Is it possible that brand analytics about how well your position resides in the customer's mind is as simple as googling your brand name? Or perhaps searching your difference?

This approach almost seems too elementary, but if you don't rank in the top position for the basic keywords that make up your difference, there's a possibility that you have not discovered your difference, expressed your position correctly, or advertised it with right or sufficient resources. To test this, google the combination of your difference and category, such as Innis Maggiore would do with "positioning agency."

See how positioning analysis works with these other examples: Search for "$100,000 jobs" (Ladders), "better ingredients pizza" (Papa John's), or "coffee experience" (Starbucks).

We refer to this as owning your positioning keyword and it requires doing much more than search engine optimizing (SEO) your website. Typically, part of gaining a high ranking within search engines is having sufficient mentions in locations other than your website to help bump your page to the top (hopefully #1).

If you're fortunate enough to be in an industry that produces buzz online (typically consumer brands), then you will have a much broader set of tools available. In the past year, for example, there has been a good deal of advancement in social media measurement tools. These positioning analysis tools are designed primarily to track number of mentions, positive/negative sentiment, and from where/who the buzz is most active. But they have provided a secondary benefit, too: a snapshot of reputation.

As part of these tools attempts to measure the impact of social media, providers realized the solution to measuring was a mechanical way to interpret language. Part of the solution was to measure the product or brand name against the presence and density of other words. If the frequency was higher than other words, the association was made to the brand name. These are typically referred to as word clouds and provide fairly reliable brand analytics within social mentions.

Try the following FREE social media tools with your brand and positioning keywords and see what they repute for your positioning analysis. Only consider them reliable if your social media volume shows greater than 250 mentions in a month. And even then, you may need some negative keywords to remove some of the clutter.

SocialMention.com
Google Realtime
Yext.com

Consider this a basic measure of how your positioning advertising is working. It's only a single measure, but if you can track the results around your marketing efforts, you might gain some insight into the effectiveness of your efforts to position your brand in the mind. And keep a lookout for new brand analytics tools that help measure the impact social media is having on your position.