Brand tracking is what connects your brand, your customers, and your competitors.
Your company may have a firm brand purpose with well-established values, but its perception in the market is constantly evolving with every campaign, product, or news bite released into the market. Not to mention, consumer behaviors and expectations are fluid and the loyalty and love for your brand constantly wavers with every new experience they have and every new brand they interact with.
Brand tracking is a process that enables you to measure and understand the health of your brand over a given time, so you can find the best ways to adjust your marketing, products, pricing, and more.
Why is brand tracking important?
Brand loyalty is fleeting. In fact, most consumers (65%) say they love fewer than three brands and 9% say they do not love even a single brand. Brand and marketing executives must be able to identify this loyal group of consumers so they can effectively engage with them.
However, marketing and brand leaders also must understand the company’s broader positioning in the market and how their brand equity changes over time. The competitive landscape is getting increasingly crowded and businesses must navigate myriad other pressures such as inflation and supply chain constraints. Brand and marketing executives can use brand tracking techniques and technology to understand how all of these issues impact their standing, and then use these insights to inform strategic and tactical changes that need to be made to win (and keep) consumers’ time, attention, and dollars.
Brand tracking best practices
Some brands like to take a hands-off approach to brand tracking and simply track consumer sentiment on a quarterly or annual basis. However, this approach merely provides a small snapshot of consumers’ thoughts and feelings. A more holistic and ongoing brand tracking approach can help business leaders get a granular view of how brand equity changes over time and dig into the moments and actions that trigger a change.
For example, a more integrated approach to brand tracking can help teams:
- Determine whether the overall brand positioning needs a refresh
- Identify the characteristics that resonate with loyal or at-risk consumers
- Understand the influence of a new marketing or brand campaign
- Gauge broader audience sentiment in light of new product launches or news developments
- Compare brand performance to direct competitors
Brand tracking research
Brand research can help you get an objective view of how a broader audience perceives your brand, its positioning, products, services, and overall experiences. The broader business can benefit from these insights as it helps understand the more holistic view of the business and its standing in the market.
Although brand tracking research provides a significant sample of responses, it doesn’t allow marketing teams to get granular and gauge trends based on demographic, location, and past interactions. Moreover, brand tracking research doesn’t integrate competitive insights, which prevents marketing teams from understanding how the brand measures against other companies.
Perhaps the most significant limitation is that these surveys typically take place annually, which means brand and marketing leaders do not get the depth of data needed to understand where and why brand equity shifts happen.
Brand tracking surveys
Brand tracking surveys are launched more frequently, usually monthly or quarterly, to provide marketing and brand teams with more data around how brand perception and equity changes over time. Questions also tend to focus on distinct customer insights, such as what they think about a brand, how they act, and how the consumer feels about how the brand shows up in the world.
Brand tracking surveys also are more likely to have questions focused on direct competitors, which will help the brand make intelligent decisions that support brand differentiation.
Brand tracking tools
Also known as brand monitoring tools, brand tracking tools enable users to track conversations and mentions of your brand online. They comb and aggregate insights from social media, websites, chat forums, review sites, and other platforms so you can get a centralized view of all feedback–even those that don’t tag your brand account or use designated hashtags.
Some brand tracking tools and software also provide robust analytical capabilities so you can dig into specific audience demographics and even monitor competitors. While these solutions are certainly more robust and real-time versus an annual brand study, they still only provide a historic and present view of customer feedback.
Choosing the right tools
You need to align with key decision-makers on your goals to choose the right brand tracking tools and methods. From there, you can determine the depth of data and analytical capabilities you need to be successful. Some questions you can ask include:
- How frequently do we currently track consumer feedback? How often do we need to track it to be successful?
- How do we plan to use these insights to inform strategic and tactical decisions?
- How many channels do we want or need to monitor?
- Which (direct and indirect) competitors do we need to track?
- How do we need to dissect and analyze data to maximize the value of these insights?
Tracking and monitoring brand health
After you understand your brand’s standing with a specific audience, what do you do with this knowledge? In some cases, there may be clear methods for improving your positioning. But in others, you may just need to maintain your brand equity. This is where brand health tracking comes in.
Real-time analytics and insights into brand equity can help you keep a constant pulse on brand performance and ensure you take quick and efficient action. Brands of all sizes and across categories have access to concrete and quantifiable ways to assess brand health with the BERA Score and measure against direct and indirect competitors. You can truly understand where your brand sits with competitors and how well it’s performing in your customers’ eyes.
The metrics you should follow
While brand tracking and quarterly reports look backward and only tell you how you are doing in the present time, BERA enables you to look forward and use data to make more profitable, customer-focused decisions.
BERA collects millions of data points and applies big data analysis to help you understand how your consumers make real decisions. A combination of real-time hard data and predictive intelligence takes the guessing out of brand equity management. The platform can offer insight into:
- Shifts in BERA Score over time
- A brand’s standing on the Love Curve as well as which areas of the world have the most Brand Love
- The characteristics that drive Brand Love among different consumer demographics and locales
- The core of a brand’s DNA and whether they’re being used effectively
- How product, price, promotion, place, and people impact brand equity and performance
Interested in learning more about brand tracking with BERA? Talk to us today to find out how you can unlock your brand’s full potential.