Consultants Booz&Co have provided some new benchmark data, along with a short 90 second video, using their new socially powered brand strength indicator LPM  – Likes per $Million Revenue.

The idea is simple (and we think, useful and elegant).

Financially speaking, your brand is essentially your ability to extract margin, but a brand does not exist only in financial accounts, it exists in the minds and on the lips of buyers.  And although there’s no direct direct link between the mental and verbal thumbs-ups that brands get and the thumbs-ups – Likes – they get in social media, the one is a simple proxy for the other. In other words, a simple measure of brand strength would be to measure the number of social media likes your brand gets relative to your sales (dividing likes by revenue removes the influence of market size on like counts, and reveals the proportion of your sales that are creating smiles).

Like the Net Promoter Score (NPS), LPM is simple, and many will say simplistic – including vested interests who make a living out of complicated brand metrics, but we like it. Of course it’s imperfect – marketers are endlessly looking for wheezes to artificially bump up their Like count – but LPM does allows you to benchmark your brand quickly and easily without the need for artificial research (the only thing survey based brand research will tell you is what the tiny 2% minority of consumers who do surveys - the desperate, lonely and compulsive – want to be seen as thinking). More importantly it allows you to track brand health over time, and act when the number of smiles you are creating dips.  Which is why we’d prefer to apply the LPM metric to new likes per revenue period, rather than cumulative total of likes since time immemorial.

If only we could lock Booz&Co (LPM) and Bain (NPS) in a room together – they could hatch a really useful open-graph brand metric here…  We Like.