How to use your Brand Benchmarks to win

June 6th, 2023

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Grace Kortegast
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Here at Tracksuit, we give marketers the tools they need to thrive and prove the value of their work. We’ve harnessed our data into 18 industry-specific benchmarks so that brand champions everywhere can access always-on brand benchmarks for their category. 

Brand benchmarks are data points to help you understand what good growth looks like and whether you are currently sitting above, below, or on average for different brand metrics against competitors in your category. 

To create Tracksuit’s brand benchmarks, between January 2022 to January 2023 we surveyed:

  • 115,000 people
  • Over 1,100 brands
  • And collected over 2 million data points

That’s a hefty amount of data, so we’ve simplified it into 18 industry benchmarks to help you prove the value of what you love (hello, brand building!) Consider Brand Benchmarks as your trusty side-kick to give context to how your brand is growing. 

We’ve broken benchmarks down into three rankings:

  • OK
  • Good
  • Outstanding

If your brand health metrics are equal to those in the Outstanding column, it means you’re in the top 10% of growth, if they’re the same as Good, it means you’re in the top 25% of growth, and OK means you’re in the top 50% of growth. 

If you see the word maintain, it means that keeping your metrics the same is a good result in the wider context of your category.

This data varies industry-by-industry, so you can see exactly how your brand stacks up in a category context. 

Our Brand Benchmarks Tool is always-on, so make sure you bookmark it for future reference and check in later down the track to see how they change! 

So, how can you use these benchmarks to grow? 

1. To set achievable goals 🎯

Benchmarks mean you can say goodbye to guesswork about what level of brand growth is considered good for your category. Use them to set your own goals for the year ahead, as well as to set realistic expectations for the rest of your team. 

Without the context these benchmarks provide, you could easily set yourselves up for disappointment. Like setting an annual goal to increase your awareness by 8%, when really an increase of 5% is considered outstanding for your category! 

To pair benchmarks with your actual performance, you can track the shifts in your brand metrics on the Tracksuit dashboard. The Timeline view will be your go-to, providing clear oversight on how your awareness, consideration, usage and preference are evolving over time. When the time comes to compare your brand’s growth against benchmarks, the data is right there for you to see!

Here’s what Brand Benchmarks look like for the FMCG industry

FMCG is Tracksuit’s biggest customer category, so we had a huge pool of data (over 802 brands) to pull benchmarks from. Between Jan 2022 and Jan 2023, the FMCG category has been stable. This means the number of people involved in the category hasn’t changed much. People are always going to need their essential items like food, beverages and toothpaste! 

Based off this data, in 2023, FMCG brands need to maintain their awareness, consideration and preference to fall into the OK growth category, while a 1% increase in awareness is needed for growth to be considered good. For the high performers, a 4% increase is considered outstanding. 

For preference (the most notoriously difficult brand metric to move) a 1% increase is considered good while 2% is outstanding. 

While established brands might focus on maintaining their market position, challenger brands in this space have the attractive opportunity to make rapid gains. 

Keep in mind a stable category doesn’t indicate that you should rest on your laurels and stop working on improving your brand metrics, but it does mean you (and your CFO) shouldn’t be too concerned if you don’t see large uplifts in a year.

2. To plan and evaluate your brand campaigns 🔍

Now that you know what outstanding growth in a year looks like for your category, you can aim for the stars by having a better understanding of what's achievable within a campaign. Use your benchmarks to develop attainable campaign key results and measure your performance against them. 

With Tracksuit, it's easier than ever to see how your brand campaigns shift your funnel metrics. 

In the Timeline dashboard, you can drop in a milestone to mark when a campaign begins (and ends) and watch how your brand metrics evolve with always-on data. 

You can easily attribute brand growth to the campaigns you run and justify your brand investment to stakeholders (and show how your performance is strong compared to competitors via the Brand Benchmarks). That's right, legend – prove the power of brand 🙌

3. To develop data-backed strategy 🧠

Consider the Brand Benchmarks part of your secret sauce to win. For example, if your category has been identified as growing, you've got a big opportunity to win a greater market share. 

A growing category = more potential customers for your brand to win over. Now is the time to be bold with your brand campaigns and focus on building awareness to capture new consumers as they enter your category.

However, with a growing category, don’t be too concerned about small brand metric improvements in percentage terms. It’s difficult to move metrics proportionately to the expansion of a sector. You can’t expect to run a mile and log a way better time, when that track’s now sloping uphill. 

On the other hand, while the recession might be causing some categories to decline, you as a savvy marketer know that now is the time to get ahead. As your competitors cut brand investment, you can swoop in and increase your share of spend (investment in advertising) to grow your market share.

But if you’re struggling to keep a firm grasp on that precious budget, declining categories can give you a free pass to maintain your brand metrics. 

When more people are leaving your category but you’re keeping Consideration and Preference stable, it’s a sign of solid performance. Any consumers you’re losing due to their exit of the category are being replaced by new ones considering your brand. Otherwise, you have strong retention of the consumers who already have an affinity for your brand. 

Whatever your category is doing, benchmarks help you develop a more informed strategy. With them, you’ll be ready to seize opportunity 💪 

In the Tracksuit dashboard, you can monitor how your category is changing over time in both real figures and percentages on the Funnel view. You can also compare your brand and competitive set’s performance against category penetration (that is, how many of the people in your total market are currently in your brand’s category).  

4. To get board buy-in 🤝

Traditionally, one of the biggest challenges marketers have faced is the lack of reliable data to help them attribute commercial outcomes to all their hard work. In meetings with C-Suite and management, you might often see a heavy reliance on numbers and calculations to guide strategic discussion, and ultimately, final decisions. We feel your pain!

By using brand benchmarks, you have data on hand to give context to your brand marketing activity and understand what’s achievable within your next phase of growth. 

A 2% increase in preference in a year might not sound like much, but if it's considered outstanding compared to competitors in your category, then your board will be grinning, not shaking their heads in disappointment. 

Just like a 0% shift in consideration need not raise alarm bells. If your category is declining, even maintaining your position could be considered a win. We’d like to see you try to claim that without using brand benchmarks!

Taking a step back to consider the category-wide picture and even bringing benchmark data along to your stakeholder meetings is a great step towards making them a consistent part of your brand management and planning.

If you use Tracksuit, it’s easy to download your brand metrics from the Funnel page to share in your reporting and to take along to important meetings. Pair them with your Brand Benchmarks to make a formidable pair to prove the value of your work in context. 

5. Bonus for FMCG brands: To win more shelf space  🧠

The shelf is an ever-present visual in the sub-conscious of an FMCG marketer’s mind. How can we stand out? How can we negotiate for more of it? 

Using your brand benchmarks to show how you’re performing against your category is just one tool of many you can deploy in your arsenal. Use the data to show your category manager that you’re outperforming the average brand in your category, which is why you deserve to win more of the shelf space you may not yet currently dominate.

Ultimately, stockists want to partner with brands that consumers love to drive more sales. If you have proof points that show that your awareness, consideration and preference is higher than the average brand in your category, you can likely win more shelf space. 

Not tracking your brand yet? We can help with that 👋

Brand benchmarks are the most useful when you can meaningfully compare them to your own brand growth data. 

Tracksuit is brand tracking software built for the consumer brands of today and tomorrow. Our beautiful, affordable and always-on dashboard helps marketers to measure, understand and communicate the value of their brand. Learn more

The finishing line 🏁

Getting your Brand Benchmarks is just the beginning. Coupled with your own brand growth data, you’ve got some serious evidence on your hands to fight for what you love (brand building!) and to win against your competitors. 

To recap, here are all the ways you can use your benchmarks::

  • Provide context to your brand growth
  • Set achievable goals
  • Plan and evaluate your campaigns
  • Develop better strategy 
  • See and seize opportunities in your market
  • Get board buy-in on the value of your brand 
  • Win more shelf space.

Happy brand building! 🏋️

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