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Illustration of a globe surrounded by floating balls and connection lines. Brand tracking definition and how-to blog post

What Is Brand Tracking? Brand Health Tracking Guide

TJ Kiely

Oct 11, 2023

Your brand is your organization’s most important asset. But like marketing, finances, or operations, your brand doesn’t manage itself. In this age of digital dominance, a strong brand reputation and strong brand management are key, and brand tracking is the answer to ensuring your brand continues to resonate with customers and stay ahead of competitors. 

Picture this: You’re sitting in a cafe with a friend, both of you sipping on your favorite lattes. You rave about its creamy flavor and the great customer service you received when you purchased it. But your friend is complaining about its lackluster quality, lack of flavor, and long wait time. Despite being in the same place and receiving the same product, two very different experiences emerge.

That’s why brand perception is everything when it comes to managing your brand's reputation.

If you want to survive in today’s cutthroat business landscape, understanding how customers perceive your brand day in and day out is absolutely essential. With brand tracking, you can measure and evaluate consumer opinions about your brand on an ongoing basis.

Let’s dig deeper into what brand health tracking is, why you need it, and how to go about tracking your brand for ongoing insights:

team meeting discussing brand tracking

What Is Brand Tracking?

We define brand tracking as the continuous process of monitoring and analyzing different pieces of your brand puzzle. You might also hear this referred to as brand health tracking.

Brand tracking includes:

Monitoring your brand on an ongoing basis shows you how well your brand is performing in relation to competitors and how your customers perceive you. In doing so, you can identify areas of opportunity to improve or maintain your reputation and stay in your customers’ good graces.

Tip: Learn more about brand reputation measurement.

Brand Tracking vs. Brand Monitoring

There’s some overlap between brand monitoring and brand tracking, but they have their distinctions, too:

Brand MonitoringBrand Tracking
Focuses on real-time momentsFocuses on trends over time
Monitors for keywords and mentionsLooks for patterns
Short-term insightsLong-term insights

Brand monitoring focuses on real-time online conversations and “tunes in” when brands detect mentions or patterns. For example, if someone mentions your brand name or a related keyword in a blog, article, or social media post, your brand tracking tools (aka social media monitoring software) will pick up on that mention and report it back to you. This is helpful for brands to surface where conversations are happening, who is leading them, and how people are talking about you.

Brand tracking is the proactive process of using insights revealed from your brand tracking software to track your brand’s performance over time. This usually involves conducting surveys and collecting data related to various brand metrics, such as awareness and sentiment. Combined, these insights can help brands understand how consumers perceive the brand over time. Businesses can track changes in brand image and monitor the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

team working on a brand tracking plan

Why Is Brand Tracking Important?

Brand tracking helps companies understand the impact of their marketing and branding efforts and identify strengths and weaknesses in their branding strategies. Customer perceptions can change on a dime — according to research, 54% of customers would stop using a brand after just one bad experience.

Another report shows that an eye-watering 86% of customers will ditch a brand they trust after just two bad experiences. Customers have so many options these days that they don’t feel the need to stick around if a brand can’t deliver on their expectations.

Tracking your brand can help you spot when customers are starting to gravitate away from your brand in favor of other options. The sooner you recognize a problem, the faster you can respond to fix it.

On a positive note, brand tracking can also show where and how you’re getting it right. If improving your brand image, presence, and reputation are goals, you can track your progress along the customer journey and demonstrate how you’re making an impact.

What Are the Benefits of Brand Tracking?

Like the other many moving parts of your marketing, brand tracking isn’t a passive activity. It requires ongoing effort and attention, but the benefits can certainly justify the investment:

Measure and Quantify Brand Performance

Brand tracking helps you assess how your brand is performing in terms of market share, share of voice, customer sentiment, earned media, sales, and customer loyalty. These are tangible metrics you can apply to your brand’s success.

See Your Brand Through Customers’ Eyes

Tracking data gives you insights into how customers experience your brand. You can learn more about brand awareness, how they associate your brand with other products, services, or companies, and their overall sentiments.

All of these can help you understand if your branding efforts are resonating with your target audience and whether your branding has staying power.

Gain Insights Into Competitors

Competitor analysis is an inherent part of brand tracking. It lets you see how you stack up against competitors, including where your strengths lie and where you might need to improve.

If customers start favoring a competitor over you, you can dig deeper into their strategies to see how you might adjust your own. 

Assess Your Brand’s Health

Brand equity may ebb and flow as new competitors emerge and others become insignificant.

Tracking your brand over time can identify declines or improvements in brand equity, allowing marketers to associate these changes with specific campaigns, trends, or moments.

Contribute to Marketing ROI

Tracking your brand helps to put your marketing efforts into perspective.

If positive brand perceptions suddenly spike, for example, marketers can look back at recent campaigns to see what’s driving the change. Having this extra layer of attribution adds clarity to marketing ROI, making your efforts more valuable and well-rounded.

Earn Investor Confidence

For companies with investors and other third-party stakeholders, tracking brand health can earn their trust and confidence. Everyone likes knowing they’re invested in a winner.

Improve Customer Satisfaction

Customer perceptions are everything when it comes to brand health. By tracking your brand, you can rest assured you’re doing everything you can to keep customers happy and coming back.

Woman working on her brand

Brand Health Tracking Metrics and KPIs

Tracking brand health requires companies to use metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess overall strength and ongoing performance.

Let’s explore a few key metrics and KPIs that can reveal more about your brand’s reputation:

Net Promoter Score

NPS measures the likelihood of customers purchasing your brand again. On a scale of 1-10:

  • Scores of 9 or 10 indicate a high likelihood of being repeat customers, or promoters.
  • Scores of 7 or 8 are considered neutral.
  • Scores of 0-6 are considered detractors.

The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. 

Brand Association

Over time, customers develop their own ideas about what your brand represents. Measuring brand association can help you see if customer perceptions align with how you want to be seen.

When measuring brand association, you’ll want to choose qualities that make you unique. Vague, common goals like having great customer service aren’t powerful enough. Focus on values and characteristics that you think make customers choose you over a competitor, such as family-friendliness or convenience.

Brand Awareness

Every company wants to be top of mind, the first company someone thinks of when they need what you offer. Tracking brand awareness shows you how many customers can think of your company — with or without your constantly nudging them with advertisements.

Tip: Learn how to measure brand awareness.

Customer Satisfaction Score

Customer satisfaction surveys, or CSAT surveys, measure overall customer satisfaction with your products or services. A high CSAT rating is a good indicator your brand health is at an optimal level, too.

Online Share of Voice

Share of voice refers to your brand’s presence compared to competitors in online conversations and mentions.

Tracking share of voice indicates how many people are talking about your brand, with or without being driven by advertising or marketing.

Customer Lifetime Value

Customer lifetime value (CLV) is an indicator of loyalty. It shows how much revenue a customer has generated throughout their entire relationship with your brand. A high CLV indicates a high level of customer satisfaction and a low likelihood of churning. 

Customer Retention Rate

Another metric illustrating customer satisfaction, the customer retention rate shows the percentage of customers who continue to do business with you over a specific period. A high customer retention rate indicates low churn and stable brand health.

Brand Tracking Methods to Help You Focus

Measuring brand performance requires you to pull data from multiple sources for deeper review. The right brand tracking tools and methods can simplify this process so you can cut to the chase and start making improvements. 

Here are some methods that can contribute to your brand tracking strategy.

Customer Surveys

Customer feedback surveys, NPS surveys, and CSAT surveys provide quick insights into how your customers think and feel about specific experiences.

For example, you might send a survey a few days after a purchase to get feedback about the online shopping experience. Doing so allows you to tap into customer perceptions while they’re fresh.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts is a free tool brands can use to monitor for specific keywords or phrases. For example, when your brand is published in the media, Google will email you an alert showing where your name was mentioned. It’s not a comprehensive tool (more like a one-trick pony), but it’s a great helper if you’re just getting started with brand tracking.

Online Review Management

Online review management software and services keep tabs on your brand on your behalf. These services focus on online reviews, surveys, and other sources of feedback and compile findings on your behalf. You can keep tabs on customer communications and know where you’re doing well or falling short of their expectations.

Media Intelligence Platforms

platform with brand tracking features

Platforms like the Meltwater Media Intelligence Suite offer the most comprehensive brand tracking features and functions.

Media intelligence platforms track social media mentions, online conversations, and millions of websites, blogs, and other publications to surface insights about your brand. These all-encompassing platforms leave no detail unnoticed and do most of the heavy lifting for you.

How Meltwater Supports Brand Tracking

Brand tracking is an essential element of every marketing strategy. It offers clear insights about whether your messages are reaching the right people and whether they have staying power and conviction. Tracking your brand also helps you demonstrate the value of your marketing and media efforts, allowing you to attribute your actions with real ROI.

Meltwater Explore social listening product banner

Meltwater monitors billions of data points in real-time and uses a combination of AI, data science, and human discernment to turn these insights into action steps. Brands can gauge their health at a glance, dive deeper into areas of opportunity, and always know where they stand with their customers.

Learn more when you request a demo by filling out the form below.