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Memories generate sales: Why your Brand Tracker needs to include Category Entry Points

February 07, 2024

Hand on mobile phone with a thank you for your purchase message

Karen Chandler


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If your Brand Tracker does not measure Category Entry Points, then you’re missing a key area of growth for 2024. The best search engine is the mind, so triggering thoughts of your brand at key buying occasions can lead to significant additional revenue. Think Diet Coke and break time.

Sign up for one of our Brand Tracking packages before the 1st of April 2024 and get 12 months of Category Entry Points insights, alongside a complementary deep-dive into your results.

What do you get?

– A dynamic Brand Tracking dashboard with 24/7 access to all of your fundamental KPIs, such as ad awareness and brand strength

– A complementary insight meeting to delve into your 3 key business questions

– A consultative partnership that will help you answer the ‘so what’ and ‘what now’ for your brand

– Access to your new tracker within an average of 4-6 weeks

Why does your Brand Tracker need Category Entry Points?

The details

– Offer only open for new Brand Tracking packages over 32,000 SEK per month with a minimum 12 month contract, signed before the 1st April 2024.

– One free 1-hour insight meeting, to cover 3 key business questions.

– Category Entry Point module included for 12 months free of charge, for all markets and categories purchased (cost for year 2 based on 2 categories and 3 countries is 36,000 SEK, subject to change).

– Number of free Category Entry Points is capped at 10, and they must be the same for each market and category.

– Normal Nepa terms and conditions apply

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What are Category Entry Points, and why should you care about them in 2024?

January 30, 2024

Karen Chandler


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AI. New shopping channels. A cost-of-living crisis. The new spending power of Generation Alpha. Market share growth has never been as complicated as it is in 2024. But you can sharpen your competitive edge by building mental availability; ensuring your brand is at the top of mind wherever and whenever a consumer is ready to make a purchase.

This is where Category Entry Points come into play. As defined by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, they are the cues that consumers use to access their memory when making a buying decision, encompassing both internal cues like motives and emotions and external cues like location and time of day. Think Diet Coke with break time.

With a direct correlation between a brand’s market penetration and the number and strength of their Category Entry Points, understanding and leveraging them is essential.

How do you identify your Category Entry Points?

To begin, you need to start with the 7W’s; ‘Why’, ‘Where’, ‘hoW’, ‘With’, ‘When’, ‘While’, and ‘With what’.

Why

The motive and benefits behind a purchase, for instance to lead a healthier lifestyle or to get a promotion.

Where

The location of where the product will be used or consumed, for instance when working from home, or on the train.

hoW

The feelings and emotions behind the purchase, for instance feeling low on energy or stressed.

With/for whom

The other people who may be involved in the usage or consumption, for instance your partner, or senior management.

When

The timing of when the product will be used or consumed, for instance every Saturday or at the end of the financial year.

While

Co-activities that might occur with the usage or consumption, for instance a meeting or filling up your car.

With what

Other categories that might be purchased or consumed at the same time, for instance socks with shoes or popcorn at the movies.

How do you then prioritise these Category Entry Points?

As consumers have a multitude of entry points into each category, product or brand, you then need to prioritise those that are the most effective for brand growth. This is where we turn to the 3C’s.

Credible

How credible is your product, brand, or solution in this situation?

Competitive

How many other brand or business are in competition for this entry point?

Common

How frequently do buyers find themselves at this entry point?

Those with high credibility, low competition, and high incidence are those that are going to be most valuable. Having high impact, high effectiveness messaging at these points will help create brand memories.

Why should you then track these Category Entry Points continuously?

Identifying your Category Entry Points is only the first step. Once you actively start to build brand memories during these situations, you need to have a system in place to see which messages resonate, and which don’t. And it’s important not to forget that your competitors might also be working on their Category Entry Point memories too.

By measuring continuously, you can quickly and easily view your entire competitive landscape. This makes it simpler to promptly adapt strategies and stay ahead of your competition.

Nepa’s three step approach

1. Discover your brand’s specific Category Entry Points

Using qualitative techniques, we uncover every Category Entry point that might lead a consumer to your category. Generative AI is used to identify, validate, and analyse the data to minimise the risks of bias.

2. Quantify and prioritise your key Category Entry Points

A quantitative deep dive identifies the strength of your brand’s current Category Entry Points, and which ones should be focused on to drive growth in the market.

3. Monitor the development of your Category Entry Points

Both your brand and your competitors Category Entry Points are continuously tracked in our Brand Tracking dashboard, so you can make timely, informed decisions to grow your market share.

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Unleash the power of CampaignPulse: Quick evaluations without compromising on quality

November 28, 2023

Karen Chandler


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Observation, sender recall, message comprehension, and liking are some of the key metrics collected by regular Campaign Evaluations. Did your consumer see your campaign? Did they know it was your brand? Did they understand the message you were trying to convey, and did it make them more likely to buy your brand?

CampaignPulse asks all of these questions, and then delves even deeper. What in particular resonates with consumers? How unique do they think your brand is? How does it compare with industry benchmarks? Does the ad align with consumer’s expectations of your brand? These are the factors that truly drive engagement and loyalty.

The best part of a CampaignPulse evaluation? You can receive your insights whilst your campaign is running. These near-time results provide a distinct advantage in today’s fast-paced marketing landscape. If your campaign isn’t performing well and you only find out after the fact, the damage is already done. This flexibility is a game-changer, allowing you to respond agilely to consumer feedback, emerging trends, and the ever-evolving consumer landscape.

The pitfalls of a poorly executed campaign

If done incorrectly, your campaign may inadvertently be a boost for your competition. A lack of strong brand assets, such as tagline, colour palette, audio, and typography, can mean that the time and resources you’ve spent simply go to waste.

CampaignPulse helps you to minimise this risk by giving you a clear overview of which brand assets drive recognition and liking, which may inadvertently boost competitors, and how to mitigate this to create the strongest campaign.

Campaign Evaluations v. CamapignPulse

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Introducing AI Trend Boost by Nepa: Make your brand tracking data go further

October 04, 2023

Woman with red hair working on laptop

Karen Chandler


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Survey-led brand tracking is a constant trade-off between accuracy and cost. The larger the sample size, the more reliable the insights, but invariably the larger the budget required. Nepa’s AI Trend Boost is your solution.

This revolutionary machine-learning based approach takes historical tracking data, analyses context and covariance between key variables, and then creates a model with the same accuracy as a sample with five times the data. It also reduces sampling variances by up to 75%, bringing you closer than ever to your consumer.

– Offers a 5 times increase in the depth and granularity of your data

– Enhances low incidence target groups to create meaningful business insights

– Produces insights with the smoothness of a moving average, combined with the responsiveness of near-time data

How does AI Trend Boost Work?

If you have a small sample, unboosted raw data in your brand tracker can have notable weekly shifts. How do you make confident business decisions when you can’t tell what’s a concrete trend, and what is simply noise?

AI Trend Boost uses a proprietary algorithm to analyse several key data variables and past-time series data to generate an accurate model for your brand’s KPIs. It learns and improves over time – the more data it is given, the more refined its predictions become, making it an invaluable tool to optimise your brand’s performance and stay ahead of trends.

In almost all simulated cases, the output of a tracker with AI Trend Boost applied is far superior to a simple moving average in terms of real-life population trend accuracy, including in those with decreased sample sizes. Error metrics are reduced by up to 75%.

Plus, AI Trend Boost is easy to integrate into our core Brand Trackers, letting you effectively enhance your insights with a single click​.

Industry recognition for AI Trend Boost

AI Trend Boost’s Brand Noise Reduction methodology has been recognised by industry experts as cutting-edge technology, and it is trusted by the biggest global brands including IKEA.

“Applying Nepa’s Brand Noise Reduction algorithm to Marketing Mix Modelling really gives us peace of mind that we’re making decisions based on the best data possible.”​

​Brinda Matthew​, Head of Brand Marketing Performance, IKEA Canada​

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ESOMAR Congress 2023 Paper

September 22, 2023

ESOMAR Congress Papers 2023

Karen Chandler


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If, after all of our posts, you’re interested in reading the full paper behind our ESOMAR Congress 2023 presentation ‘The New Marketing Renaissance’, you can find it below.

The New Marketing Renaissance: The merging of creative work and scientific evaluation of communication‘ was co-authored by Karin Haglund, Cajsa Wirén, Oliver Engist, Hugo Englund, and Thomas Berthelsen. It looks into how new techniques can be applied to Marketing Mix Modeling to specifically measure creative quality, thereby providing insights on how this quality relates directly back to market effectiveness. If you have any questions, do please get in touch.

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Nepa in Amsterdam | ESOMAR Congress 2023

September 15, 2023

Karen Chandler


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ESOMAR Congress is over for another year, and what a Congress it was for Nepa. Artificial Intelligence was the buzz word of the week, with sessions on topics such as using predictive analytics and natural language processing to revolutionise your marketing strategy and unlocking travel’s new frontier with AI-powered dream destination bookings. And we were also there to talk AI!

The Young ESOMAR Society (YES) Awards

Nepa Data Scientist Valere Demelier was chosen as one of the nine brightest young research minds to present at this year’s conference. A 60-second pitch was voted on by conference attendees, and the three with the most votes were invited back the next day to showcase their full presentation.

Valere’s topic was the one on everyone’s lips at the event – Artificial Intelligence. He showcased a project he worked on with a large global retailer who wanted to learn more about what their key personas searched for online.

AI and machine learning were used to cluster millions of search terms into specific segments, identifying which topics each digital consumer profile was interested in. Not only did machine learning speed up the analysis, but using GPT technology made the reporting more accurate.

Valere won silver for his presentation.

This year I was invited to ESOMAR Congress 2023 as a YES awards finalist, where I was delighted to have won the silver award. The congress was an incredible experience filled with inspiring presentations, innovative research projects, and new friends.

Amongst the many incredible papers presented one of my favourites was the brilliant “Uncovering the Human Voice for Deep Insights”. This presentation elegantly explored how consumers build relationships with brands they interact and over time develop “Brand Love”. The integration of market research and psychology concepts as well as advanced language modelling techniques created a compelling story rooted in sound research methods and powerful conclusions and real-world implications.”, said Valere.

The New Marketing Renaissance

Nepa‘s R&D Manager Cajsa Wirén joined forces with Klarna Bank‘s Global Consumer Insights Manger to present their talk on how to merge the creative with the technical.

There are high demands on marketers today. They need to produce content of such high quality that people actively want to consume it, whilst understanding the technicalities of tailoring content to the multitude of different channels. They also simultaneously need to not get lost in all the choices, and overlook the fundamentals for a successful campaign, be it objectives, measurement KPIs or execution: a true DaVincian feat!

The talk covered how new techniques can be applied to Marketing Mix Modeling to specifically measure creative quality, thereby providing insights on how this quality relates directly back to market effectiveness.

The full paper can be found here.

Dynata RISE Awards 2023

Nepa won the Market Research Agency category (EMEA) in Dynata’s 2023 RISE awards. Nepa’s Chief Product Officer Robert Beatus collected the trophy that assessed Dynata’s best-performing clients, with a focus on respondent engagement.
Read more about this award here.

Nepa’s Interim CEO Ferry Wolswinkel commented: “This was my first year at ESOMAR Congress, and what a first year it was. I was immensely proud to see Nepa’s Data Scientist Valere earn a well-deserved silver medal at the YES Awards, and receiving Dynata’s RISE award is truly a testament of the hard work put into our surveys by our teams globally.

I would also like to thank Klarna’s Karin Haglund for joining R&D Manager Cajsa Wiren on the Supercharger stage to present ‘The New Marketing Renaissance’. Such an inspiring session by both”.

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2023 RISE Award Winner: Nepa

September 11, 2023

Karen Chandler


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And our ESOMAR Congress continues to get better! Not only have two Nepians been chosen to impart some of their market research wisdom during the conference, but we’ve only gone and received an award! We are proud to announce that we won the Market Research Agency category (EMEA) in Dynata’s 2023 RISE awards.

The RISE “Recognising Innovation in Survey Engagement” awards are all about publicly recognising Dynata’s best-performing clients, with a focus on respondent engagement. Dynata has assessed all of their clients’ surveys over the last 12 months against 3 areas of respondent impact (efficiency, engagement, and trust) against 8 different variables, such as conversion rate, abandon rate, and survey length. Once analysed, the data was ranked and the top companies identified.

So what does this mean for Nepa? This means that clients can be assured that the insights collected are based on the best possible data, ensured by best-in-class respondent engagement. Winning this award is not just a testament to our dedication and expertise, but also a reflection of the value we place on research design, panellist engagement and operational best practices.

“Surveys are at the core of great research. This award reaffirms our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of data quality, ensuring that every insight we deliver is built on a foundation of trust.

I would like to say a massive thank you to our internal expert and client teams for making this award possible. From research and design to scripting and operations, their work is the foundation of every successful project.

Ferry Wolswinkel, Interim CEO
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Nepa at ESOMAR Congress 2023

August 16, 2023

Amsterdam canal side buildings

Karen Chandler


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It’s less than a month to this year’s ESOMAR Congress in Amsterdam, and we’re delighted to let you know you’ll have (possibly!) more than two chances to watch a Nepian in action.

Monday 11th September, 09.25

The Supercharger Stage

Nepa UK’s Data Scientist Valere Demelier is one of the finalists of the YES Awards, and during this 60-second elevator pitch will discuss AI for Consumer Digital Profiles. He will (very quickly!) take us through a recent project that utilised open AI’s embedding tool to distil shopper search queries into an embedded data frame, which was then subjected to unsupervised machine learning clustering to identify patterns among shoppers. 

Tuesday 12th September, 14.30

The Supercharger Stage

Nepa Sweden’s R&D Manager Cajsa Wirén will be presenting ‘The New Marketing Renaissance; The merging of creative work and scientific evaluation of communication’ alongside Klarna’s Global Consumer Insights Manager Karin Haglund.

This 20-minute session will cover how marketing mix modelling can be combined with survey-based measurements of campaign content, to quantify the value of creatives. This case study will provide insights on how different aspects of creative executions impact marketing effectiveness, and highlights how clear branding in campaigns is the most important challenge for brands to crack.

Tuesday 12th September, 16.20

The Supercharger Stage

If Valere’s pitch wows the ESOMAR delegates, then alongside two other finalists he will be showcasing his full pitch mainstage Pecha Kucha style for 6min40 in front of senior business leaders. Event attendees have the final word, so if you’re there in person please vote!

Alongside Valere and Cajsa, CEO Ferry Wolswinkel, Account Director Andrea Goeres, Senior Account Manager Malin Larsudd, and Marketing Manager Karen Chandler will be attending to explore the latest trends, innovations, and insights in the field of market research. All are more than happy to meet up over a coffee, just get in touch!

About ESOMAR Congress

ESOMAR Congress is ESOMAR’s flagship event that serves as a prominent platform for industry professionals, researchers, and experts to converge and learn. The event showcases a diverse array of sessions, including keynote presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions led by thought leaders and pioneers in the industry.

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Why continuous Brand Tracking?

July 25, 2023

Asian businesswoman worker or manager in a yellow suit in a good mood using a laptop inside the office.

Niclas Ohman


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Many companies across the globe use Brand Tracking to monitor and measure the performance of their brands over time. It’s an important tool for long-term growth plans because it helps businesses understand how their brand is evolving and where they may need to adjust to stay relevant and competitive. By tracking key performance indicators such as brand awareness, brand loyalty, and customer satisfaction, businesses can identify areas of strength and weakness, whilst staying agile and responsive to market changes. 

Traditionally, Brand Tracking is done using cross-sectional research. This is a a type of observational study that collects data from a sample of individuals at a specific point in time, to examine relationships between the variables. However, here at Nepa we do things differently. We believe that continuous research is far superior in several ways.

A continuous approach to research drastically expands the usefulness of data, compared to a traditional cross-sectional dip or an ad-hoc approach. Our aim is always to integrate with business results outside of what can be included into a questionnaire, and to do that we need a common denominator to be able connect the model universe in the data set to the real universe outside it. The most versatile and powerful common denominator is time.

Changes in data collected over time in a persistent way is always more reliable than the levels themselves at any given time. Data collected at a single point in time can be influenced by various factors such as random fluctuations and sample variability, which can make it difficult to draw reliable, actionable conclusions.

Ready-aim-fire has become ready-aim-steer. Many of the business problems we aim to solve for our clients focus on small, constant adjustments to reach a target over time, rather than one big change. Continuous does this infinitely better than ad-hocs or dips.

Brand Tracking at Nepa

We have a long history and a built in DNA of viewing the data we collect as a component in our delivery, not as the delivery. We also have a track record of guiding our customers to well thought through decisions on what data they need from us to solve their business questions, and to go beyond the questions they formulate themselves in the initial brief to us.

We have a clear take on the pros and cons of different methods and ways of collecting data and generally think one or two steps further than the average customer. On the surface, our data looks like that of our competitors’, but it’s most often not the same. The difference doesn’t show if you are looking at line-graphs or pie-charts; it starts to show when you start trying to make inferences based on the insights and connect or integrate it with other sources of data.

A prime example is our continuous collection of data in our Brand Tracking. Heraclitos said that “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”. What I think he meant is that there is constant change in both the environment and the agent, and that you have to adapt and continuously revise what you thought you know. That, one may think, should constitute enough of a reason to believe in continuous data collection, continuous analysis, and continuous action.

There is more to it though since a continuous approach will drastically expand the usefulness of your data. Let me elaborate on this. If you are satisfied with quarterly score cards and a temperature gauge of your brand health or brand experience, and you are confident that you can cram everything you need analyzing into the same questionnaire, you might as well do dips and save yourself some costs and some work.

However, if you aim to connect it to business results outside of what you managed to cram into the questionnaire, or if you didn’t quite manage to anticipate and fit all the factors influencing your KPI beforehand, the differences will start to show. Recent global events like the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, inflation, Brexit, etc., has highlighted how incredibly hard it is to manage to foresee and include all relevant factors into a questionnaire before they happen. We live in a complex and eventful world and it’s not only global macro-economic factor like these that affect our brands and marketing efforts. There are a tenfold of industry or market specific circumstances that’ll have an impact on our company’s performance. Things like new competitors, changed competitor ad spending, product innovation, cross-segment merchandising, or any number of hard to predict occurrences within an industry. These are just some examples that either must be incorporated beforehand in the survey of a cross-sectional study to allow us to assess the impact or be left to guessing.

In a continuous approach this is not an issue. The beauty of continuous Brand Tracking is that we don’t need to predict the unpredictable and add specific questions to the survey beforehand. We can take it into account whenever it occurs and assess the impact of any unforeseeable event as to long as we can assign a point in time to it.

Continuous data collection, if done right, allows for a much broader and much deeper analysis, and consequently much more actionable recommendations. You can switch back and forth between respondents and time as units of analyses and connect the survey data to other sources such as Marketing Mix Models, tracking insight meetings, and campaign meta-analyses.

We have always had this approach at Nepa, and we tend to take it for granted. We have built all, or close to all, of our technical assets around this basic philosophy. Not just that they should be continuous, but that it should be possible to connect our insights to things happening outside the survey or tracker. That’s why we are best in class in continuous sampling and that’s why we are investing in continuous quality control, continuous analysis, media investment integration, data exchange protocols, “action triggers”/“notifications”, event driven processing, etc.

Our long-term commitment to continuous is what makes our trackers better than our competitor’s when trying to weave them into MMM-solutions. It’s why we can connect financial impact to brand health scores. It’s deep in our DNA and a philosophy much more than, and far beyond, a technical feature.

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Why your brand tracker sucks and how to fix it

July 13, 2023

View of the King's palace in Gamla stan, Stockholm

Cajsa Wiren


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Greetings brand tracking lovers! Oh, are you not one of them? Well, you’re not alone. Many companies work with some sort of brand tracking tool to help them understand how consumers perceive their brand, and how their brand strength is developing. The results are often used in brand strategy development and to steer day-to-day decision-making. However, in many organisations brand tracking data is underutilised. The results float around the organisation in general KPI-reports, but what’s causing the results is rarely discussed and few actions are taken based on the data.

Why are brand tracking tools underutilised?

When a brand tracking program is first implemented, there is often a lot of interest and engagement from the organisation. People are excited to get new insights and expand their data tool set. But after a couple of years of measurement, many organisations see a declining interest and usage of the data internally. The users may find the brand tracking stale with no new insights. Rather than exploring how the brand tracking can be further evolved, users tend to gravitate towards new, perhaps more exciting, research solutions or data sources instead.

For many established brands, brand tracking results may appear stable year after year, with very little movement in the top funnel KPIs. And when changes in the KPIs do occur, many users find it difficult to deduct why this is happening and what’s causing the changes. This can lead to a perception that the brand tracking is not actionable and that results cannot be trusted.

The two types of brand trackers

If we generalize, we can say that the brand trackers used by companies can be divided into two categories: the report card and the business tool.  

The report card type is focused on measuring the brands performance on a set number of KPIs, e.g., top-of-mind awareness or brand preference. These KPIs are reported across the organization on a regular basis, and results might be tied to compensation or bonuses for the marketing teams. These report card trackers usually have a narrow, inside-out perspective. They only measure the brand associations a company wants to stand for and the specific consumer segments that they want to reach. Report card style trackers tend to have limited usage in the organisation. The main focus is to monitor changes in brand KPIs since these are often tied to compensation, but the data provides very little guidance on how to improve the brand’s performance. Results ultimately lead to very little action.  

The business tool, on the other hand, has a wider, more market-oriented focus. They include the main brand KPIs, but the set-up aims to cover the whole competitive landscape and all types of consumers on the market, rather than the narrower focus of the report card. These types of trackers are designed to not only measure how the brand is performing on its KPIs, but also what else is happening in the market and why things are happening, allowing for more proactive actions. This generally creates more internal engagement and long-term usage of the tracking as it helps to answers more business questions.  

The business tool tracker is also more sustainable as it can withstand changes in brand strategy, market changes etcetera, without needing large updates, providing a more continuous data stream.  

How to create a business tool brand tracker

Design the brand tracking around your business challenges

One key factor for creating a business tool tracker is designing the set-up around the business challenges you would like to address and the specific dynamics of your business and market. At Nepa, we tailor our clients’ brand tracking surveys to their business needs using a modular approach. For example, a client who advertises heavily will want to use the brand tracking to monitor communication effects. In that case, Nepa’s media and ad tracking modules would be applied to provide input to media optimisation and further development of creatives. A client with a new brand in an emerging category, on the other hand, would want to understand how behaviours and attitudes are developing and would benefit from Nepa’s modules on category drivers and purchasing behaviour. By considering what the specific use cases are for your brand tracking, you will be able to design a survey that is both more actionable and more engaging for the users in the organisation.

Use relevant slicing questions

When designing a brand tracking survey, it’s easy to get caught up in the brand and market related questions. But an area that often gets too little attention are the slicing questions that enable breakdowns of the data. Examples of slicing questions could be demographics, category behaviours, shopping missions or consumption occasions. These are the questions that help you answer the why’s: why my brand preference is declining, why a competitor is gaining strength etcetera. Slicing questions help you dig deeper beyond the top level KPIs and provide you with a wider range of analysis possibilities.

These questions are also an opportunity to ensure the brand tracking can cater to a wide audience within the organisation by enabling breakdowns that are relevant for a range of different stakeholders, for example product teams, assortment, customer service etcetera. Slicing questions can easily be added or updated when needed to keep the brand tracking up to date without having to makes changes to the main brand KPIs in the questionnaire.

Apply a continuous data collection approach

Many companies collect their brand tracking data in waves, either monthly, quarterly, or yearly. While this approach provides an understanding of the brand’s performance at a given point in time, it limits the opportunities for insight and analysis of the data. A continuous sampling approach, where data is collected every day of the year, drastically expands the value of the brand tracking. You can more easily follow the effects of campaigns and marketing activities.

External factors such as seasonal fluctuations, or competitor movements, can quickly be viewed and analysed. The continuous survey data can also be combined with other time series data such as media investments, market share development or sales. Additionally, continuous data collection provides more robust results and a more reliable base for conclusions.

Brand tracking can get a bad rep for not being actionable and relevant enough for the users in the organisation. However, by truly treating your brand tracking as a business tool when designing the survey and set-up, you can drastically expand the value and actionability of the insights and keep up the interest in the data over a long period of time.