During the early days of a business, sales and how they correspond to costs and profits are usually enough to steer you in the right direction. In the sense that these areas will show which type of your products or services are performing the best, and identifying weaknesses. Yet, as your business develops and grows, relying on your sales figures to guide you might be a costly decision. In this article, we will see why sales figures start to become less reliable, and look at alternative routes to help guide business decisions.
As a business owner, when you are understanding what a sale is, it should be viewed as the last action of a complicated chain of events and evolving consumer behaviour. Viewing a sale like this makes it clear that the information received from sales is very much delayed. In other words, it is not an accurate representation of what people think of your brand at that moment in time. This means that if you are using sales figures as your sole area of information for making decisions of where to take the company next, you may be taking it in the wrong direction.
This makes you look for ways to get more up to date information on how your company and your brand are performing. Understanding where your company lies within a given brand index is a way in which you can be understanding the much larger picture of where your brand currently stands in the eye of the consumer. A brand index can be broken down into three areas
- Brand recall: How well people place your brand in a certain category such as fashion or snacks.
- Purchase intent: How likely a person is to purchase your particular brand.
- Net promoter score: How likely someone would recommend your brand.
These three areas give an overall ranking within a brand index. It can be broken down into various demographics. This can show a company where their strengths and weaknesses are a lot more accurately than sales figures ever could.
Finally, I understand this may seem like a very time-consuming task. Especially when compared to just looking at sales figures. Therefore, it may be worth considering outsourcing these processes to a market research firm. This has two main advantages. Firstly, their information gathering techniques will be more streamlined than what you could do in-house. Secondly, it will be a huge time saver, so there is less chance of it having a negative effect on company productivity.