Jared Spool offers some interesting advice when it comes to testing an institution’s branding:
Under the direction of Walt, Disney built the brand quality that they are ‘magical’. Adults interacting going to a Disney resort see the ‘magic’ in the design of their products, both in the direct interaction with the elements of the resort and with their children’s response to the elements.
Would a child ever tell you that Disney’s main quality is ‘magic’? Would an adult for that fact? Not without a lot of coaching or pressure.
To measure whether Disney’s site is ‘magical’, we’d need to measure the second-order effects of being magical. We’d need to talk about how a ‘magical’ site manifests itself — what happens when it is magical and when is it not magical?
For these types of qualities, first-order effects are often difficult to measure while second-order effects are easy. The only problem is: do you know what the second-order effects are?