Seth Godin, in his post, The Brand Formula, presents a simple evaluation method for determining brand awareness and relative success using a mathematical formula. His calculation is a marvel in its simplicity and effectiveness.
His formula is : [Prediction of what to expect] X [emotional power of that expectation] = Brand Resonance. As evidenced here, consumer expectations are a crucial element in brand success. Those expectations can make or break a brand. He goes on to say "If I encounter a brand and I don't know what it means or does, it has zero power. If I have an expectation of what an organization will do for me, but I don't care about that, no power. Fedex is a powerful brand because you always get what you expect, and the relief you get from their consistency is high. AT&T is a weak brand because you almost never get what you expect, because they do so many different things and because the value of what they create has little emotional resonance."
He also suggests that focus is also an important factor for companies to remember when marketing their brand. If a company has diversified into many industries, their brand often becomes diluted, forcing confusion into the mind of the consumer, and a confused mind does not buy. Furthermore, reading between the lines reveals that the tendency towards offering various brand extensions may also tend to cloud the branding efforts of a company, leading to poor consumer recognition. The solution... keep it simple, maintaining a brand focus.
How is your brand doing? Are your marketing and branding efforts focused or are you sending out multiple, sometimes conflicting messages to the marketplace?