What is Brand Tracking?
Brand tracking is a means of continuously measuring the health of a brand, both in terms of what consumers think about it and their usage of it (see Brand Funnel). Brand tracking measurement usually includes overall brand warmth/brand love; brand momentum; as well as defining attributes associated with that brand.
What are the aims of Brand Tracking?
A strong brand tracking programme will supply an authoritative read of brand equity at a macro level and how this is progressing over time. It will also diagnose the changes that will deliver improvement.
What is Brand Warmth / Brand Love?
Brand warmth describes the emotional attachment customers have to a brand. It is a less rational assessment than brand metrics such as NPS or customer satisfaction ratings and refers to general sentiment rather than an individual experience. It tends to be measured using implicit techniques as it’s important for respondents to not overthink their feelings. Scores for brand warmth tend to be relatively slow to change.
What is Brand Momentum?
Brand momentum assesses whether consumers see – at a single moment in time – a brand as being on the way up or down. It’s important not to confuse this with momentum defined as the change in scores between two different points in time. Brand momentum is a useful lead indicator of future performance as brands judged to have this tend to punch above their weight in terms of mental availability. This is not only because these brands are more likely to be the topic of consumers’ conversations but also because humans tend to overestimate the size of phenomena that appear to be ‘on the up’.
What are brand attributes?
These are the characteristics commonly associated with a brand. It’s important to think carefully about which image aspects to track, it’s advisable to include both those you believe define your brand plus those that characterise your rivals’ positioning. As with brand warmth, brand attributes are also best measured using implicit research techniques – a simple way of doing this is to probe the strength of association while subjecting the respondent to time pressure.
How is Brand Tracking undertaken?
Brand tracking research is typically undertaken via usage and attitude (U&A) studies, either amongst a nationally representative or target market sample. Deciding which brands to track is an important first step. Typically, between four and eight brands are followed as this allows a robust sample size to be achieved for each whilst staying within a sensible budget. It is best to set up the questions on the survey in a way that allows the brand list to change without unduly influencing back data.