The 5 features shared by the world’s most recognizable brands (and how to measure them)

September 20th, 2023

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Elly Strang
patagonia retail storefront sign

When you think of a memorable brand, which business first comes to mind?

Often, it’s Apple, Patagonia, or Disney that are cited (we were chuffed that our 2-year-old brand Tracksuit made its way into a favorite brands list on Linkedin alongside such heavyweights).

Over at The Drum Hill Holliday Chief Creative Officer Peter Nicholson determined that there are five features shared by the world’s most recognizable brands: a clear purpose, trust, bold marketing moves, staying ahead of the competition, and a distinct brand personality. 

These features of a strong and well-defined brand help sustain businesses through tough times. 

Case in point, Disney will celebrate its centennial – or 100 years in business – in October. 

Since Disney was founded in 1923, the global economy has experienced at least 8 recessions (not including the current economic downturn) but has been able to weather these storms due to the enduring strength of the Disney brand. 

So, how can your brand become a ‘cultural mainstay’ as Peter describes? 

By baking these features into the DNA of your brand and how it operates, and then measuring how you're tracking in each to ensure you’re moving the needle on growth over time. 

Brand-building has often been seen as a tricky area to measure in the past, but thankfully in 2023, there are tools available to you to measure and quantify this growth (hi, it’s us 🙋).

Here, we break down the key parts of Tracksuit dashboard that helps marketing leaders track the progress of each feature shared by the world’s most recognizable brands. 

1. A clear purpose

Peter Nicolson says a brand reaches iconic status when it gains a group of brand advocates who spread the word about the brand’s products, services and bigger mission.

In other words: you know your brand’s messaging is resonating when people understand the why behind your brand and its reason for being. 

A great example of an iconic brand with a clear purpose is Patagonia. The brand recently made Earth its only shareholder by ensuring all of its profits will go towards fighting climate change instead of enriching its Founder, Yvon Chouinard.

So, how do you track whether your purpose is being received loud and clear by consumers and resonating more and more over time?Tracksuit’s Statements feature lets you write five statements related to your business’s key value proposition and what you want to be known for. We survey consumers in your category about your company and five competitor brands to see how much people agree with each statement on a scale of 0-100%.

This helps you pinpoint what the market thinks about your brand, and if you're marketing effectively to own your core value propositions over time. You can also toggle between time periods or drill down by demographic to track your growth.

2. Trust

Trust is an important component of whether a brand stands the test of time. People want to engage with brands who have integrity and stay true to their word. If consumers don’t think you’re living up to your promises, they won’t hesitate to find another product or service that meets their needs. 

In fact, a recent study by Adobe found that two thirds (66%) of respondents would stop buying from brands that break their trust. 

You can measure whether consumers trust in your brand by looking at Tracksuit’s Funnel page and measuring if it falls into their consideration and preference set in the marketing funnel. This gives you a read on whether they trust your brand enough to consider using it or even better, prefer your brand over all other competitor brands in your category. 

And if trust is an important key value prop to your business, then you can incorporate trust into your five brand statements through making one of them ‘Is a brand that I trust’. 

3. Bold marketing moves

A unique or creative marketing campaign is often what makes a brand memorable in the minds of consumers. This is because it drives mental availability – or a probability that a buyer will notice, recognize or think of your brand in a buying context. 

You can measure how your bold marketing moves have impacted on consumer’s awareness, consideration and preference of your brand in Tracksuit’s Timeline view. This part of the app aggregates all of your marketing funnel data over time, so you can get a big-picture read on what macro events or campaigns may have caused growth (or stagnation).

The Timeline view allows you to see if movements in your brand health are unique to your brand (and your bold marketing moves) or if they’re category-wide movements. Sometimes your brand is rising with the tide, growing with the broader category. And sometimes you’re just knocking it out of the park, making movements well beyond other competitors.

Pro tip: Tracksuit’s Milestones feature also lets you drop a pin on when you started running a campaign (or any kind of bold marketing stunt) so you can see the impact of this activity over time on your brand health. 

4. Staying ahead of the competition

Even if your brand has a first-mover advantage, there’s a catch – the minute others catch a whiff of your success, there will be other businesses trying to replicate it. This is what happened during the online DTC boom, where mattresses-in-a-box, subscription boxes and affordable eyewear became well established categories.

It’s very rare to have a completely unique product offering, so brand differentiation is key. 

Long-term brand building captures consumers through messaging that talks to their wants and needs and frames it in a creative and distinctive way.

Measure whether your marketing is helping you stay ahead of the competition through benchmarking your brand against your five key competitors on both Tracksuit’s Timeline and Funnel page. There, you’ll be able to see how you stack up in terms of converting consumers down the funnel, from awareness, to consideration and preference. 

The new Conversion feature can also can help here 👀 It allows you to measure whether your marketing is helping you stay ahead of the competition by benchmarking your conversion across your competitors.

You can also use the Profile page to compare your brand to competitor brands in terms of demographics – so where your brand is strongly indexing (and under-indexing) against other brands in terms of gender, age and location, and where there are opportunities to grow. Demographic filters are also available throughout the other pages on the dashboard. 

5. A distinct brand personality 

A marker of a memorable brand is a brand personality that people can identify and engage with across all of their channels. Lots of brands we work with fit this bill, from frank body’s flirtatious ‘frank’ persona they adopt across their social media channels, to Heaps Normal’s authentic and engaging creative that encourages people to choose non-alcoholic options, to Coffee Supreme’s distinctive red and white branding. 

Ultimately, this personality helps brands transcend from being just a business to a cultural fixture. They can weigh in on social issues, be playful and tongue-and-cheek with their fans, and use their personality as a differentiator to stand out in their category.

You can map the progression of your distinctive brand personality using Tracksuit’s Imagery tab. Consumers are asked, ‘What comes to mind when you think of [your brand]?’ and we aggregate the word associations in a world bubble format. If your marketing is effective, you’ll see key identifiers of your brand’s personality and your value props coming through.

The finishing line 🏁

We hope this has provided you with some tips on how to use Tracksuit to build an iconic brand and get on track with some of the world’s most recognizable companies.  

Measuring lasting brand impact was previously a challenge to tackle for businesses, but thankfully, there’s now a way to access real-time data and insights to quantify it.

Want to get more familiar with Tracksuit? Take a tour around the dashboard with one of our brand experts.


Start growing your brand today.