A Brief Introduction to Brand Tracking

January 30, 2018

The Goal of Brand Tracking

When your job involves anything to do with marketing - or managing your own business - one of your main goals is to create a popular and well loved brand.

If one of your priorities is to create a real desire for your product or service, then brand tracking can help.

Do you aspire to create a brand that is instantly recognised by its logo, shape or colour, just like Apple’s iconic branding? Or maybe you want to design a brand that has a reputation for high quality and premium products like Waitrose?

Apple and Waitrose are examples of exceptional branding, consistently well executed; and they both come from a deeply rooted marketing strategy with the goal to offer products and services to meet their target consumer’s needs and wants.

Another exceptional brand is Tesla, who are now worth more than GM, despite their vastly smaller revenues and market penetration. Here’s what their founder and CEO says about tracking a brand against consumer expectations:

“I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done and how you could be doing it better. I think that's the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better.” - Elon Musk, Founder & CEO, Tesla

Great brands track what their customers are saying about their products; redesigning their strategy based on this information.

They understand the importance of brand tracking so that they can establish the performance of their brand, discover strengths and weaknesses, understand their place in the market compared to competition, and align their strategy more closely with the expectations of their existing and potential future customers.

Take Audi for example; their cars are so well sought after, their reputation for designing and building robust, high quality, luxurious German cars is pre-eminent. Audi built the first offroad quattro rally car; finding something that someone else was already doing, but managing to do it even better.

These rally cars were winning competition, exposing their cars and technology to the world. As a result, people began to want Quattro technology in their road cars due to its popularity.  Audi listened to their audience, and put the same technology from the Quattro rally car into their road cars.

The bottom line is that regularly tracking consumers preferences, and always thinking of ways to make your brand even better, will help you to satisfy, retain and gain more customers.

Direct to consumer

Tracking your brand is invaluable in building a strong marketing strategy and growing your business to develop into a market leading brand. Clever marketers know that the most valuable source of information about their brand, are the thoughts and feelings of their target consumers.

Keeping track of what people are saying about your brand, whether it is good or bad, helps you to get grounded by real insight and spark your creativity to deliver the best results for your brand.

With direct to consumer brand tracking, it is easier than ever to reveal, analyse, and test findings to uncover the ‘why’ behind results and dig deep into the drivers of consumer emotions by asking them questions.

And by using a platform like Attest, it takes the stress, cost and time out of this vital consumer research.

Brand tracking goes beyond tracking clicks and online data (which is often hampered by ad blockers, complex tracking, expired cookies, bot traffic etc.) to provide essential insights from verifiably real people, on how they use your brand and what they think and feel about the experience.

Brand tracking gives you the opportunity to dig deep into the most intricate of details, helping you to identify where you are losing customers along the way, and why.

For example, online payments startup Patreon recently had to reverse a planned change to it’s pricing structure after a backlash from existing customers, many of whom left the service.

Uber also suffered a bad year, with the hashtag #deleteuber trending, while high profile missteps from Dove and Pepsi both made headlines.

While all of these examples were of such a magnitude that brand tracking wasn’t necessary to register discontent, how many decisions might you make that could have a similar impact with a less obvious response?

A pricing update (Patreon), new policies (Uber), changes to packaging (Dove), an off note marketing campaign (Pepsi) may not put your company in the news, but they could easily cost you customers (and market share), or simply hamper future growth, if you’re not aware of the impact and why consumers have become discontent.

The Importance of Brand Tracking

People constantly change the way that they think and perceive the position of brands and businesses, making it important to evolve with the times and keep a close eye on your brand’s relevance as well as your competitors, and adapting accordingly.

While you may have a loyal following of Millennials now, in the not-too-distant future they’ll become the new ‘Gen X’ or ‘Boomers’ - their needs shifting and maturing as their lives evolve. Will your brand grow with them? Or will you be left trying to figure out how to appeal to Gen Z (or the next wave after them)?

Without consistent attention, you won't know how people perceive your brand in comparison to other brands, meaning you could easily be blindsided by a sudden (or even gradual) shift in consumer sentiment, market dynamics or competitor strategy. .

With brand tracking, you can stay connected to consumers and stay ahead of your competition.

"Attest data is key to unlocking richer understanding of our different consumers. It has meant we can think completely differently about segmenting our audience and how we tailor communication to them." - Joanna Christie. Global Brand Director, at Treatwell

Brand Tracking next steps

This brief introduction to brand tracking is the first part of our more in-depth guide to brand tracking. In our comprehensive guide, we'll also dive into:

  1. What you should be tracking to measure branding performance
  2. Who should use brand tracking
  3. Different methods of brand tracking
  4. How to interpret data and turn it into a useful action plan

 

View your Guide to Brand Tracking