November 7, 2019

Brand Tracking, Brand Positioning, and Why They Are Important

by

Laura Harker

Answering brand positioning questions is a big help toward growth. And brand tracking will provide the answers you need. Find out how here.

We know that marketing managers have a lot on their plates. So, telling them that they need to add brand tracking to their current workload might cause them to groan…

But hear us out—sure, starting to track your brand might be one extra job for your daily to-do list, but it’s certainly one that will bring you a whole load of benefits. One such advantage is discovering and delving into your brand’s current position in the market.

One common issue that many brand managers have is that they struggle to show just how their work is making a difference. Their boss might expect to see concrete results, which have traditionally been difficult for the marketing team to pull together. Now, thankfully, that shouldn’t be a problem.

As long as you utilize brand tracking, you can get a very accurate view of how your whole brand is currently performing. Plus, it should shed some light on your brand’s position as well.

Where are you currently in the market? How do you compare to all your competitors? Ultimately, who is doing better than all the other brands?

Answering these questions can be a big help and tracking your brand to see its position should provide you with all the answers.

Brand Tracking Explained

But what is brand tracking?

Put simply, brand tracking is the act of actively monitoring the overall health of your brand. We’ve also found a fancy quote that helps sum it up nicely too:

“the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market.”

What’s So Important About Brand Positioning?

It’s a given that brand tracking is super important. But what about brand positioning?

Brand tracking is important because it is what makes you distinct from the competition. Kotler puts it in much nicer words: “the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market”.

If you want your target audience to choose you over the competition you have to position yourself as offering something better, cheaper, more innovative, etc. than the rest. That is why brand positioning is important.

Discover Your Own Brand Positioning

There are many important things you can do with a brand tracker but, when it comes to brand positioning, tracking associations is the best. Why? It can help you:

  • Find out your current position. What are the positive associations your target audience has with your brand? And, alarmingly, what are the negative associations?
  • See where you are in relation to competitors. How are your competitors positioning their brand? In a different way to yours or is it very similar? If it is similar and they are doing much better, you need to worry.

You also need to work on finding out what your customers want and what your capabilities are.

Using a brand tracker will allow you to carry out the above two steps as easy as ABC.

Mini Case Study: Disrupter Banks in the UK

Let’s take a look at an example. We looked at brand associations for a number of disrupter banks in the UK. Now, according to our overall brand score (which is comprised of results from aided brand awareness, aided brand awareness, and brand consideration), Monzo is the top bank. Here is how they scored in the brand associations section:

Monzo Brand Associations Brand Tracking Results

The scores are not as good as one may expect. While 32% of the general population may have heard of the bank, just a third of these people have paired positive associations with them. It's good to see that Monzo's marketing department is growing. Considering the currently position themselves as "transparent", one would expect to see "trustworthy" rank much higher.

Let's look at bank number two, Starling Bank:

Starling Bank Brand Associations Brand Tracking Results

The scores between Starling Bank and Monzo are quite similar. However, Starling did score higher when it comes to reliability. This could be a positioning they could take a run with. Right now, the bank spend a lot on their brand identity as a means of standing out. Interesting that "appealing" is third on the list but not so off the others to cause worry.

Let's look at one more bank for fun, Atom Bank:

Atom Bank Brand Associations Brand Tracking Results

Atom Bank have topped both Monzo and Starling in terms of good value. Considering they see themselves as fast, easy, and low-cost, it seems like this positioning is working for them.

Evaluating Your Brand Position

When it comes to creating and evaluating your brand position, these following points will come in very useful:

Target Audience

If you are going to improve any part of your marketing or brand, the first thing you need to think about is your target audience. These should always be at the fore of your mind to ensure that you are doing everything that you can to reach them. If you need an example, here is Lush's target audience:

  • Women
  • 30 years old or younger
  • Vegetarian or vegan
  • Values socially responsible trade

define your target audience

Your Industry

The industry that your brand operates in might have a relatively big impact on your position. If your industry struggles with its image in the public domain, then this could create an uphill struggle for you. It will be your job to try to push past all the negative stereotypes so that your brand can rise up.

Brand Benefits

If your brand offers consumers plenty of benefits, then this should put you at a strong advantage. The public always views beneficial brands extremely highly. So, consider what is the main advantage that people can take from using you, and make sure you shout about it in all of your marketing.

Belief in the Brand

People need a reason to believe in your brand. If they believe in it, then it shows they care and are passionate about it. Those brands that offer value and who focus on their audience to ensure they meet their needs and wants should be easy for the public to believe in. Once there is a strong belief, then this should translate into a very enviable brand position.

Redefining Your Position

Companies often forget that they need to adjust the product-market fit of what they offer, and to whom. In order to do that, it's important to check from time to time your value proposition. Is the problem you are solving still a problem worth solving?You may use SEO tools to measure how many searches for your solution are performed monthly, and if this is a rising trend. That helps you to create your brand value proposition fitting exactly which solutions people look for, and how they look for solutions.

Sérgio Tavares, phD., a senior service designer at Idean (the creative branch of CapGemini Consulting Group; www.idean.com) says Search Engine tools are a part of his data-driven design approach. "The design community doesn't always see it, but user data is as customer-centric as one can get".

Recently, at Idean, Tavares has used simple campaigns to test the core value proposition of the startup Mazhr (mazhr.com), a company that helps users to find jobs they love by analyzing their personality data. Qualitative interviews raised the hypothesis that people needed reassurance and find their own purpose at work. But Search Engine data told a different story: unequivocally that people were NOT searching for a purpose. Using different phrasings, they were searching for jobs that they could fall in love with. "In one week, we had over 15 different value propositions shown to over 10,000 people looking for jobs. That's more statistical relevance than any interview set", says Tavares. "We could narrow down the offering to three core strategic value propositions the company should be active on."

"The process helped us to better understand the needs and wants of our potential customers so we could develop our service in the best way possible to serve them. We got the clarity we needed to focus on the right things", said Venla Tulppala, Digital Marketing Manage at Mazhr.

Brand Tracking and Brand Positioning

By continuing with your brand tracking, you should see whether your brand position is having any noticeable impact. By tracking over an extended period, you can then correlate all the collected brand tracking data with your campaigns that included the brand’s positioning. Don’t forget to also track your competitors at the same time!

Eager to learn more about brand tracking? We don’t blame you! Head over here to download our eBook for a complete guide.

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