Brand trackers – advice and good practice

Frequency

We recommend that B2B Brand Trackers are repeated once per year.
If these are run more frequently, it could be difficult to see significant changes in results between waves. With consumer studies, running trackers more regularly is easier, because of the large sample sizes – with B2B it’s often not possible to get similar sample sizes. If brand trackers are run less frequently than once per year, it may be difficult to react to changes, and data used may be outdated.

Target audience

The survey target audience is crucial for the success of a Brand Tracker, but also causes difficulties in the feasibility of studies if it is a niche cohort.
The survey must target customer personas, and not include those that will have little awareness / knowledge of the brand / other competitors in question. This means that the roles, responsibilities, markets, types of company etc. must be defined and targeted to get valid data. However, if the size of the audience in the real-world is very small, then conducting the research with a robust sample size may be difficult.

Recommended methodology

Running the research using online panels is the preferred methodology, but telephone interviews or a mixed approach is also possible.
Online panels offer a quick and more cost-effective way of reaching the target audience, but if an audience is niche, it may not be possible. By using a telephone interviewing approach it may be possible to reach more of the target audience, however it is often costly (approx. 10-15 times the cost of an online interview).

Sample size

  • 1000 responses – a very good sample size in a B2B market. Allows good comparison between competitors, and a high validity. May also allow sub-sector analysis by country, company size, and sector
  • 500 responses – a good sample size in a B2B market. Allows good comparison between competitors, and a reasonable validity. May be a challenge to run sub-group analysis
  • 250 responses – a reasonable sample size in a B2B market. Allows some comparison between the main competitors, but if tracked, differences over time may be difficult to validate
  • Fewer than 250 responses – a small sample size in a B2B market. This will give a snapshot of the sector and competitors – comparison between competitors may be difficult, and tracking over time will have challenges. However, can still be a good investment if just a snapshot is required

What metrics can be measured in Brand Research?

  • Unprompted and Prompted awareness levels
  • Brand Sentiment (positive or negative association)
  • Brand Usage and Consideration
  • Brand Preference
  • Brand Trust and Loyalty (e.g. Net Promoter Score)
  • Brand Associations (and in comparison to competitors)
  • Competitive Landscape Mapping

What can you find out with Brand Research?

  • The impact and success of marketing & PR activity on key brand metrics
  • Awareness and visibility levels and how these differ by audience group
  • The characteristics of your brand
  • How your brand differentiates from the rest of the market
  • What customers value in a brand
  • How your brand can be positioned to address customers’ needs
  • Consideration levels for your brand
  • Competitive threats and opportunities
  • How the brand should develop (e.g. due to changing opinions, changing market)
  • Implications of brand architecture.
  • Changes over time as the above is tracked on a regular basis

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