The Pros and Cons of Brand Tracking Research
03 Aug 2020

Knowing a company’s current brand equity compared to the competition is essential for success. You need to know how it is growing, stagnating, or diminishing and what is causing these changes (or lack of variance). To gain a full picture of your brand is not always as simple as it may seem. A myriad of factors influences equity and perceptions over time. As a result, any brand that invests in extensive marketing efforts should have brand tracking research in place. Read below to learn more about the pros and cons of brand tracking research. 

A brand tracker is a survey that is conducted at a regular cadence (e.g., every quarter, annually, or even continually) that evaluates a company and its competitors’ performance. The research allows you to consistently understand all activities that impact awareness, consideration, purchase, and retention. 

Pros

A Deeper Understanding About Your Brand & the Competition 

Consistently evaluating your brand allows a detailed understanding of your brand overall performance in the market.  When you are tracking, you know your awareness, market share, profits, and retention and why they are at the current levels that they are at. 

Understanding KPIs, Performance, and Goals

How do you know if your advertising and public relation efforts are working?  Every company has specific metrics that they look at to help determine success. Brand trackers are a way to monitor if your marketing is meeting its expectations consistently. 

Brand tracking include performance-based questions, typically including measurements such as unaided/aided recall, perception, purchase intent, and likelihood to recommend.

Comparisons Over Time

A tracker is like a snapshot of a brand’s continuous health. What makes brand tracking research powerful is this ability to differentiate what may influence your company’s performance. For instance, if there was negative (e.g. bad PR, a recession) or something positive ( product development, new good commercial) you get feedback in the current moment, and compare it to past performance.

Continuity

Developing brand tracking research takes time, but maintaining the survey for the next round is simpler after the first study. While some questions will change from iteration to iteration of the tracker to address particular concerns in a moment, the vast majority remains the same. This continuity streamlines the process of understanding and evaluating your brand equity.

Competitive Analysis

The key to any robust brand tracker is competitive analysis. The brand is evaluated alongside its primary competition to see who stands out and how. Learning how your competitors’ image evolves is informative and instrumental to brand strategy. It also gives a view of how your competitors may be strategizing in a particular moment, or how plans change over time.

 

Cons

Need to be Consistent 

Trackers need to be conducted consistently.  Some brands may find that there has not been much change from quarter to quarter and then only track when they feel an issue comes up.  Regardless of what the cadence is, consistency is crucial.  If too much time has lapsed, there can be many factors that cause variation in results. 

Get Too Complicated

It is vital to keep trackers streamlined and simple. Evaluating too many competitors or asking too many detailed questions may cause boredom during survey taking.  Also, the results may get too much into the weeds. Therefore, the end-user is not looking at what the bigger picture is saying. 

Too Generic

Often research companies have standard tracker templates.  Provoke Insights disagrees in a one size fit solution.  It is essential to make sure that the tracker is looking at your company’s individual goals when developing the tracker.  Also, the research should take into consideration the specific industry needs and trends. For example, some sectors are entirely transactional online, while other industries in-person sales may be more critical. A tracker needs to take this type of consumer behavior into account. 

If your company is interested in a brand tracker study, please reach out to info@provokeinsights.com, and we will be happy to schedule a call to discuss the research objectives with you and decide on the best methodology to achieve the goals. 

Read some of our blogs from this series here:

  1. Online Survey Research – The Pros and Cons
  2. Online Focus Groups – Advantages/Disadvantage
  3. The Pros and Cons of In-Depth Interviews

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