Understanding consumers is important for companies of all sizes and stages. This is where brand tracking comes in: it’s a powerful tool that helps brand-focused companies answer some difficult questions, including:

  • What is the ROI of our marketing spend?
  • Has our advertising campaign impacted brand awareness among our audiences?
  • Are we confident that our advertising spend is having a positive impact on purchase intent?

Brand tracking is an irreplaceable tool for companies that are investing in their brand, particularly in competitive markets. It provides you with answers to the questions above and helps you understand whether your activities are helping your brand.

So what’s the problem?

We’re not the first ones to have figured out that brand tracking is a very powerful tool for companies to steer their growth; it’s already a widespread practice among larger companies and brands like Apple, Nike, and Mercedes-Benz to name a few. These companies have the resources to engage in large-scale market research and brand tracking, which is often not the case for startups (for the sake of this post, we define startups as companies below 10 years old with between 20 to 500 employees).

Most of the startups that we have talked to don’t engage in brand tracking for one of the following reasons:

  1. The price tag: This is the most common reason we hear. Traditional brand trackers are often priced in the 6–7 digit area and even the most basic plans are out of reach for most startups. Large multi-national corporations can afford these, but most of the startups that we talk to would have to forfeit the entirety of their marketing budget to afford this.
  2. The time: From the initial setup and definition of the scope, to going through the results, traditional market research can be time consuming when done well. Unless companies have dedicated resources, which startups usually don’t, they can often be overwhelmed by the hundreds of pages of “data” they are delivered or don’t have the time to commit to analyzing the results.
  3. The knowledge: From our experience only larger companies tend to have dedicated market research departments that have the necessary skill set to process and interpret the data received from traditional market research. CMOs or brand managers in startups on the other hand require distilled and actionable insights, as most don’t have dedicated market researchers at their disposal.

Here’s the solution

Having spent thousands of hours with startups while developing our BrandTracker, we learned a lot about how to help them benefit from brand tracking. Here are some of our tips:

  1. Keeping the price affordable: To begin with, keep your surveys short and simple. With brand tracking, less is often more. The industry in general has developed in the opposite direction and respondents are suffering from extremely long and boring questionnaires, that ultimately lead to bad data and high costs. Staying away from this and focusing on a few core questions (brand awareness, brand consideration, brand usage), will keep prices low, while still delivering valuable results (e.g. our BrandTracker starts at 290€/month)
  2. Reducing the time commitment: Adding to the previous point, avoiding big surveys and traditional market research will help you save time when processing the data. Use digital tools where possible, as opposed to massive decks that no one has the time to go through. In developing our brand tracker, we discovered a huge enthusiasm for our interactive dashboard, which makes data analysis simple and intuitive. Tools like these can cut your time commitment in half while providing the same value.
  3. Seek out companies that cater to startups: Startups can often be hectic, underfunded and understaffed. That’s why it’s so important to seek out brand tracking solutions that understand how startups work and provide offerings that fit their needs. This means quick, automated delivery and insights, simple questionnaire setups and knowledgeable assistance and guidance to fill in any knowledge gaps.

As a final note, brand tracking works best when it’s done frequently and systematically. This is particularly important for startups, where things change rapidly and marketing and branding should be adjusted accordingly. You are tracking your analytics and social media at least daily, so why should you ignore your brand for months at a time? Our BrandTracker currently delivers monthly data, but we really envision it becoming a real time tool.

We see an increasing interest in brandtracking among startups, but lots of uncertainty about how to do it and which solutions to use. If you are one of them, get in touch, we would love to share our learnings with you and see how we can help.

Get in touch with Rytis at rytis.jakubauskas@daliaresearch.com

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