The Dog Lovers' Guide to Brand Tracking

January 22, 2018 - 5 minute read

Brand tracking is essential to make sure your brand stays fit and healthy.

In a way, it’s like caring for a dog.

Man’s best friend has so much to give, but to get the best out of them they do require special care and attention - just like your brand does. Let’s see how else your brand is like your faithful companion...

 

An Brief Introduction to Brand Tracking

Brand tracking is a way to continuously track the development and progress of a brand. This is done by consistently monitoring a number of key variables, such as your Net Promoter Score or brand awareness levels. The purpose of brand tracking is to keep an eye on your brand’s overall health, while also helping to direct your marketing strategy and spend.

To use our dog analogy, let’s say you weigh your dog every month and you notice he’s piling on the pounds, you can use that information to amend his diet and plan his exercise regime. What it means is you don’t let your dog become obese and then end up at the vets. 

In the same way, brand tracking helps you address potential problems with your brand before they become major catastrophes (with vet-level bills needed to correct them).

 

4 Ways Brand Tracking is Like Owning A Dog

 

  1. A dog can help you sniff out what you’re looking for 

Whether it’s truffles, illicit substances, or Timmy stuck down another well, you can trust a dog’s sensitive nose to be able to find the scent. Likewise, you can rely on brand tracking to uncover what you’re looking for. Using a consumer insight platform like Attest, you can dig out golden nuggets of information such as:

  • Brand awareness level - Are consumers aware of your brand? How does awareness increase or decrease in line with your marketing activities? And where did they hear about you?
  • Consideration - How familiar are consumers with your brand, brand values and product features? Would you be top of mind in a specific category or when consumers need a particular job done?
  • Purchase intent - How likely are consumers to buy your brand? How do you compare to your key competitors? And why?
  • Consumer sentiment/perception - How do people feel about your brand? Do their perceptions match with your messaging?

While all these data points exist about your brand, you won’t know about them without knowing how to listen.

 

 

2. A dog can alert you to risk

If a stranger enters your property, a dog will bark to warn you. They are always on guard to protect you and let you know if anything potentially harmful is about to happen. This is exactly what brand tracking does - it is a watchdog, keeping an eye out for risk. 

Let’s say your Net Promoter Score plummets by 10 percentage points - it’s time to put your nose to the ground and sniff out the cause. Finding the source of problems quickly means you can nip them in the bud and prevent any further damage.

However, to be a good guard dog, your pet must know what he’s looking out for - it’s no good barking at every passing cat. This is where Attest can help; our brand intelligence experts can advise you on the metrics to measure and how to measure them.

What’s more, because our data comes direct from real consumers, it’s intel you can rely on. Therefore, when your dog barks, you know to sit up and take notice.

  

Brands are like dogs

  

3. Dogs needs regular exercise to stay healthy

Dogs love good, long walks or the chance to go to the park and chase a ball. Exercise keeps them fit and vital, and it’s something every responsible dog owner ensures their dog gets daily. Likewise, responsible brand owners need to put their brands through their paces on a regular basis.

It’s no good measuring your KPIs once and then forgetting to do it again - how will you know if you’ve made any progress? Equally, measuring just once a year leaves a lot of leeway to get out of shape in between. The agility of your brand - your ability to react quickly and effectively - is dependent on having up-to-date metrics.

The frequency with which you measure will depend on the pace of your industry and the activities you’re undertaking. For some brands it may be appropriate to track certain KPIs on a monthly basis, for example if you have an advertising campaign with a series of different ads and want to measure reaction to each one. For more general monitoring, quarterly tracking will enable you to extract meaningful data and pinpoint any long-term emerging trends.

 

 

4. Dog’s get smarter with training 

You can teach your dog to do all sort of tricks if you spend enough time training them. Want your dog to roll over, play dead or even jump through hoops? Invest enough time and energy into them and they can (even the old ones). It’s the same with your brand. You’ll be able to make some seriously smart moves if you practise brand tracking as a discipline.

Like training a dog, brand tracking takes commitment - you have to keep doing it and you have to be prepared to allocate budget - but the rewards can be amazing. The data you get back can be put to work in order to grow market share and increase brand equity.

For example, if KPIs like brand awareness and consideration aren’t heading in the right direction, you can place increased focus on advertising and promotion, deducing the most effective channels to reach your target audience.

If purchase intent is not increasing, it might be time to look at other factors influencing successful sales such as pricing, competition and consumer perceptions (does your brand have a reputation for poor quality products or bad customer service?) Perhaps you need to implement a strategy to shift perception?

Your regular brand tracking should always include a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures, to give greater context to your findings. Attest can help you dig deeper to make sure you’re not barking up the wrong tree when making crucial decisions for your brand.

 

 

Conclusion

If you want your brand to be best of breed, you need to nurture it daily and monitor its progress closely. Brand tracking alerts you to downward trends as soon as they start to emerge, enabling you to act quickly to stop you brand from going to the dogs.

If you can keep KPIs continually ascending, your dogged determination will pay off with increased sales, profits and long term customer loyalty. And while it might be a dog eat dog world, with consistent brand tracking you can ensure you stay ahead of your competitors.

If this article has given you paws for thought and you’d like to learn more about brand tracking, contact Attest for a free trial.

 

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