Brand Tracking and the Core Brand Tenets Of a Business

Marketing research is vital. It provides the data needed to make informed decisions about how a brand or business moves forward. Developing a brand tracker for your business is going to help track those nonquantifiable KPIs. In doing so, you’ll need to understand your core brand tenets. These can vary from brand to brand, but here are a few below to get your wheels turning (thanks to Hamish Campbell (Links to an external site.) as well as Scott Davis and Peter Dixon (Links to an external site.)).

  • Simplicity
  • Disruption
  • Symbolism
  • Meaning
  • Depth
  • Consistency
  • Clear/Compelling Messaging
  • Experiential
  • Empower Employees (internal brand)

Your brand should live by these core brand tenets and it should shine through everything you do as a brand. Consider these assets of brand building in the future and ensure you pair this with a brand tracking approach for overall growth and a focus on customer centric brand experiences.

Brand Tracker

As a brand manager or marketing manager, you’ll want to keep track of your brand’s health. The best way to do this is to implement a brand tracker into your business. You start with questions; a mix of brand awareness questions and comparison/competitor questions. It’s vital to have brand-specific data at your disposure every month to be able to pivot your overall brand strategy accordingly.

Partner with your company’s marketing research department, or, hire a marketing research firm to help gather the important information. Develop a brand image tracking study using questions about how people have heard of your brand, and how would they rank you against your competitors in a certain marketplace. These questions should be designed to compare your company with the top 2-3 competitors.

The audience base for this brand study can be existing customers, potential customers or leads and competitive customers. Start the brand tracking study on a regular cadence and run it for a good period of time to not only collect enough answers, but to gain a collection of the right individuals as well. These studies can run anywhere from 3-6 months. Some companies put in years of research, but this is not feasible for everyone on an average budget.

The results should be analyzed by both the marketing department and the internal/external marketing research firm. Remember, the data can change overtime as new trends come to market and competitive sets change.  This is why the longer you run a brand image tracking study, the more informed you will be about your overall brand in terms of awareness in the marketplace and up against your top competitors.

Experience is Proof

When I worked as the content marketing lead at a travel & tourism company years ago, the company knew it needed to change its name and rebrand to something more meaningful to visitors coming to our city. At the time, our brand was getting confused with the local paper, because the names were so similar. Visitors also weren’t aware of our visitor’s center in the middle of downtown where they can drop by and gain information about things to do in the city. Because of this lack of awareness and brand name confusion, we set up to perform a brand tracking study.

The travel & tourism company partnered with an external marketing research firm who helped us develop the brand tracker questions. We focused on awareness and competitive sets, but also asked questions about our name and what would be an easy way for them to understand who we are by giving one-word descriptions.

The marketing research company should help identify where to target survey takers. At the visitor’s center, we placed surveys in all the hotels in town for visitors to our city to complete before they left. We also left surveys with local attractions to help partner with us and have visitors take the surveys. This captured the majority of answers we needed. We did a similar approach in competitor cities to capture competitive customers.

We ran the study for several months and the results are just what we had expected. The awareness was low, and we were not stacked up well against our competition. Therefore, we needed to make changes. And now we had a roadmap to help us determine which changes to make.

This is a great tool to use for any brand manager or marketing manager. It guarantees results, is backed by qualifiable data on your brand and is your guide to making the most informed decisions about your brand going forward.

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