MARKETING

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Tracking Your Brand

QUICK SUMMARY

Think quickly … what’s the first soft drink that comes to mind? The first cell phone? The first breakfast cereal?

For each of these questions, a specific product probably instantly entered your mind. That illustrates the power of the brand awareness, which not only influences purchase behavior, but can become one of a company’s most valuable assets.

As a Coca-Cola executive once explained:

“If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive. By contrast, if all consumers were to have a sudden lapse of memory and forget everything related to Coca-Cola, the company would go out of business.”

This is exactly why major companies commission highly complex brand studies.

They use these studies to measure overall awareness of a specific brand, the importance of the brand category to consumers, where the company’s brand fits in that category, and how consumer attitudes impact perceptions of the brand. Tracking these variables over time provides valuable information on how changing trends can impact purchase intent—and company profits.

These tracking studies can be quite costly, but if you’re running a small business, you can take advantage of some inexpensive tools to help you determine whether your target market is even aware of your brand—and steps you might take to improve your brand and its reputation.

Do You Need to Track Your Brand?

Maybe. Maybe not. If you were just starting your business, you would have no brand to track. But if you have an established or mature business, you’ll probably want to determine how well your brand is known by your target audience, learn how prospects and customers view it, and gain insights to help you enhance your brand awareness.

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Conducting Surveys

What better way to find out what people think of your brand than simply by asking them? Brand surveys, which were once very expensive because they were conducted by mail or by phone, can now be conducted online. They’re reasonably priced, offer quick results, provide valuable insights, and allow you to quickly download survey data to benchmark the results against future surveys.

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Listening to Social Media

Someone might be talking about your brand right now—either positively or negatively—on social media channels but  if you’re not listening, you won’t know about it. Social media mentions are rapidly becoming more important to brand awareness. Fortunately there are technologies available that can automatically track social media mentions of your brand on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels.

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Tracking Brand Reviews

Customers are not shy about sharing their opinions. This has been clear since the beginning of branding. . However, in today’s online environment, everyone can read the reviews people share. For example, if your brand is reviewed on a site like Yelp you’ll certainly want to know about it as soon as possible, especially if it’s a negative review.

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