Discover the importance of brand tracking and how it can optimize your brand performance with our step-by-step 10-part guide. In this article, we'll cover the essential brand tracking metrics, benefits, implementation process, tools, and a real-world case study.

Brand Tracking at a Glance

Master the art of brand tracking with this comprehensive guide, which provides a step-by-step process for implementing brand tracking in your business. Brand tracking is a powerful tool that helps businesses monitor their brand performance over time and make data-driven decisions. Discover the key benefits of brand tracking, such as optimizing marketing efforts and identifying potential opportunities or threats. Learn about essential brand tracking metrics, including brand awareness, recall, and consideration. Follow our step-by-step guide to implement brand tracking, from defining objectives and selecting metrics to analyzing data and making improvements. Explore tips on choosing the right brand tracking tools and platforms, conducting competitor analysis, and leveraging technology for more effective tracking. Gain insights from a real-world case study of successful brand tracking implementation.

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Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Brand Tracking?
  3. The Benefits of Brand Tracking
  4. Essential Brand Tracking Metrics
  5. How to Set Up a Brand Tracking Study
  6. Challenges in Brand Tracking
  7. Competitor Analysis in Brand Tracking
  8. Leveraging Technology for Brand Tracking
  9. Case Study: A Real-World Example of Successful Brand Tracking
  10. Conclusion

Get ready to master brand tracking and leverage its insights to propel your business forward!

1. Introduction

In today's highly competitive market, it's crucial for businesses to keep a close eye on their brand performance. Brand tracking is an essential tool that allows companies to monitor their brand's health, identify potential opportunities and threats, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their marketing efforts. According to Hanover Research, “regularly tracking your brand is the only way to truly understand its success”. This step-by-step guide will help you master the art of brand tracking and ensure your brand stays ahead of the competition.

Before we dive in, consider using our Chat-GPT powered brand measurement business case generator to start making the argument for data-driven brand management at your company.

2. What is Brand Tracking?

Definition of brand tracking

Brand tracking is a method of continuously measuring and monitoring the performance of a brand over time. This process involves collecting data on key performance indicators (KPIs) related to brand awareness, perception, and preference among a target audience. By tracking these metrics, businesses can gain valuable insights into how their brand is performing in the market and identify areas for improvement.

How brand tracking differs from other brand measurement methods

While there are various brand measurement methods, such as brand equity and brand lift, brand tracking is unique in its focus on continuous monitoring. It allows businesses to track changes in their brand's performance and make adjustments to their marketing strategies as needed. In contrast, other methods may be used to measure the impact of specific marketing campaigns or the overall value of a brand.

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Key objectives of brand tracking

The primary objectives of brand tracking include:

  • Monitoring brand health and performance over time
  • Identifying trends and changes in consumer perceptions
  • Uncovering potential threats and opportunities in the market
  • Informing data-driven marketing decisions to optimize brand strategy
  • In the next section, we'll explore the benefits of brand tracking in more detail.

3. The Benefits of Brand Tracking

Tracking brand performance over time

One of the primary benefits of brand tracking is its ability to monitor brand performance continuously. By regularly collecting data on key brand metrics, businesses can track changes in consumer perceptions and identify trends that may impact their brand's performance. This ongoing monitoring enables companies to make timely adjustments to their marketing strategies, ensuring they stay ahead of the competition.

Identifying potential threats and opportunities

Brand tracking can also help businesses uncover potential threats and opportunities in the market. By analyzing changes in consumer sentiment, preferences, and awareness, companies can identify emerging trends or competitive forces that may impact their brand's performance. This information can be used to proactively address these challenges, seize new opportunities, and protect the brand's market position.

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Optimizing marketing efforts and budget allocation

With the insights gained from brand tracking, businesses can make data-driven decisions to optimize their marketing efforts and allocate their budgets more effectively. By understanding which marketing activities are driving the most significant improvements in brand performance, companies can focus their resources on the most impactful initiatives, ensuring the best possible return on investment.

4. Essential Brand Tracking Metrics

Brand awareness

Brand awareness measures the extent to which consumers are familiar with a brand and its products or services. This metric is crucial for brand tracking because it indicates the effectiveness of a company's marketing efforts in reaching its target audience. High brand awareness can lead to increased consumer interest, trust, and, ultimately, sales.

Brand recall

Brand recall is the ability of consumers to remember a brand when prompted or when thinking about a specific product category. This metric helps businesses understand how well their brand is positioned in the minds of consumers and how effectively their marketing messages are being retained. Strong brand recall can contribute to top-of-mind awareness and influence purchase decisions.

Brand consideration

Brand consideration refers to the likelihood that a consumer will consider a specific brand when making a purchase decision. By tracking brand consideration, companies can assess their brand's appeal to potential customers and identify areas where they can improve their marketing strategies to increase their chances of being considered for purchase.

Brand preference

Brand preference measures the extent to which consumers prefer a particular brand over its competitors. This metric is crucial for understanding a brand's competitive position in the market and can provide insights into the factors that influence consumer choice. By improving brand preference, businesses can increase their market share and drive growth.

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Brand sentiment

Brand sentiment refers to the overall perception and feelings that consumers have towards a brand. Tracking brand sentiment allows businesses to understand how their marketing efforts, products, or services are resonating with their target audience. Monitoring changes in brand sentiment can help companies identify potential issues or areas for improvement.

Brand promoter score (bNPS)

The brand promoter score (bNPS) is a metric that measures the likelihood of consumers recommending a brand to others. By tracking bNPS, companies can gauge the overall satisfaction and loyalty of their customers. A high bNPS indicates a strong brand reputation and can lead to increased word-of-mouth marketing and customer retention.

5. How to Set Up a Brand Tracking Study

Step 1: Define your objectives

Before starting a brand tracking study, it's essential to clearly define your objectives. What do you want to achieve with the study? Are you looking to monitor the overall health of your brand, assess the effectiveness of a specific marketing campaign, or identify potential threats and opportunities in the market? Having clear objectives will help you focus your research and ensure that the insights you gain are actionable and relevant to your business goals.

Step 2: Select your target audience

Next, identify the target audience for your brand tracking study. Your target audience should be the group of consumers who are most relevant to your brand and marketing objectives. This may include current customers, potential customers, or even competitors' customers. Be as specific as possible when defining your target audience, as this will help you design a more effective study and generate more accurate insights.

Step 3: Choose your brand tracking metrics

Once you have defined your objectives and target audience, select the brand tracking metrics that will best help you achieve your goals. As discussed earlier, there are several essential brand tracking metrics to choose from, such as brand awareness, brand recall, brand consideration, brand preference, brand sentiment, and brand promoter score (bNPS). Depending on your objectives, you may decide to focus on a few key metrics or track a broader range of metrics to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your brand's performance.

Step 4: Design your survey

With your objectives, target audience, and metrics in mind, design a survey that will collect the data you need for your brand tracking study. Your survey should include questions that measure your chosen brand tracking metrics and any additional information that may be relevant to your objectives. Keep your survey as concise as possible to minimize respondent fatigue and ensure that you collect high-quality data.

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Step 5: Collect and analyze your data

Once your survey is designed, distribute it to your target audience and collect responses. Depending on your objectives and target audience, you may choose to collect data at regular intervals (e.g., monthly, quarterly) or conduct a one-time study. After collecting your data, analyze it to identify trends, patterns, and insights that can inform your marketing strategies and help you achieve your brand tracking objectives.

Step 6: Monitor, adjust, and iterate

Brand tracking is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring and adjustment. As you collect and analyze your data, use the insights you gain to refine your marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions that help you achieve your brand tracking objectives. Regularly review and update your brand tracking study to ensure that it remains relevant to your business goals and continues to provide valuable insights.

6. Challenges in Brand Tracking

While brand tracking is an essential tool for marketers, it's not without its challenges. Here are some common issues faced when conducting brand tracking studies and potential solutions to overcome them:

  • Overcoming survey biases: Survey biases, such as social desirability bias or response bias, can impact the accuracy of brand tracking data. To minimize these biases, carefully design your survey questions to be clear, unbiased, and easy to understand. Consider using different question types and response scales to capture a variety of insights. Additionally, ensure that your survey sample is representative of your target population and large enough to produce statistically significant results.
  • Ensuring data accuracy: The quality of your brand tracking data is crucial to deriving actionable insights. Maintain data accuracy by regularly updating your survey questions to reflect any changes in your brand, product offerings, or market conditions. Also, consider using data validation techniques, such as data cleaning and data verification, to identify and correct any errors or inconsistencies in your data.
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  • Maintaining consistency in measurements over time: Consistency is key when tracking brand metrics over time. To maintain consistency, use the same survey questions, target audience, and data collection methods for each iteration of your brand tracking study. This will ensure that any changes in your brand metrics can be attributed to actual changes in brand perception, rather than inconsistencies in your data collection process.
  • Dealing with survey fatigue: Long, repetitive surveys can lead to survey fatigue, resulting in lower response rates and less accurate data. To mitigate survey fatigue, keep your survey as short and focused as possible, avoiding unnecessary or redundant questions. You can also use survey logic, such as skip patterns or branching, to create a more personalized and engaging experience for respondents.
  • Interpreting complex data: Analyzing and interpreting brand tracking data can be challenging, especially when dealing with multiple metrics and complex relationships between variables. To make sense of your data, use data visualization tools to create easy-to-understand charts and graphs that highlight key trends and patterns. You can also employ statistical techniques, such as regression analysis or cluster analysis, to identify relationships between variables and segment your data for deeper insights.

By addressing these challenges and implementing best practices, you can ensure that your brand tracking study produces accurate, reliable, and actionable insights to inform your marketing strategies and drive brand growth.

7. Competitor Analysis in Brand Tracking

Understanding your brand's performance is crucial, but to gain a comprehensive view of the market landscape, it's essential to analyze competitor brands as well. Competitor analysis in brand tracking can provide valuable insights into market dynamics, competitive advantages, and opportunities for differentiation. Here's how to integrate competitor analysis into your brand tracking efforts:

  • Identify key competitors: Start by identifying the main competitors in your market, both direct and indirect. Consider factors such as market share, product offerings, target audience, and brand positioning to determine which competitors are most relevant to your brand.
  • Monitor competitor brand metrics: Track the same brand metrics for your competitors as you do for your own brand. This can include brand awareness, brand equity, brand sentiment, and more. Comparing these metrics across brands will provide insights into the relative strengths and weaknesses of each brand in the market.
  • Analyze competitor marketing strategies: Examine your competitors' marketing strategies, such as their messaging, advertising channels, and promotional activities. Identify which strategies are working well for them and consider if there are any learnings you can apply to your own marketing efforts.
  • Assess competitor product offerings: Evaluate your competitors' products or services, taking into account factors such as features, pricing, and customer reviews. This can help you identify gaps in the market, as well as areas where your brand can offer unique value or benefits.
  • Benchmark your brand against competitors: Use the data gathered through your competitor analysis to benchmark your brand's performance against your competitors. This can help you set realistic goals for your brand, as well as identify areas where you need to improve or where you have a competitive advantage.
  • Leverage insights for differentiation: Use the insights gained from your competitor analysis to inform your brand strategy and marketing efforts. This might involve refining your brand positioning, adjusting your messaging, or developing new products or services to better meet the needs of your target audience.
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By incorporating competitor analysis into your brand tracking efforts, you'll be better equipped to understand the market landscape, identify opportunities for growth, and ultimately, create a stronger, more competitive brand.

8. Leveraging Technology for Brand Tracking

In today's digital age, technology plays a crucial role in enhancing brand tracking efforts and making them more efficient and insightful. By leveraging various tools and platforms, marketers can gain deeper insights into their brand performance and make data-driven decisions. Here are some ways to utilize technology for brand tracking:

  • Survey tools: Online survey platforms, such as Pollfish or Qualtrics, can streamline the process of creating and distributing brand tracking surveys. These tools offer features like survey templates, question libraries, skip logic, and built-in data analysis capabilities, making it easier to collect and analyze brand tracking data.
  • Social listening tools: Social listening platforms, like Brandwatch or Mention, can help you monitor social media and other online channels for mentions of your brand, products, or industry. These tools can provide valuable insights into brand sentiment, trending topics, and customer feedback, allowing you to track your brand's online reputation and identify areas for improvement.
  • Web analytics: Web analytics tools, such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, can provide insights into how users interact with your website and digital content. By tracking metrics like web traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rates, you can gain a better understanding of your brand's online performance and optimize your digital marketing efforts accordingly.
  • Marketing automation platforms: Marketing automation tools, like HubSpot or Marketo, can help you streamline and automate various aspects of your brand tracking efforts. These platforms offer features like email marketing, CRM integration, and marketing analytics, allowing you to collect and analyze brand data across multiple channels and touchpoints.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning: Advanced technologies, such as AI and machine learning, can be leveraged to analyze large datasets and derive actionable insights from brand tracking data. AI-powered analytics tools can help you uncover patterns, trends, and relationships in your data that might otherwise be difficult to detect, ultimately enhancing your decision-making process.
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"An expressive oil painting of patterns connecting each other" - DALL·E 2
  • Data visualization tools: Data visualization tools, like Tableau or Power BI, can help you present your brand tracking data in a visually engaging and easy-to-understand format. By creating interactive charts, graphs, and dashboards, you can quickly identify trends and patterns in your data and communicate your insights to stakeholders more effectively.

By harnessing the power of technology for brand tracking, marketers can access more accurate and actionable insights, streamline their processes, and ultimately, drive better results for their brand.

9. Case Study: A Successful Brand Tracking Study in Action

To demonstrate the power of brand tracking in action, let's examine a case study of a company that successfully used brand tracking to measure the impact of a marketing campaign and optimize their brand strategy.

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Extra, the first debit card that builds credit and earns rewards, understood the importance of leading with a strong brand to help disrupt the extremely competitive consumer financial product landscape. They decided to implement a brand tracking study to measure changes in brand awareness, brand recall, and brand preference, among other key metrics, as the startup grew..

Step 1: Define objectives

The primary objectives of the brand tracking study were to:

  • Measure the effectiveness of marketing/branding in increasing brand awareness and recall.
  • Assess the impact of the marketing on brand preference and consideration.
  • Identify areas of improvement for future marketing efforts.

Step 2: Select target audience

The target audience for the study included:

  • People interested in increasing their credit scores with quotas built around current credit scores

Step 3: Choose brand tracking metrics

Extra chose to focus on the following brand tracking metrics:

  • Brand awareness (aided and unaided)
  • Brand recall
  • Brand consideration
  • Brand preference

Step 4: Design survey

Extra partnered with Brandata to design a survey that included questions related to the selected brand tracking metrics. The survey also included demographic questions to help segment the data and identify any differences in brand perception among different customer segments.

Step 5: Collect and analyze data

Brandata conducted the brand tracking study. They collected and analyzed the data to identify trends and patterns that could help them evaluate the success of Extra’s marketing strategy.

The results showed a significant increase in aided brand awareness and brand recall, indicating that marketing efforts were successful in making the brand more memorable. However, there was only a modest increase in brand consideration and preference, suggesting that more efforts were needed to grow familiarity for the new product category.

Step 6: Monitor, adjust, and iterate

Using the insights from the brand tracking study, Extra made several adjustments to their marketing strategy. They invested more in improving brand consideration and preference. They also continued to monitor their brand tracking metrics over time to assess the impact of these changes and make further refinements as needed.

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10. Conclusion

Brand tracking is a powerful tool that allows marketers to measure the effectiveness of their branding efforts and make data-driven decisions to optimize their brand strategy. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can implement a successful brand tracking study and gain valuable insights into the performance of your brand. Whether you're looking to assess the impact of a marketing campaign, monitor the overall health of your brand, or identify areas for improvement, brand tracking can provide the data and insights you need to make informed decisions and drive your brand's success.

(Editor's note: this article was created and edited by the author using ChatGPT-4).