Brand Tracking Study: What it is and when to apply it

Do you know what a Brand Tracking study is? Let’s start by talking about what a brand is. A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, design, or a combination of them intended to identify the products and services of a seller or group of sellers and differentiate them from the competition. A brand is your company’s perception of the products/services you offer to current and potential customers.

For customers, the brand serves as an identification or symbol of the products and services with which customers may or may not identify. 

For companies, it is an opportunity to create, recreate, increase visibility and review market share trends, for which they resort to a brand tracking study.

What is a brand tracking study?

It is a brand strategy research technique.

By tracking your brand you can monitor the health of the competitive landscape, obtain information that facilitates your marketing team’s decision making and facilitate business decision making. This will provide insight into the effectiveness of various marketing campaigns.

The objective of brand research through a brand tracking study is to monitor the health of the brand. Designing it requires making decisions related to what to track, when to track it, who to include and how to interpret the results.

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Each brand faces different issues, often requiring customized tracking surveys. However, it is important to measure elements such as usage, brand attitudes, perceptions and purchase intent in brand tracking studies.

Start tracking metrics such as brand recall and brand recognition. These are different indicators of how strong the competition is in the minds of consumers.

A brand that comes to mind first in certain situations is more likely to be considered than one that is only recognized.

It is also important to measure usage through recurrence, frequency of use and total spend on the brand and product category.

These brand tracking metrics tell us about consumer buying behavior and preferences, and are also indicators of market share.

We tend to capture brand attitudes and perceptions through questions related to the associations consumers develop through their experience with the brand and exposure to positioning messages from marketing campaigns.

Many brand associations tend to be beliefs about product-related attributes and benefits. However, associations also include symbolic and non-product related benefits. 

These associations, as well as those related to price and value, are important sources of brand equity and should be part of a brand tracking study.

How often should a Brand Tracking study be conducted?

Brand tracking studies usually involve collecting quantitative data from consumers on a regular basis. One way to do this is to collect information on an ongoing basis through online surveys.

This kind of research will give you a more representative picture of your brand’s position in the minds of consumers and against competitors. However, this type of brand tracking may not be feasible due to budget and resource constraints.

If continuous tracking is not feasible for an organization, you can do it on a quarterly, semi-annual, even annual basis. This approach can be equally effective, depending on how quickly the industry is evolving.

When determining the frequency of data collection for a brand tracking study, you should consider the following:  

  • Frequency of product purchase: for example, durable goods with long purchase cycles may be tracked less frequently. 
  • Marketing activity in the product category: A category where brands constantly launch marketing programs and promotions requires more frequent monitoring. 
  • Level of competition in the product category: Highly competitive product categories, where new products and competitors are constantly trying to enter, should be monitored regularly. 
  • Stability of brand associations: Brands with an established image that do not change rapidly over time can afford less frequent brand tracking.

Brand tracking studies are often conducted with current customers. However, tracking non-users of the brand can be very valuable. It can support the development of acquisition and market penetration strategy in pursuit of business growth and even learn more about the competition.

Do a brand tracking study and determine how your brand is doing to make adjustments. In an ideal world, we would want every brand to have customer engagement and loyalty, but as new competitors emerge, the customer experience changes and consumer perception changes, so it is important to spend time creating a brand strategy that stays ahead of the curve. 

Measure the value of your brand through a brand tracking study, at QuestionPro we have the tools to do it. Learn more about our platform by requesting a demo now!