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October 28, 2019

4 Major Issues with Traditional Brand Tracking

by Laura Harker

How is your brand doing at the minute? Do you know how its current performance compares to how it was six months ago? A year ago? What about 5 years ago? If you don’t know the answer, then it’s time to take up brand tracking.

In this article, we’ll go over the essentials of brand tracking plus discuss 4 major issues with traditional brand tracking that you need to avoid. You’ll come away from this piece understanding how to make your brand tracking data presentable—what better way to impress your boss?

What Is Brand Tracking?

Brand tracking is a method of measuring brand health. Most ways of tracking this metric focus on customer usage and their opinions.

By keeping an eye on the brand’s health in this way, you will see what its commercial value is. If the brand is enjoying good health, then there’s a high chance that it will be attracting plenty of sales and pushing up your profits.

It’s not just about commercial value, though. Following this metric will also make clear which changes and alterations could optimize your strategy and strengthen your brand further.

There are a number of different metrics that can be tracked, but here are the three most important ones:

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is all about how well consumers recognize you. This can be measured as aided and unaided; in other words, does the general public remember your brand with or without anything to jog their memory?

Brand Consideration

You can measure brand consideration by asking existing customers for their feedback. If you ask them what they think about you and whether they would consider your brand more so than competitor brands, you should be able to paint an accurate picture of brand loyalty. If customers will keep on coming back to the brand, then it should be very strong indeed.

Brand Associations

As part of tracking your brand, you will also find out about your brand associations. Every consumer who knows about you, even if they haven’t used you yet, will have their own perception of your brand. By looking into your brand associations, you can see how positive these perceptions are and whether or not they are in line with how you want the public to view your company.

Why Is Brand Tracking Important?

Let’s get onto the important stuff: Why is tracking your brand such a necessity? It should be getting clearer—by tracking all of these various brand metrics, you’ll get some really useful data and insights that you can start to work with.

Now let’s come to something else that might be niggling away in your mind—why is it so important to regularly track the brand? From your own experience, you should already be well aware that people’s opinions and perceptions are continually changing. Yours will be too! That’s why you need to keep on tracking your brand; if you ever take your finger off the pulse, then consumer’s perceptions could start to falter without you realizing it. And it could be then too late to step in and change things.

For instance, many brand marketers find that tracking their brand helps them see any changes to their target audience. Even though it’s a common misconception that target audiences are set in stone, many brands notice shifts in the demographics of their customers over time, no matter how slight. Not tracking your brand and failing to notice this shift means that you might not be targeting your main customer group, no matter how hard you try.

Saying that, not just any brand tracker will do the trick. Let's discuss why.

4 Major Issues with Traditional Brand Tracking

Ready to get started with tracking your own brand? Great! Once you do, you’ll certainly notice plenty of benefits that can be useful in your marketing campaigns and branding.

There are many traditional methods that you might already be aware of. These include methods such as listening to social media mentions, asking customers directly for feedback, or using online tracking tools. Likewise, there are quite a few options on the market when it comes to brand tracking software. However, both these methods and services do come with the following drawbacks.

Restrictive Data

If you use one of the more traditional brand tracking tools, you might notice that they only ever allow you to focus in on 2-3 audience characteristics at a time. For instance, they might only give you the option to go deeper into age and gender, but they might not cover location as well. This means that you are not getting the full picture of your target audience's opinions. Social listening presents a similar issue.

To get a super-accurate view of your audience, it’s necessary to take as many characteristics into account as possible. Consumers are multifaceted and so should your data.

Doesn’t Show Real-World Changes

When you consult the majority of other brand trackers, they will keep age and gender stable in the sample composition. Researchers will then maintain the same split between these two characteristics. However, whenever a new characteristic is added to the tracker, then this new addition is often skewed.

Let’s take location as an example. When age and gender are stable, location will be skewed so there’s a chance that the research might be bias towards whichever location most survey respondents are in.

It can be really surprising how these skewed survey results can end up altering the brand perception. Basing your brand tracking on these kinds of results could end up with you believing some misinformation.

To learn more about why this kind of sample composition can affect your brand tracking data, check out our handy eBook.

High Margins of Error

Many traditional brand trackers only use very small sample sizes. The groups that they ask or survey may only include 500 individuals. As a result, when trying to look at very specific characteristics, they often have to focus on specific individuals. This results in a very high margin of error that you wouldn’t have to worry about if they surveyed bigger groups.

Data Saturation

There are a lot of traditional brand tracking resources that allow marketers to put too many custom questions to survey respondents. On the face of it, this may not seem like such a bad thing. One big downside of these custom questions is that they can quickly lead to data saturation, though.

If you do end up being faced with data that is saturated, you could very easily be distracted with metrics that aren’t all that interesting.

That’s not all. If you come up with many different questions, you could find that a lot of potential respondents are put off from taking the survey. Research suggests that many individuals avoid long surveys as they assume that they are going to be very time-consuming. So, if you want to guarantee a large number of results from a survey, it’s best to keep it short and snappy.

If you want to avoid choosing a brand tracker offering these defects, print out our brand tracker checklist and have it at hand during sales calls.

How Latana Is Changing the Face of Brand Tracking

Here at Latana, we’re changing the face of brand tracking. We’ve tipped the usual traditional tracker on its head and are now able to offer brand marketers insights and data that they might not have previously had access to.

For one, our sample size is a lot bigger than many traditional alternatives. We always start off with a minimum of 3,000 respondents to ensure that the margin for error is as small as possible. This then allows us 1,000s of audience segmentations. We also use MRP (Multilevel Regression and Post-stratification), an advanced data science method, to crunch our numbers.

The benefits of using Latana don’t stop there. We always survey recommended audiences, unlike our competitors who will turn to their pre-configured audiences. That means we are asking the people who matter to your brand.

Our data is also known for its high accuracy, as it can pick up changes of above 2-3% in niche audiences.

What’s more, we give you access to our intuitive dashboard. This tool is optimized for audience discovery and collaboration. You’ll be able to interact with all of the data and results, which makes it incredibly easy to turn them into a presentable format to show your boss. We’ll keep these important insights updated throughout the year, so they always bring you value.

Every brand manager will be able to take full advantage of tracking their own brand using Latana. As you can take away from this post, it’s a necessary metric that can show how successful the various aspects of your brand are. If you use Latana, you’ll be armed with countless insights that will flag any weaknesses and give you ideas on how to make big changes.

Want to find out even more about brand tracking and Latana? Download our eBook to delve deeper into this subject.

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