There are plenty of reasons you may need a new brand strategy — your company recently underwent a full rebranding, you have a new CMO that wants to shake things up, or perhaps your old strategy just isn’t working out.
Whatever the reason, building a new brand strategy from scratch is hard work and there are many pitfalls you need to avoid. So, how exactly can you create a refreshed brand strategy that’s successful and sustainable? By making sure you have access to the very best data and brand insights.
Accurate, reliable brand data can be hard to come by. Many tools offer insights that may seem great at first glance, but after some digging, you learn there’s a catch — perhaps their data isn’t representative of your target audience or you’re not able to gather enough data to generate statistically significant insights.
As a brand manager, you need a solution that works. That’s where advanced brand tracking software comes in. When you use a brand tracking tool, you gain access to better data, which then leads to more reliable marketing decisions.
But why is brand tracking so important, and how can it improve your brand strategy? This article will take a look at the four stages of building a brand strategy, as well as how brand tracking software can help each step of the way.
The 4 Stages of Building a Brand Strategy
Without the ability to consult in-depth brand tracking data, you won’t be able to craft the kind of brand strategy that will get you ahead of your competition.
Below, we highlight the four most important stages of brand strategy and discuss how brand tracking software fits into each step.
1. Discovery & Research
When it comes to building a smart brand strategy, you need to conduct as much research as possible. From market research to consumer research to competitor research, find out as much as you can about your industry so that you can position your brand as the brand of choice.
Research your competitors — both direct and indirect — to see how target audiences are responding to their branding and learn from their mistakes. And remember, a good brand strategy will focus on increasing brand awareness within the right target audience, allowing consumers to familiarize themselves with your brand.
So how does brand tracking software fit into the discovery & research phase? Well, without high-quality brand insights, this phase might not go quite to plan. Whether it’s incomplete data or inaccurate insights, without the right tool, you’re bound to have gaps in your brand insights.
Here at Latana, we’ve got your back. With the in-depth data our software provides, you’ll be ready to map out your new brand strategy with confidence. Latana also allows you to gather data on:
Brand Awareness: Does your target audience know who you are? Do they recognize your brand name? Logo? Brand awareness measures how familiar target audiences are with your brand — so, the higher this percentage is, the more likely your brand is to be top-of-mind with consumers. Brand awareness is one of the most important KPIs for any brand manager to track and improve, as it lays the foundation for all further steps in the brand funnel.
Brand Perception: What does your target audience think about your brand? Do they love your products? Are they frustrated with you? You’ll never know unless you ask. And while finding out what consumers think might not always be fun, you’ll learn from such insights and can use them to shape your brand. Plus, consumers and brand managers aren’t always on the same page about brand image — the way they perceive your brand might differ from how you perceive it. And that is the kind of information you need to have.
Brand Consideration: Is your target audience happy buying from your brand in its current state? Brand consideration is exactly what it sounds like — how many consumers consider buying from your brand? This data allows you to see how many people actively consider using your product/service. Should this percentage be lower than you’d like, you know what to address in your new brand strategy.
Competitor Performance: While it may feel somewhat underhanded to spy on your competition, believe us — it’s definitely worth it. Our data will show you how your competitors are performing with your chosen target audiences — where they’re succeeding and struggling. You can then use such insights to beat them at their own game.
While there’s much more that can go into the discovery phase of building a brand strategy, this section has touched on the most important. With Latana, you have all the data you need at your fingertips — plus support from expert researchers, data scientists, and project managers.
What more could you need?
2. Identify Brand Association
Brand awareness and perception are important, as they help reveal if consumers know your brand and how they feel about it overall.
However, knowing what your target audience associates with your brand is also important. What kinds of qualities or characteristics come to mind when they think of your brand? Do they find it trustworthy? Good value for money? Beautifully designed?
By placing focus on positive brand associations and working to improve negative ones, you can create a brand strategy that speaks to your target audience more clearly.
But how do you get your hands on this kind of information? DIY surveys? Social listening? While those options may provide some insights, they won’t show you the whole picture. But brand tracking software definitely will.
Using Latana, you can discover what your target audience associates with your brand and then use those insights as building blocks for new brand campaigns. But that’s not where the fun ends — our brand tracking tool will also help you see if your tailor-made campaigns are bringing in the results you want.
By tracking brand association, you won’t ever have to second-guess how your brand is perceived by consumers. Instead, you’ll have reliable, concrete data which you can use to analyze your performance and quantify your results.
3. Conduct a Competitor Audit
While you may have heaps of data on your own brand perceptions and associations, you’re still missing something. What was it again? Something to do with other brands?
Oh right — have you conducted an audit of your main competitors yet? Before you fully flesh out a new brand strategy, you need to know where you stand in comparison to your top competition. While your strategy may seem rock solid, if a competitor is already leagues ahead, you need to know so you can make adjustments.
First, find out who your competitors are — both direct and indirect. Next, assess their brand image (brand identity, communication, voice, personality, etc.), and try to pinpoint what they’re doing to get ahead. You might even find a few good ideas to try in your own brand strategy!
But gathering this data can be quite difficult if you don’t have the right tools. That’s why we suggest using a brand tracking tool like Latana. The insights Latana provides can help you identify which tactics have worked well for them and which have failed. How?
Well, Latana allows you to hand-select your competitors and customize the KPIs you want to track and compare. Perhaps your competitor just overhauled their customer service and you’d like to see how consumers are responding to the change.
With our dashboard, you can create charts based on the time period, audience segments, geography, and KPIs that you need to compare your brand’s performance to that of your top competitors for your target audience.
Want to know who consumers associate more with “good value for money” or “great customer service”? Latana can help. Interested in finding who has stronger brand consideration or preference within your target audience? Our tool will provide all the data you need, presented in our intuitive dashboard.
With this kind of information at hand, you’ll be able to learn from their mistakes and avoid getting yourself into the same difficult situations.
4. Establish Emotional Connections
All humans have something in common — we want to feel understood. When developing a brand strategy, this is something you can use to your benefit.
Humans are powered by emotions, so one of the keys to a superb brand strategy is establishing emotional connections with your consumers. By weaving emotion into your brand strategy, you can more easily make personal connections with your customers and build trust.
But how do you know which emotions your target audience wants you to validate? By using the data provided by advanced brand tracking software, of course.
With data and insights from the Latana dashboard, you’ll be able to see who your customers really are — what makes them tick, how they spend their time, and what they’re willing to spend their money on.
If you use these insights to inform your brand strategy, you’ll be able to forge deeper, more meaningful emotional connections with consumers — which will, in turn, increase brand loyalty.
A good deal of this information can be found in your data on brand perception and associations. So, take a look at your data to see if your campaigns are resonating with your target audience.
If so, wonderful. If not, you know what needs to change in your new brand strategy. Remember, you want consumer perceptions to line up with your brand image. Your brand strategy should make this alignment a key focus if you want to be successful.
Whether you’re conducting market research, scoping out the competition, or analyzing your brand perceptions and associations, one thing is clear: you need brand tracking to be truly successful.
And while there are many options on the market, Latana provides an unmatched level of reliability, accuracy, and data confidence — all of which will help you craft a better, more effective brand strategy.
If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of Latana’s brand tracking solution, feel free to further explore our website. With information on data reach, audience segmentation, and Multilevel Regression and Postratification, there’s heaps for you to discover!
Updated by: Cory Schröder on 23.07.21