Research shows that 59% of shoppers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them and 21% purchase new products because it is from a brand they like. Is that YOUR brand?

Getting regular insights about your brand will give you actionable data to make it perform better, and in turn save time and money. By tracking your brand you can improve the performance of your marketing campaigns and achieve a better ROI. But before you start counting dollars, follow our step-by-step guide on tracking your brand from DCMN’s Insights Manager Edit Hunyadi.

Why is it important for a brand especially a digital-first startup that maybe wouldn’t usually consider budgeting for this kind of research to have deep consumer insights and know where they position themselves against their competition? 

Understanding the market, consumers and the competition is important for companies at all stages of growth and of all sizes, but especially so in the very competitive market of digital-first disruptors. The rapid change in this industry requires quick adjustments of branding and marketing strategies. The systematic and frequent tracking of the brand is a solid base for forming brand strategies.

According to research, a brand needs to dedicate 40% of its advertising budget for short-term sales activations and 60% for long-term brand building strategies in order to maximise profit. Strong brands inspire loyalty in the market and command a higher price. Unfortunately, many companies don’t know how strong their brand actually is! Tracking their social media activities and Google Analytics comes naturally to them, but so should frequent tracking of their brand. It is an early warning system that highlights when a brand can no longer increase its awareness, when the perception of a brand is deteriorating or when a competitor is increasing their brand performance activities or making changes to their positioning.

At what stage should a company begin to think about brand tracking and what insights should they look for?

If we think about different stages of companies’ growth, we can cluster them in three categories:

  • Startup stage
  • Growth stage
  • Established

Tracking brand performance is important in every stage of your company’s cycle, but can be especially critical in the early stage as it gives you priceless information about your competitors, and the vertical of the market you are about to enter. That, in turn, can inform your future brand strategy and positioning. 

In the Growth and Established stages, monitoring brand performance should still be your key marketing activity, as the insight into brand-related data can validate your brand strategy, or give you guidance for change. It also quantifies the return of your brand investment. In a nutshell, if you keep tracking, you will be able to gain knowledge about your brand and get an advantage over your competitors.

How does DCMN support digital brands with brand tracking?

DCMN has built a custom-made tracker that measures the most important brand indicators across all verticals. The DCMN Digital Brand Tracker was launched in November 2017. It is a monthly online survey among 2,000 people in Germany, tracking the performance of 400+ brands across 20 industries. From fashion to gaming, fintech to automotive, we have the whole digital industry covered, but the specialty of our brand tracker is that it focuses only on digital-first startups. The hot disruptors we track include Taxfix, ShareNow, Foodspring, Etsy, Junique and TikTok, to name a few. The insights we gather help evaluate the success of an ad campaign beyond direct response measurement; and to keep track of our client’s brand performance and image — and that of their competitors too. 

What exactly do you measure?

We concentrate on the most important brand performance KPIs every month, in order to keep the survey as simple as possible (and the monthly price of the survey low, which we know is crucial for startups in the growth stage). We also want to focus on what matters, to have the highest data quality and not get entangled in too many different angles of the research. We want to provide brands with the clearest and most actionable insights possible.

The following brand performance KPIs are covered in the survey:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Brand Usage
  • Brand Loyalty
  • Brand Consideration
  • Brand Closeness (Emotional Affinity)
  • Brand Relevance
  • Brand Image
  • Ad Recall & Buzz (negative and positive buzz)
  • Consumer demographics and media usage

With brand tracking, over time, brands can stay ahead of the competition and stay connected to consumers. Using insights can support companies in many different ways. It helps to:

  • Understand the competition and your company’s position within the competitor landscape
  • Know how people perceive your brand
  • Know how consumers’ opinion about your brand changes over time
  • Better understand your target audience
  • Have an overview of customers’ awareness of your brand and loyalty to your brand
  • Gain insights to tailor your marketing and communications campaigns and monitor the results

How is Digital Brand Tracker different from other tools available on the market?

DBT is the only brand tracker on the German market that focuses on digital brands and includes new and upcoming startups and not just big, established names. We are accommodating and quick: a flexible subscription model ensures that our clients receive the most relevant information, for example a survey on their brand only, or an overview of competitors only, monthly or on a quarterly basis. Last but not least: we are affordable. Prices start from 450€ per month, depending on the number of brands included in the analysis. We always recommend subscribing for the Digital Brand Tracker for a whole year or more, as it is important to monitor on a regular basis. But of course, we always try to tailor the subscriptions to our clients’ needs.

Now you can win 1 year of free brand tracking powered by DCMN worth €14,000 with just one click: https://dbt.dcmn.com/

Can you give us examples of the ways tracking your brand can save a company time and money and lead to impactful actions?

Having brand tracking as a holistic solution allows us to work closely with all the other departments of DCMN. We often approach Account Managers to let them know about interesting changes in the market or to give them feedback on how a campaign they ran has influenced the brand performance of their clients. For example, recently we noticed a significant brand awareness increase of the main competitor of our client from the fintech industry. This gave us strong proof that a well-targeted TV campaign can be a powerful addition to the client’s media mix (at that time we were running only online and out-of-home marketing activities for that client). 

Sometimes the results from the Digital Brand Tracker lead our clients to further question their business or brand. One of our clients from the home & furnishing industry, after receiving results about the German market through the Digital Brand Tracker, realised they would like to monitor their brand KPIs on an international level. We set up a global brand tracking solution for them, based on their exact needs. 

Besides brand research, we do a lot of creative concept testing, as we believe it is important to have solid data supporting your creative ideas to better spend assigned budget. Recently we did research around the testimonial of a sports brand, that led our client to choose the right person for their TV ad — we tested the tone of voice and the brand fit of the candidates. For another client, we tested their existing out-of-home creatives and helped them to adjust and produce new ones, based on the findings. 

We also do a lot of research around customers. One of our biggest clients commissioned a target group segmentation analysis in Germany and Austria, to find out why they don’t grow that well in the latter. The findings highlighted big differences between the two markets’ consumers and it helped our client to adjust their marketing strategy in a very efficient way. 

These examples are all showing how we can support the steady growth of our clients with different types of insights, no matter what kind of questions or challenges they are facing.

If you want to know more about tracking your brand, reach out to us: hello@dcmn.com. Now you can also win 1 year of free brand tracking with DCMN’s Digital Brand Tracker. Apply by July 28 on dbt.dcmn.com.