Building a strong brand can be an expensive exercise. Recent news articles have reported that a single advertisement in the 2018 Super Bowl would easily cost upwards of $5 million. Whatever size your marketing investment is, successful companies need to continually ask themselves - what is the actual return in terms of building a solid reputation, and maintaining a strong, trustworthy brand?
Tracking ROI of your advertising investment has become a lot easier in terms of click throughs, conversions and sales revenue, but understanding the impact of your marketing efforts on your overall brand awareness, perception and acceptance is just as important, especially for the longevity and success of your business.
Brand tracking is a common quantitative method of measuring changes in brand perception over time. Habitually tracking can keep your brand on track and also provide opportunities to tweak or pivot if necessary.
Brand tracking has two main advantages:
- It quantifies ROI through looking at shifts in brand saliency, consideration, brand imagery and referral levels before and after any marketing activity.
- It can also lead to marketing improvements and guide strategic decision making by highlighting where your brand is strong, what activity is working and where there is opportunity for improvements.
Health checks on your brand are as important as health checks for yourself. Early detection of a problem can mean the difference between success and failure. Receiving an objective assessment of how your brand performs in the minds of your clients or consumers, will provide you the necessary insight on whether your marketing efforts are working, whether your customers are understanding and receiving the message you intended, and your brand integrity is tracking in the right direction according to your vision.
What do you need to consider in your brand tracking journey?
Before you dive into a brand tracking exercise there are a few things you need to consider:
A brand tracking exercise varies depending on the depth and method you choose, but what most determines cost is who you decide to survey. BrandMatters would recommend that while it’s important to understand your brand amongst target audiences, having a broader perspective of your brand in the general market can also help you see opportunities who may have otherwise overlooked.
Measuring and monitoring your brand can be done annually, ongoing throughout the year, or intermittently post campaign activity. Again, it all depends on the level you are investing in the brand awareness and how quickly and accurately you hope to keep track of the results.
Brand tracking can be done from within, for example, surveying your customer database or externally with the help of an agency. BrandMatters can design and implement a tracking program for your brand, and deliver the insights in a way that will help your team stay focused on execution of the marketing activity. As an added advantage, for B2B businesses, we have an active normative database of 15,000 business owners and decision makers that you can tap into from an overall market perspective of your brands performance within a B2B context. The two can be combined to give an understanding of the variation between your own customers and the general market.
Businesses who fail to make their brand investment accountable lose the opportunity to improve and refine their strategy going forward. Brand tracking should uncover strengths you can build on and challenges you can address — and suggest changes you should make to your brand strategy.
Get in touch with our research team at BrandMatters and we can prescribe the best brand tracking program to keep your brand at its optimal health. You may also wish to download our Guide to Brand Research which provides valuable information on the different types of brand research, and provides you with a toolkit for managing your brand research project.