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Gradient Score: The CMO’s tool for measuring brand health in Amazon

Jay Sampson

Gradient Score:  The CMO’s tool for measuring brand health in Amazon

How Mentos Chewy Mint Candy stays fresh versus it's competition with their Gradient Score.

It’s been shown that data analysis can sometimes inflict a unique paralysis on marketers as they attempt to keep pace with the rapid changes in consumer engagement.  Even Jeff Bezos, known for his maniacal focus on Amazon’s customer experience, has been quoted as saying,  “All of my best decisions in business and in life have been made with heart, intuition, guts… not analysis.”

In the case of Amazon,  a dynamic marketplace where a brand's shelf presence is nearly always in flux and often derived from the outcome of an auction, focusing on what you can explicitly control in terms of product positioning, strong product descriptions and through clear product assets, can help inform the shopping process and win a greater share of wallet.

At Gradient.io, we’ve just launched the Gradient Score (BETA), a first of its kind tool that allows marketers to measure their product's performance on the Amazon Digital Shelf and at the same time measure the “health” of their competitors. 

The Gradient Score simplifies data analysis by processing thousands of calculations to surface one simple metric that can be used as a leading indicator of growth on Amazon. CMO’s and the brand marketing teams can now view product positioning through the same lens as a consumer, and consider their shelf presence on Amazon in the same mission-critical context as they would traditional retail shelf positioning.  This broadening of perspective can yield a fresh and clarified purpose for how best to drive sales on Amazon.

To illustrate my point,  let’s examine the following Gradient Score for Mentos, a worldwide favorite from Perfetti Van Melle:



First,  the overall Gradient Score (563) gives brand management at Perfetti Van Melle a sense of the overall “health” of the Mentos on Amazon.  In this case, as measured by Gradient.io, it’s Good and well ahead of the next closest competitor.  Once overall “health” has been assessed, brand management at Mentos should focus on how the brand is performing from a merchandising perspective, as well as assess the aggregate view of how the brand is performing from a Customer Response perspective.  To be clear, Product Positioning, as defined by Gradient.io, is wholly in the control of the marketers whereas Customer Response is dictated by the end-consumer by way of reviews, “stars” and other interactions with shoppers.  Beyond these two measures, often the most interesting Score to assess is the Brand Presence.  In this cited example, Brand Presence measures how effectively Mentos is capturing the attention of interested shoppers through organic and paid product listings. In this example, Mentos is performing Very Good as represented by a Score of 618, a solid 70 points ahead of the closet competitor, likely on account of the fact that Mentos is undoubtedly bidding upon in the Amazon advertising auction, which combined with strong organic listings are successfully winning a strong shelf presence.

Based on the assessment of now several thousand brands, I want to congratulate Sylvia Buxton and the entire Mentos brand team on their efforts to deliver such strong results.  Mentos has clearly seen the shifting purchasing behavior to digital environments like Amazon and addressed accordingly.  In fact, Mentos results are not only some of the strongest, we’ve seen in the category, but overall, some of the strongest results we’ve seen across hundreds of categories.  This attention to detail and proactive management of shelf presence has surely contributed to the outstanding results for the brand and for Perfetti Van Melle overall.

The overall Gradient Score and the series Scored attributes are really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what  Gradient.io’s Intelligent Insights platform is able to bring to bear on behalf of brands on Amazon.  Gradient.io uses proprietary, machine learning technology, to help brands understand and optimize their digital point-of-sale presence.


Gradient.io’s vision aligns to that of “growth-oriented” CMO, who’s use of data to gain a deep understanding of both customer and marketplace, is critical to their success. We believe all brands should know what their Gradient Score is as they go into the busiest shopping time of the year. Get yours at https://gradient.io/score.

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