Brand Metrics – Are You Measuring ITS?

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Intention to Purchase (ITP), or the equivalent of it, is a well-established brand metric, across many categories, to measure the consumers’ intent to purchase a particular brand. Researchers and marketers have established and demonstrated a strong co-relation between ITP and market share. As a result, ITP is now an important measure of marketing effectiveness and a lead indicator of likely market share and its movement.

However, actual market share is never equal to the ITP. The simple reason for the same is that ITP represents the intentions of only one of the parties involved in the transaction- the consumer. It assumes that the consumer will get the brand that he wants. A brand sale can materialize only when the seller is also willing to sell the same brand that the consumer wants.

Purchase cannot happen without a seller (retailer). Anybody with exposure to channel sales would fully understand that the motives of the seller (a multi brand retailer) to promote a brand are very different from that of the consumer’s motives to want that brand. These motives drive a seller to convince and convert potential customers to his (seller’s) choice of brands. This is no reason to believe that this would happen in the exclusive brand stores.

The seller’s ability to convert varies depending on the category, his motives, and the consumer’s insistence. In consumer durables, a category that I am very familiar with, brand conversion by retailers is as high as 60%. I would suppose that this is true for FMCG brands also especially when modern trade retailers are interested in promoting own brands over established name brands.

In such a scenario, ITP alone cannot be the measure of potential market share. Retailers’ “intention to sell” (ITS) should match ITP to realize the full potential of a brand.

Potential market share is a function of ITP and ITS. I am not aware of any retailer or brand study that measures “intention to sell” or of any surrogate measure for ITS. It is about time marketers and research professionals start measuring ITS along with ITP for a comprehensive understanding of a brand’s market share potential.

Further, in an organization where marketing and sales are two separate functions, ITS should also be a measure of sales effectiveness. I strongly believe that marketing (excluding sales) should be responsible for garnering consumer mind share and sales should be responsible for garnering retailer mind share. ITS is a measure of retailer mind share.

You are free to use the concept of ITS, but do remember that you read it here first.:)

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