With the world beginning to vaccinate against COVID-19, businesses are looking to the future with optimism—and ambitious goals. This moment in time is an opportunity for businesses to hone in on their strategy for long-term success. As businesses start to consider their priorities in a post-pandemic future, brand and industry tracking should be at the top of the list to help you understand your competitive positioning, prepare for launches, and refine your marketing strategy.
And this isn’t a one-and-done proposition in the current market. We’re living in a world of choice and a world of change. Even a mammoth brand like Amazon can find their public perception shifting rapidly, as seen in a Recode|SurveyMonkey poll conducted during the coronavirus pandemic.
Luckily, brand tracking is now more accessible than ever thanks to agile, tech-enabled platforms such as SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions that include proven methodology and AI-based insights to empower any business to quickly collect and act upon fresh brand insights. Here are our top metrics to live by in an ever-expanding competitive market.
Brand awareness tells you where your brand stands today
Brand awareness measures how familiar consumers are with your brand. For example—if someone says they want to buy a soft drink, what brand do you think of first? The answer is probably Coke, a brand with extremely high awareness.
No matter how someone feels about a brand, being top of mind keeps your brand in consideration. Brand recall and brand recognition questions help you uncover how visible (or invisible) you are to consumers so you can target your marketing efforts accordingly and drive more traffic to your website or store.
Go deeper: How rising-star sneaker startup Allbirds uses brand awareness to expand into new territories
Brand usage uncovers how and why purchases are made
Awareness is not enough to guarantee sales. Brand usage tells you how frequently consumers purchase your product or service, how frequently they purchase from competitors, and why they choose you or your competitors.
To extend our soda example, a challenger brand would want to know how it compares to Coca-Cola. From there, ask: how can we show consumers that our brand is worth purchasing? What makes us stand out? You may not be able to compete with Coca-Cola when it comes to sheer popularity, but you can identify opportunities to stand out in specific ways or with a specific audience.
Brand attributes highlight why your brand stands out
Brand attributes are the associations that people have with a product within its overall category, and the association that people have with particular brands. Brand attributes for soda might be terms like sweetened, carbonated, and caffeinated. Shoppers have preferences for specific attributes and buy accordingly. Brand value is another important aspect to measure here. Brand value refers to how much a brand is worth in the marketplace. With a strong brand value, you can earn a multitude of benefits including attracting workforce talent, boosting employee motivation, and attracting and retaining customers.
A brand tracking survey can help you understand what comes to mind when consumers think of your brand. What do consumers think your brand should do for them? Are you meeting their expectations? What positive and negative things do they associate with the product category overall? Consumers may think positively about your brand not because of price or convenience, but because your brand fulfills their specific needs. Getting consumers’ opinions about your brand attributes can help you understand what you’re doing well, why, and what you can do better.
Brand lift will refine your marketing strategy
The term brand lift refers to an increase in target audience perception, something that is hard to measure without easy access to market research.
One way to execute a brand lift study is to run a brand awareness/perception survey in a market you are heavily spending in, as well as in a market where you aren’t advertising. You can use surveys to measure the effectiveness of your brand campaigns by comparing the change in brand awareness/perception in the market where you’re spending vs where you aren’t.
Frequency matters for successful brand tracking surveys
By measuring the metrics discussed here, brands can better understand what’s working, what is not, and where they fit in the competitive landscape. But brand tracking is not a one-time measurement. Once you perform an initial brand tracking survey and get that first set of data, you should repeat that survey often to note trends. Agile platforms make it easy to conduct brand tracking frequently at a cost-effective price.
Rapidly growing companies or companies in quickly changing markets should monitor their brands fairly regularly – such as on a monthly or quarterly basis. Companies in other markets should run brand tracking research once or twice a year. There could be unexpected market events—economic, pandemic, privacy breach—that require a mid-cycle pulse check, so flexibility is key. Whichever interval you choose, be sure to stay consistent so you can accurately monitor positive and negative trends—so your next brand advertising campaign will reach the right people at the right time and send the right message.