A brand is more than just a logo, a tagline, and a color scheme. In fact, it’s more than the sum of its parts — a good brand is a carefully-woven story that a company uses to tell its story to customers. Nobody buys Nike solely because of their design or model; they buy them for what those shoes say about them, and the affinity they feel with other Nike wearers. But you probably know that already. What you might not know is how you can use brand tracking to take those marketing efforts to the next level.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “If only I could measure the impact my brand is having and use that to figure out where to go next?” Well, you can. Now we’ve piqued your curiosity, let’s run through:
- Why brands matter
- What brand tracking is
- How you can get involved
What are brands? (and why they matter)
To the average person, a brand is just a corporate identity. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find something that goes to the very core of what it means to be human.
In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari says that: “Fiction has enabled us not merely to imagine things, but to do so collectively.” And, as a result, we’ve been able to cooperate in large numbers and dominate all other species.
This has brought about all kinds of advances in human society, from building civilizations to destroying them through war and revolution. But in twenty-first century capitalism, one of the most frequent uses of these “collective myths” has become the brand.
In their most effective form, brands don’t just try to sell something to people. They identify a specific group of people and appeal to them by selling a movement they’ll want to join, making them members of a community and not just customers of a company.
Think of Tesla. Those who own its vehicles aren’t just buying cars — they’re buying into the idea of being part of a green-energy revolution. After all, a 2020 global survey found that 60% of consumers now look for environmentally friendly and ethical products; this is proof that humans care about value and community as much as things (if not more).
Brands are all about belonging, wearing a logo with pride, and defending a brand fiercely.
The door is open
The typical case studies for this kind of marketing strategy are usually mega corporations like Coca Cola and Nike, and you can’t fault their solid brands. But who says young startups can’t achieve the same thing?
Just look at a brand like Calendly, which has attracted a keen following among companies and business owners keen to find a new way to do business. Using the service isn’t just about creating meetings, it’s about joining the agile, digital revolution.
Yet Calendly has managed to achieve this with minimal revenue — up until January 2021, the company had raised just $550,000, by which time it was something of a household name among certain circles.
You can do the same if you’re willing to branch out to innovative strategies like brand tracking.
What is brand tracking?
Okay, so that’s just about got the importance of brands covered. But what about brand tracking?
Brand tracking is a way to measure customers’ awareness and perceptions of your brand, and how they change over time. This helps a business to figure out its position in the market relative to competitors and finetune the way it’s telling its story.
Marketers are already accustomed to carrying out A/B testing and spending hours pouring over analytics tools when it comes to campaigns. Yet measuring responses to a core message tends to be a lot more “wishy-washy.” Maybe you hope for the best, extrapolate, or trust that old customer research was accurate enough.
Unfortunately, this simply isn’t enough. Brand tracking takes things to the next level by monitoring what people really think of your company’s key messaging. Then, if you find they’re not reacting in the way you want, you can glean insights to change your direction.
Examples of brand tracking include the car manufacturer Suzuki’s introduction of a rewards-based care program for vehicles, which it launched after realizing this was something its customers wanted to be part of.
How to track your brand
Hopefully, you now understand why brands matter and why you need to be tracking yours. Now, we can get to the nitty-gritty of how to start brand tracking yourself.
Fortunately, it’s no longer necessary to carry out math calculations by hand to build an idea of what your brand is doing. You can simply outsource the job to the right tool.
For instance, Crant is an AI-backed platform that gives companies the data they need to understand how their message is resonating — and then make decisions to shape that. It pulls invaluable data from sources across the web, such as social media and online articles, then uses that information to figure out what people are saying about your brand. Are they joining your community, or reacting negatively to the very idea of it?
Oh, and this isn’t just about getting answers to the standard marketing questions, like how your audience reacts to a new Tweet or advertising campaign. With AI, the sky is the limit — you can figure out which images associated with your brand are drawing customers in, and even swoop in on what the competition is doing well.
All the insights are displayed across an easy-to-understand dashboard, allowing you to track what’s happening over time and adjust your communications if necessary. No need to spend endless dollars on campaigns just to clutch at straws and make sweeping conclusions.
Join the brand tracking revolution
No company is complete without a brand to tell its story and create its “collective myth” to rally the troops. And thanks to the technological innovations brought by AI and machine learning, crafting a storyline that resonates with your audience has never been easier.
Crant’s brand tracker is your key to achieving sustainable growth and your cheat code to get ahead of the competition. Why not give it a go today?