What is brand health and why should we track it?

Brand tracking enables businesses to understand how their brand-building initiatives are performing. In other words, it’s a measure of how ‘healthy’ your brand is. 

Rather than getting caught up in conversion rates or the cost of retention, brand tracking focuses on what customers think and feel about your brand. It’s an expression of whether or not your brand is building relationships and awareness with the right people to grow your business.

Why does brand health matter? Because your brand matters. 

For your business to grow, you need brand awareness. If a consumer has never heard of you, why would they consider buying from you? Every marketer knows that awareness is the first rung on the ladder to fostering long-term brand loyalty - and consistent sales. 

Brand building is another name for relationship building – and that’s about letting the consumer get to know you,” says Connon Bray, Director at Tracksuit. Unless you’re constantly working to make your brand known to your audience, you’re going to run out of room to grow. Brand building activity enables businesses to deliver sales more efficiently and insulate against market forces. 

A strong brand helps you to build future demand. Tracksuit’s co-founder, James Hurman, describes a familiar pattern in the whitepaper, Rethinking brand for the rise of digital commerce: a company launches an innovative new offering to market, with great product-market fit. It solves a customer problem in a unique way. They have existing demand - a group of customers who just need the solution put in front of them. Cost-effective performance marketing gets their product in front of this group, and the company very quickly, and very easily, makes sales. Exponential growth, media attention and massive investment follows. 

And then, after around three years, sales become difficult. New customer acquisition gets more expensive, and growth slows. With rising costs, their business model falters, and the whole thing just peters out. Hurman explains: “Those companies deftly created a product for which there was preexisting, unmet demand. They skilfully converted all of that demand. And they ran out of customers before they’d done the critical job of creating future demand.”

How do you build future demand? Through effective brand marketing that drives fame, mental availability, recognition, and perceptions of value. Your brand is like the foundation of a building; if it isn’t reinforced, the entire structure will weaken - and could even crumble entirely. Investing in brand-building initiatives is what enables your business to maximise growth opportunities and protect yourself against disruption ( like a global pandemic).

The challenge: Proving the value of brand-building

Measuring brand value is elusive at best - and inaccessible at worst.

And what gets measured, gets managed. Which is why activities like lead generation are an easy sell; there are concrete metrics to tell us whether we’ve been successful. Where lead gen has click-through rates and cost per lead, the average business has little insight into the power of their brand-building efforts. In the eyes of managers, this can make brand marketing look like a poor investment. It can be hard for marketing teams - who know the value of brand health building - to make the business case for investing in brand activity. Even though it’s in the best interest of the business to do so.

This is reflected in the pandemic-fuelled budget cuts that have hit brand-building activities the hardest. According to WARC’s Marketer's Toolkit 2021 survey, 70% of marketers stated that cuts were being made to brand advertising. This comes right at a time when the health of your brand can be the difference between sinking or swimming.

This is backed up by studies from marketing gurus Peter Field and Les Binet and their famous 60/40 rule: The most effective brands spend more of their overall budget (60%) on brand-building than sales activation (40%).

Brand health is your business’s best tool to grow future demand and position yourself as a leader in your market. And brand tracking is the key to unlocking these insights and turning them into actionable metrics that inform your brand advertising and marketing strategy.

Brand tracking is brand health defined

To measure brand health, you need to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly of what your target audience thinks about your brand. 

Brand tracking can help you read the vital signs that tell you how effectively your brand is winning hearts and minds. To build their brand, marketers need to understand how “healthy” it is - how well it is performing overall. There is a collection of metrics that “add up” to brand health:

  • Brand awareness: Who is familiar with your brand and its product/service.
  • Brand preference: Who is likely to buy from your brand over competitors. 
  • Purchase intent: How likely consumers are to purchase from your brand.
  • Brand attributes: The core values that your brand is seeking to ‘own’ in the market.

So, how can you get smart on brand health? 

Tracksuit: Disrupting the status quo with intelligent, accessible brand health tracking

Tracksuit is a new approach to brand tracking; a SaaS-inspired solution for intelligent and accessible brand tracking delivered through easy-to-understand and always on dashboards. 

Informed by the experience and insight of our founders at TRA and Previously Unavailable, our platform breaks down brand tracking into elegant, intuitive metrics and benchmarking that prove the value of your brand-building efforts. 

With Tracksuit, you can:

  • Understand how your brand is really performing in all the ways that matter across the entire brand funnel (awareness, consideration, and preference).
  • Stop guesstimating brand health with ill-fitting metrics and identify in real-time whether your business is headed for long-term, sustainable growth via our Brand Profile tool.
  • Manage your brand-building strategy effectively with our timeline tracker to identify key trends and calculate ROI to understand what works and doesn’t work for your brand.

The result? A smart, cost-effective, and easy-to-use brand tracking platform that gives you unmatched insights into how brand perception is evolving over time. It’s brand tracking 2.0 - and it’s here to shake up brand management for good.

Interested in joining the track team? Book a demo today to learn how Tracksuit can kick your brand-building efforts up a notch.

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