Surveys can be used to guide a plethora of business decisions. If you’re considering launching a new product or service, a survey can help you get feedback on not only the product or service itself, but your messaging and collaterals as well. If you’re looking to grow into a new market, a survey can help you understand the lay of the land so that you can maximize the return on your marketing investments. Or maybe you just haven’t checked in with your customers in a while and want to know how they feel; a survey can be an effective tool for that as well.
However, as any good strategic planner will tell you, businesses looking to grow and develop long-term sustainability need to set their sights higher and focus on the long-term goals of their organizations, as well as the strategies and tactics that it will take to get there. In these situations, an ongoing brand tracking survey can be a very effective tool to help guide an organization’s decisions as it grows.
Brand tracking studies are typically conducted on a regular basis. (Once a year is common, but an individual organization’s needs could suggest that either more frequent surveys or less frequent surveys would be most effective.) Brand tracking studies focus on measuring an individual brand in terms of a variety of key performance indicators, such as:
- Brand awareness
- Past purchase
- Current ownership or use
- Brand favorability
- Future purchase intent
- Likelihood of recommending (Net Promoter Score)
- Brand association with desired brand imagery
Using a one-time survey, you can effectively quantify how your brand is perming in all of these measures and, if necessary, take actions to improve your brand’s position. For example, if awareness is low but other metrics are high, you may want to focus your marketing efforts on just getting your name out there. If awareness is high, but favorability is low, it may be worth looking at your product and making sure it’s living up to your brand promise. And if you’re missing the mark on key aspects of your brand that you are trying to convey in your marketing messages, it may be worth re-evaluating your advertising and collaterals to make sure they are as effective as you’d like them to be.
A one-time survey can also be effective at understanding how your brand’s performance measures up against some of your key competitors. By using these competitors as benchmarks, you can understand where you’re ahead of the pack and where you could look to improve.
The real power in brand tracking surveys, however, lies in plotting how your key performance indicators change over time. If you set a goal of increasing awareness of your brand by 10% after seeing it is low in your initial survey, a tracking survey can serve to see if your efforts are paying off. Over the years, you can develop a deep understanding of how your brand’s position in the marketplace has changed over time and not only identify areas for ongoing improvement, but areas to celebrate your successes as well.
So the next time you’re wondering if you need a survey to help you understand what your customers think of your organization, consider making a long-term commitment to tracking your brand’s performance. You may be surprised at the power brand tracking can give you while plotting and monitoring future growth.