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Do You Need One-Time or Ongoing Brand Tracking Research?

A strong brand helps organizations boost revenue, capitalize on market opportunities, and compete with an increasing number of competitors. With a solid brand presence, organizations gain longevity and recognition, building a well-regarded reputation among customers and competitors.  

To build and maintain a strong brand, companies need to measure their brand health. This allows them to understand their brand strengths and weaknesses and identify and prioritize brand initiatives.  

How Do You Measure Your Brand?  

There are a variety of elements that, combined, give a picture of a brand’s strength and overall health. They include evaluations like:  

  • Brand Awareness: How knowledgeable your target audience is of your brand.  
  • Brand Perception: How customers view your brand  
  • Brand Equity: The value of your brand in influencing customer decision-making 
  • Brand Loyalty: How loyal customers are to your brand, product, or service  

To measure and analyze these elements, companies conduct brand health tracking research.  

What is Brand Health Tracking Research?  

Brand health tracking research analyzes the elements that make up your brand health. It provides companies with an assessment of their current state of brand health while also identifying unique brand strengths and weaknesses.  

By uncovering strengths and weaknesses, brand tracking research provides companies with a roadmap of opportunities and risks to leverage and correct. For example, by identifying strong brand loyalty, companies can focus on building up their customer advocacy to support marketing and sales endeavors. On the other hand, if a company discovers poor brand loyalty, they need to investigate customers’ dissatisfaction with their brand and focus on aligning their brand to match customer needs and expectations.  

Keeping a finger on the pulse of your brand health through brand tracking research is key to building and maintaining a thriving brand. Companies who conduct brand health research say it provides an ROI of 10 times. 

What Are the Different Brand Measurement Techniques?  

To effectively measure how their brands are performing, organizations perform either a one-time brand audit or ongoing brand tracking 

A one-time brand assessment typically involves an evaluation of brand strength and perception at a single point in time. Ongoing brand tracking assesses various standard indicators of brand health regularly, comparing the results to identify positive and negative changes. Both of these approaches have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, including the resources required and the insights produced.  

Below we’ve broken down the key elements of both options to help you decide which is right for your brand.  

The One-Time Option: Brand Assessment 

A single brand assessment can help organizations evaluate how their brand is currently performing.  

A brand assessment provides the ability to drill down into the current state of the brand, such as how aware customers are of the brand, its reputation in the marketplace, and if it’s preferred by consumers. For example, an assessment focused on measuring brand awareness may reveal that a low percentage of customers recognize the organization’s advertisements, giving the organization the insights it needs to further innovate its messaging. 

A brand assessment can also measure how a specific event, such as a marketing campaign or new product release, impacted brand health. With 40% of marketers reporting that proving ROI is their top marketing challenge, these one-time assessments can be crucial for highlighting how a marketing campaign performed and impacted brand health. 

Brand assessments not only provide succinct insights into a specific event or time period, they also require fewer investments of time and money. 

Best for Measuring  

  1. The current state of your brand’s performance. Brand assessments allow organizations to gather specific and detailed data about the brand, asking tailored questions to diagnose or understand a single brand-related issue.
  2. How a specific event impacted brand health.  By assessing these one-time initiatives, organizations can make better investments into their campaigns and capitalize on their strengths to set up future initiatives for success. 

Potential Limitations 

The limited view these assessments provide do not tell the full story of an organization’s brand — how it performs and fluctuates over time, how it’s been impacted by longer-term initiatives or changes in company offerings, and how it’s been affected by market trends.  

If your organization is focused on gathering the insights needed to develop a comprehensive brand strategy, consider investing in ongoing brand tracking instead. 

The Ongoing Option: Brand Tracking 

In contrast to one-and-done brand assessments, brand tracking provides an intensive, long-term look at the organization’s overall brand performance. A brand tracking study is helpful for organizations looking to innovate and improve their brand strategies and can offer concrete insights into brand metrics like: 

  • Awareness: Who has heard of the brand 
  • Impression: What buyers think of the brand 
  • Prior Usage: Who is and is not buying the product(s)
  • Preference: Whether the brand is preferred over competitors’ 
  • Purchase Intent: If buyers who engage with the brand intend to complete a purchase 
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)® Who are advocates of the brand 

Organizations considering recurring tracking may choose to assess their findings quarterly, biannually, or any other period of time that makes the most sense for the organization’s goals. 

Best Used For 

  • Contextualizing brand health strengths and weaknesses within overall brand strategy 
  • Informing future long-term initiatives, such as marketing and advertising campaigns and new product development 
  • Benchmarking current brand performance to historical data 
  • Keeping a finger on the pulse of a quickly changing market 

Potential Limitations  

While brand tracking is instrumental to building and maintaining a healthy brand, it can be costly and time-intensive, especially when first setting up the process.  

A company must have the research and survey integrity to maintain accuracy and implement and analyze the results consistently. Additionally, ongoing tracking can produce a large quantity of data. While more data can be seen as a boon, it can also make it harder to visualize or interpret the results effectively without employing data visualization tools or software.  

When choosing between these two strategies, organizations should first assess which process makes the most sense for meeting their goals and determine how much time and resources are available to invest in the endeavor. 

The Combined Approach: Harnessing Ongoing and Point-in-Time Brand Data 

Organizations don’t need to choose between conducting brand assessments or brand tracking — they can choose to have the best of all worlds by pursuing both. An organization can keep its finger on the pulse of brand health with ongoing tracking while using brand assessments to delve into the impact of specific initiatives or events.  

These two strategies can often work in tandem to reveal crucial brand insights. For example, if your ongoing brand tracking indicates a dip in brand awareness, a one-time brand assessment can be deployed to drill further into the issue, assessing how familiar different customers are with your organization’s brand and with your competitors’. After harnessing the insights from this assessment to improve overall brand strategy, you can monitor any changes to performance through ongoing tracking and continue to adjust as needed.  

While this combined approach requires the most investment from organizations, it also provides a comprehensive view of long-term brand health and the impact of short-term initiatives — all of which can inform a strong brand that thrives in the marketplace. 


Evaluate Your Brand

Learn more about how to measure and leverage brand health data with the Guide to Brand Health Measurement
Brand health measurement

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