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Blog: Top 6 Reasons Regular Brand Tracking is Essential by Hanover Research
Published 11/19/2018

Building and maintaining a strong, healthy, and reputable brand is often easier said than done. Brand health is impacted by a variety of factors, including ever-changing technology customers can use to discover, engage, and comment on an organization’s brand. Successfully measuring brand health means paying attention to the metrics that matter, tracking brand health over time, and making sense of existing strengths and weaknesses to improve brand strategy.

B2B brands with strong brand identities outperform their competitors by 73%, according to McKinsey & Co. The challenge is: How do we measure brand health, and why does it matter?

1. Determine Overall Brand Health

Six key brand tracking metrics help paint a complete picture of your brand’s overall health. Measuring each of these metrics allows us to develop a better understanding of how customers interact with your brand—including the impact your messaging has on purchasing behavior or the relative strength of competing brands. The six key brand tracking metrics to consider include:

  1. Awareness
  2. Impression
  3. Prior Usage
  4. Preference
  5. Purchase Intent
  6. Net Promoter Score (NPS)®

By tracking these metrics and paying attention to what data points flow in, you can begin to see the bigger picture of your brand’s overall health. This information will help you answer questions like: Who’s heard of us? Who is or isn’t buying our product? What do customers think about us?

Depending on the answers to these questions, you may determine it’s time to re-evaluate your messaging approach, your marketing initiatives, or maybe even your brand as a whole.

2. Notice the Impact of New Product Launches and Key Events

Launching a new product or participating in a large-scale event are both excellent ways to increase awareness of and engagement with a brand. But, done poorly, they can also be two surefire ways to wreak havoc on your brand’s reputation.

Remember that creating and maintaining a strong brand is a two-way street between your brand and its customers, so you don’t want to ignore their input. Conducting qualitative research before and after a product launch or big event is critical to avoiding missteps. Strong brands continue tracking key metrics through the research, refinement, testing, and post-launch phases.

3. Gauge the Effectiveness of a New Campaign

Brand challenges exist at every stage of the marketing funnel. At the top, the challenge is generating awareness. At the bottom, the goal might be to drive purchase of your product. Whatever brand challenge you might be facing, we recommend setting a few goals before launching a new campaign. Common brand strategy goals include building brand awareness, retaining existing customers, and increasing sales—just to name a few.

Once goals are outlined, it’s time to measure the success of the campaign. Brand tracking tools allow you to measure important marketing metrics and help you understand the effectiveness of your campaigns. Regular brand tracking helps you extract relevant information that you can use to inform your brand strategy moving forward.

4. Prove the ROI of Marketing Initiatives

40% of marketers say proving the ROI of their marketing efforts is their top marketing challenge. This is usually because marketers simply don’t know what to measure. With so many data points at your fingertips, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Consistently tracking the overall health of your organization’s brand makes proving marketing ROI a whole lot easier.

With insight into how your brand is performing among key audience members, you’ll have strong data points to present to the C-Suite. Brand tracking tools help organizations determine which marketing metrics to pay attention to, and which metrics are OK to ignore.

5. Compare Your Brand to Competitors

Do you know how your brand stacks up against the competition? Do you know whether your brand is the brand of choice for your primary audience? And, better yet, how can you find out? By identifying competitors and comparing key data points like revenue, cost of services, or customer loyalty, companies can gain a clearer idea of their position against the competition.

Another metric to consider is brand preference. Brand preference evaluates how likely a customer is to continue buying a product or service. When customers are satisfied enough that they continue to use a product or service long-term, it’s safe to assume the brand is healthy and strong in customer preference. If customers are easily swayed to try a competitor’s product or service, it may be time to re-evaluate.

Tools that collect online purchasing behavior can be helpful when determining how many customers engage with your brand and purchase your product or service. Pair that with qualitative research and brand tracking surveys that shed light on customer experiences and you’re well on your way to accurately comparing your brand’s health against the competition.

6. Identify, Diagnose, and Correct Underperformance Early

If you’re regularly tracking your brand, it’s easier to spot and correct areas of underperformance than if you had no insight into your brand’s overall health. Once you’ve collected relevant and quantifiable brand tracking data, it’s time to analyze. There are three parts to this analysis:

  1. Record your findings
  2. Map back to your goals
  3. Visualize the results

When recording your findings, it’s important to first convert any qualitative data into quantifiable measurements. Then, see how the numbers stack up against the goals you set for your brand. Last, but not least, visualize the results by creating a line graph that shows the possible progression of metrics like brand awareness, perceived quality, and customer loyalty.

Track and Adjust Your Brand Regularly

Regularly tracking your brand is the only way to truly understand the success of your brand and its overall health in the marketplace and against consumers.

Setting goals, analyzing key metrics, and addressing areas of opportunity early on will help you set your brand apart from the rest. With an understanding of your brand’s current health, gather your team and share your findings, adjust your goals, and begin planning for future tracking.

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