Important 

Improve Brand Awareness and Perception

Brand essence also allows the company to establish consistency and develop a specific reputation in the industry. 

To gain traction, brands need to make sure that they clearly express their brand essence (i.e., reinforced across time, geography, and media platforms). 

Furthermore, it is important that the brand essence isn’t just an “in the moment” concept, but that it can produce longevity and encompasses long-term goals that the brand wants to achieve. 

Recommended Reading: How Market Research Can Improve Your Brand

How Do You Measure Brand Essence? 

The use of the brand essence wheel is a marketing model created by Bates, an advertising agency in 1995.

The brand essence wheel, as shown below, helps companies create and define their brand identity. 

Look at this example that analyzes Guinness’s brand essence.

brand essence wheel

Many times brands partner with third-party market research companies such as Drive Research to execute market surveys and/or focus groups.

The market research asks a specified target market questions regarding a brand, product, or service. 

Example brand essence questions include:

  • How would you describe the brand, product, or service?
  • How does the brand, product, or service make you feel?
  • What are the likes and dislikes of the brand, product, or service?

These questions can be geared to gain insight into the target market’s sentiment of competitors as well.

Learn more about this process in six steps to conducting a market survey.

Examples of Brand Essence by Real-World Companies

While all companies utilize some kind of brand essence, we are surrounded by common examples every day by some of the most popular brands and companies. 

Here are a few examples: 

  • Walt Disney = Magical
  • Coca-Cola = Happiness 
  • Visa = Everywhere 
  • Airbnb = Belonging 

As you look at the examples from these popular brands, you can think back on your memories and think of the power that brand essence holds! 

Recommended Reading: Brand Like a Boss | Using Market Research to Grow Business Awareness

Measure Brand Essence with Drive Research

Quantifying brand essence, while important, is often challenging to execute with little experience in market research. Drive Research, a full-service market research company can help.

To learn more about our services, contact our team today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

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