Healthy Brands Mean Healthy Businesses
Deep insight into customers and prospects is key to understanding a brand’s current position and identifying ways to enhance it. Brand Trackers and Attitude and Usage (A&U) studies should be more than perfunctory exercises. They offer opportunities to dig deeper into insights about customers and prospects, evaluate a brand’s current position, spot trends, and identify opportunities to enhance it.
A&U studies are a point in time assessment of brand equity. When done right, they provide actionable recommendations for improving brand health in the areas of targeting, messaging and innovation. A&U studies can also be the baseline for future waves of Brand Tracking.
Brand Tracking studies reveal changes in brand health Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) over time. KPI’s typically follow the marketing funnel and include: unaided and aided brand awareness, brand understanding, consideration or trial, brand usage, and brand preference. KPI’s may also include customer perceptions, decision drivers and brand advocacy metrics such as Net Promoter scores. They typically do not include customer satisfaction.
Brand Tracking studies allow brand marketers to:
- See how well the brand converts prospects to customers
- Identify how to overcome bottlenecks in the funnel where customers are getting stuck
- Evaluate the brand’s position relative to its competitive set.
- Assess response to concept statements, new advertisements, redesigned web pages, etc.
Getting the Most Value
Basic research design decisions can make a big difference in the value of research. These include decisions about sample size and composition, survey length, measurement frequency and reporting.
Here are some of our recommendations for getting the most from A&U and Tracking research.
Sample – In our experience, skimping on sample is not a good way to save money. A large sample size increases our ability to detect even subtle changes and enables deeper analysis of key segments (e.g., high value borrowers, competitive users, etc.)
Frequency - Our recommendation is for annual or biannual waves that can be tied to a specific to a point in time. More frequent waves are generally needed only if the market is evolving quickly.
Survey length – Long surveys are more expensive and harder for respondents to complete. Research has repeatedly shown that data quality diminishes with survey length. We try to keep it short, 10-15 minutes max. by prioritizing learning objectives.
Ad hoc questions – Marketers and brand managers can get the latest ‘burning question’ answered for minimal additional cost by including one or two ad hoc questions per wave.
Reporting dashboards – Real-time interactive dashboards empower internal decision-makers to make faster, evidence based marketing decisions.
We have deep experience designing and conducting A&U and Brand Tracking studies for a range clients. Some of our recent research clients include J. Crew, Madewell, Concur, McKesson, Outward Bound, TripIt, Jet.com, Angie’s List, Gale/Cengage and CarGurus.com, among others.
Whether you already have an on-going study and want a different perspective, or are just getting started, we’d love to hear from you.
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