The CQ: Brand Power Score, our New, Quantitative Measurement for Brand Impact
Introducing new tools that make the intangible more tangible
The CQ is Forerunner’s weekly newsletter rounding up the most pressing consumer news and analysis, plus some bonus musing from our investment team. Subscribe now to get the latest edition in your inbox every Saturday.
By Eurie Kim, Managing Partner
Get ready for something a bit different. We’re excited to debut what we’ve been brewing since 2021: the Brand Power Score, a new tool for quantitatively measuring brand impact. The Brand Power Score enables companies of any industry and stage to better understand their brand performance and gain granular insights about what’s going well and what can be improved. Founders, CEOs, and operators now can calculate their score and monitor it changes over time by sending the survey out through their own channels and/or through SurveyMonkey, which now has a Brand Power Score template.
We built this because a standout brand has long been a coveted, yet elusive business asset — and the tools for measuring brand impact have been woefully inadequate. Operators can spend millions but fumble to assess if progress is truly being made. With the Brand Power Score, we hope to turn the intangible into something tangible — so we can all have more precise tools and vocabulary for measuring this critical (and historically amorphous) part of business.
What We’re Talking About on Slack:
The Disappearance of the white-collar job. WSJ looks at how the number of unemployed white-collar workers — including those in management, engineering, and the sciences — rose by about 150,000 for the year ended in March. Experts say many of the jobs lost likely won’t return due to companies’ increased efficiency efforts, and (wait for it…) AI and automation. “Payroll data from more than 300,000 small- and medium-size businesses showed that wages for new hires had generally declined in April from a year ago but fell most rapidly in white-collar professions, such as finance and insurance.”
Biden is working on bridging the “diploma divide” AKA creating more well-paying jobs in the trades that do not require a college degree. The Biden administration is extending incentives for creating apprenticeships, with hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants for states that expand these programs. At a time when the rising costs of college are becoming increasingly unaffordable for many, this feels particularly relevant.
How are some single mothers handling the stresses of parenthood and work? Mommunes. Moms around the world are teaming up and living under the same roof as a way to manage childcare, household responsibilities, and the rising cost of living. “Sharing resources is key, and can be an antidote to not just role strain, but social isolation and stigma.”
Good news: apparently workers are happier in their jobs than they have been in decades. In 2022, 62.3% — the highest in 36 years — said they were satisfied with their jobs, up from 56.8% in 2020, according to a survey conducted last November. The happiest are ones who switched jobs voluntarily during the pandemic, have hybrid positions, and men — who in general expressed higher satisfaction levels than women in every area.
But meanwhile, the number of stay-at-home moms practically doubled from 2022 to 2023, up from 15% to 25%. That 25% has actually been pretty standard, except for 2021-2022, when moms were benefiting from pandemic-era flexibility. But now return-to-work mandates are pushing many mothers to quit. What would it take for stay-at-home moms to return to work? For 64%, it’s a flexible work schedule, while 52% said affordable childcare.
While Millennials seem to be into ironic memes, Gen Z is all about wholesome content—think videos of cute cats or showing kindness to strangers, Harry Styles, and board games. Wholesome Memes has 3 million followers on Twitter, and Wholesome Games has 328,000 followers on TikTok. “This is the cohort that came of age under Covid, the first people born with a phone in their hands. The focus on positivity was a way to move forward from the hardships.”
While Instagram will now force retailers to host check-out experiences within its app (vs. linking out to their shop’s site) — Pinterest is launching “links in all Pins,” so now anyone can buy and sell on Pinterest. But Fast Company argues, “in the bigger context of the internet, the update is yet another nail in the coffin of innocent browsing, and yet another push toward buying.”
Gen Z and Millennials would feel they’ve “made it” at a salary of $121,553 per year. (For perspective, the average American median income in 2021 was $69,717.) But interestingly enough, the careers that offer that ballpark salary are not considered particularly desirable by young people. For instance, 88% of Gen Z say they would not want to be a lawyer. And according to a different survey, even those who want to become attorneys and less than 40% of Gen Z say they would want to join one of the U.S.’s largest 200 firms (down from about 60% three years ago). Some of the reasons cited include lack of work-life balance and values that are not aligned with their personal ethics.
TikTok has launched a mental health awareness hub, which will offer well-being resources and connections to mental health advocates, as well as promote educational videos and wellness creators. The social media platform is also donating $2 million in ad credits to organizations that support mental health. Perhaps this is all in response to the increased scrutiny of the platform, with claims like, “TikTok feeds teens a diet of darkness.”
New York Magazine breaks down the disillusionment of the metaverse with a finger pointed at Mark Zuckerberg. “[He] offered a vision of the future in which everything was different but also pretty much the same: a disruptive technology that maintained the basic order of things, and where you once again knew what your employees were up to, even if they were just avatars.”
Work at a Portfolio Company:
Senior Marketing Operations Manager | Cleo: Cleo is the leading family benefits platform that picks up where the healthcare system leaves off. This role will have insight into all B2B marketing initiatives including demand generation at top of funnel and sales support activities through bottom of funnel, event marketing, content creation, and creative and digital media.
Director of Legal | REAL: REAL is team of innovators, clinicians, and technologists on a mission to make caring for our mental health a priority, through a new kind of digital platform and in-person experience. This role will partner closely with the senior management team and outside counsel to negotiate and draft commercial agreements of all types, provide deal support and guidance on commercial structure and business strategy from a legal perspective.
Digital Content Director | KiwiCo: KiwiCo is an innovative eCommerce company that sparks kids’ creativity and curiosity through offline and online materials and inspiration. This role will lead digital content marketing efforts, developing and executing a detailed plan for the creation and distribution of digital content of all kinds across the full marketing funnel.
There are ~512 other openings on our jobs site. Check ‘em out.