Brand tracking meaning

Brand tracking is simply a way to continuously measure how your brand is performing within its market and relative to competitors and track how this changes over time.

There are some standard brand tracking metrics that tend to be included, allowing you to understand who’s aware of and using your brand, what consumers are associating with it and how likely they would be to recommend it.

As a top UK brand strategy agency, we do brand tracking differently, covering both the standard brand tracking metrics, and measuring each stage of the customer journey to ensure alignment throughout.

Brand Tracking with the BAM

Because we are all about customer experience, we have a dedicated brand tracking tool, the Brand Alignment Monitor (BAM) that allows you to track this and how well it aligns against your brand.

Unlike traditional brand tracking, the BAM speaks to a range of audiences including customers, prospects and your own employees, giving you a holistic view of what is happening with your brand. Due to its sensitivity, the BAM detects changes to the market and your experience as an when they impact, meaning you can be reactive to anything affecting your brand.

The output of the BAM is a single metric, allowing you to understand how well your experience performs relative to your brand vision. As well as this, within the BAM, we can also track standard brand tracking metrics such as brand awareness, usage and intent, and Net Promoter Score (NPS), removing the need for multiple trackers.

Brand tracking best practices

1. Know your audience: Brand tracking can become redundant if it is not targeted towards the right people. For example, if we want to understand awareness and usage of pub brands, speaking to people that do not engage with them at all will not give you an accurate read on how they are perceived. Similarly, only speaking to people who are superfans of the pub will give an overly positive read on the brand. It is important to therefore carefully consider who the survey should go out to before its release.

2. Be consistent: Changing key words or question phrasing over the course of brand tracking can have a huge impact on scores and create false reads on the data. While it is sometimes necessary to change questions due to the changing nature of businesses, keeping brand tracking questions as consistent as possible ensures that you are measuring the same thing each wave.

3. Contextualise your brand tracking metrics: While it is important to carefully consider which brand tracking KPIs should be included in a brand tracker, supporting questions that explain any changes are useful. Using the pub example again, we might see in tracking a decline in intention to visit over the next year, which is one of our key metrics. Rather than having this question is isolation, it should be paired with a question such as barriers to usage, which would help explain why fewer people are planning on visiting pubs going forward.

4. Consider further research: It is inevitable that there will be shifts in the data that cannot be explained by brand tracking alone or need further exploration. For shifts that are business critical, pairing the tracking with some qualitative research allows for understanding of the why around consumer behaviour to a much greater extent than tracking alone.

Brand tracking examples


Objectives: NCFE, an education sector specialist, underwent a rebrand and wanted to understand how the brand was perceived, and where it sat in relation to its competitors. There was a need for both a customer and non-customer focused view to understand the key importance factors in the market and how they performed against them.

 What we did: An annual online 10-minute survey of the relevant market to understand where the brand stands now, and how this might change in the future. Repeating this project on an annual basis allows for understanding on how internal strategy changes are received by the customers, as well as allowing us to monitor any changes to the market that might impact this.

Results: After the first wave, we were clearly able to show the brand its current place in the market relevant to its competitors. We were also able to pinpoint which factors were most important to the market, and where making improvements would be most impactful to their overall brand image.

Greene King BAM

Objectives: Greene King wanted to measure customer experience across their vast portfolio to understand how well each brand is aligned. They also needed to understand the impact that the experience had on their brand tracking metrics.

What we did : A bi-annual 15 minute online BAM survey distributed to staff, customers and colleagues. To gain a full understanding of all the factors at play, the survey is made up of three sections.

  1. Brand standing – allowing for understanding of performance against brand position, brand pillars, brand purpose and brand values.
  2. Brand diagnosis – allowing us to dissect the customer experience and evaluate which stages are bringing the brand to life, and which are underwhelming customers.
  3. Brand impact – understanding the impact of the customer experience journey on likelihood to revisit, recommend and overall satisfaction.

Results:  Each wave, we clearly identify areas of success and areas of improvement over the past 6 months. We provide Greene King with actionable insights that they can use to improve the journey, which has a knock-on effect to their business performance.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS)  

Objectives: SMWS, a super-premium whisky subscription service, wanted to gain a better understanding of the whisky market from both their own members and prospective members. There was a need to build on qualitative insight to quantify different drivers and barriers to membership, what customer expectations were around the service and which other brands were playing in a similar space. There was also a need to identify tactics to increase customer acquisition, increase customer yield and reduce customer churn.

What we did: A 10-minute online survey speaking to their database of customers and a panel of prospective whisky subscribers across 8 different markets. Given the premium nature, we made sure to only include respondents that reflected this market so that results could be as actionable as possible.

Results: The initial research identified several areas for the SMWS brand to target, to increase acquisition, yield and reduce churn with the results being widely distributed across the business. Following an initial wave in 2020, the research has been repeated to allow the brand a view on changes to the market, and how this will impact their customers. As well as identifying potential future threats that might be relevant at both a category and brand level.

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