There’s no underestimating the power of strong brand loyalty. 59% of consumers buy products from trusted brands, and customer loyalty is 10x more valuable than a single purchase. Done well, brand loyalty can see your business thrive.

With a cry for strong branding and loyal customers becoming apparent with recent events, brands are beginning to shift their acquisition spends to retention. In 2020, 70% of brand managers prioritized audience-building over sales. With that, they have to create strategies overnight.

Not to worry, that’s why we’ve put this article together. We aim to walk you through six steps to measuring the power of your branding strategy and track the effectiveness of your varying branding campaigns.

What is brand tracking?

The definition of brand loyalty will vary depending on your business niche, but branding often leans on building peoples’ feelings towards your business.

Brand tracking is the act of measuring that awareness and sentiment around your business. It helps you to understand if your budget is currently being well-spent or if it’s better shifted to other campaigns and strategies.

Brand tracking also allows you to predict consumer trends, understand buying behaviors, and identify potential risks leaning on branding crises. By staying on top of your brand tracking, you remain agile in your marketing, both reactively and proactively.

Ultimately, good branding comes down to forging genuine relationships with people. Branding can be done in a few ways:

  • Building trust
  • Building gratitude
  • Showcasing sincerity
  • Earning admiration

Branding evokes feelings from people that help them make more impulsive buying decisions and feel good about doing so because of their relationship with your brand.

Brand Loyalty tracking - impulse purchases statistic

Identify your branding goals and KPIs

To start tracking your branding efforts, you need to understand what your branding goals are in the first place.

  • Are you aiming for awareness?
  • Are you aiming to change a brand image?
  • Are you aiming to build a positive brand sentiment?
  • Are you looking for product awareness?
  • Are you trying to eliminate a negative viewpoint that has tarnished your brand for a while?

It’s vital that you identify these goals and dive deep into the why behind each goal. Let’s exemplify a goal deep-dive.

“We want to be known by as many people as possible.”

You may have heard this before from leadership when it comes to brand building. They want popularity because they think popularity drives sales. Oh, they also want it by yesterday. But let’s dive a little deeper into this request.

We want to be known by as many people as possible.”

Who is the “we” referring to? Do you want your employer brand recognized or your company brand? If it’s the brand, what part of the brand do you want to be known:

  • Your logo
  • Your tagline
  • Your mission statement
  • Your product
“We want to be known by as many people as possible.”

Is this awareness something your brand needs or something your brand wants? Being clear on this topic will help determine how much risk you can take and how much budget you can use on that risk.

“We want to be known by as many people as possible.”

To what level would you say someone knows you? Let’s apply something to measure here. Is it if they recognize your brand name because it rings a bell? Or do you want them to know the ins and outs of what you do? How much knowledge do you want someone to have of your brand? How much knowledge do they need to be in a buying position?

“We want to be known by as many people as possible.”

How many people do you want to be recognized by? Perhaps, you already have data around this. For every 100 people that visit your website, how many of those convert? Work backward from here.

How many people need to view your ad or organic feature to come to your website? How many people do you need to reach to get that click-through in the first place?

“We want to be known by as many people as possible.”

This is an exciting one when it comes to tracking the effectiveness of your brand. Who are your people? Which audiences are you appealing to, and what do they look like? Build out customer and user personas and audience segments. Next, knuckle down on how many of those groups you need to access.

Brand loyalty tracking target persona template
“We want to be known by as many people as possible.”

The “as possible” here needs to be split into two. What is the maximum amount of relevant people you can reach with the resources you have available? Aim to reach a reasonable percentage of them.

Secondly, in what time frame do you hope to reach them. The marketing rule of seven applies when planning the duration of your branding campaign.  

If you continue to break down brand tracking “goals” the way we’ve done above, you’ll come out of the process with a much clearer vision of where you need to be. In turn, this will help to identify the rest of your brand tracking masterplan.

Initiate a strategy that’s in line with your goals

Once you’ve lined up your goals and KPIs, it’s time to start looking towards the best strategy that will help you get there.

There are a ton of different strategies you can use to build branding, and maybe that will be a blog for another day.

However, one fantastic branding strategy that’s helped many brands grow is referrals. Let’s take Dropbox as a case study on this occasion. Dropbox grew 3900% in 15 months using a referral marketing strategy. They set up a double-sided reward for both customers and their referees.

Brand loyalty tracking - Dropbox UI

By building out a referral program that talks to your current customers, you’ll be able to up your retention rates, build brand ambassadors, and increase your customer acquisition.

Invest in SaaS tools that can help

There is no harm in calling in the calvary. Perhaps you’re an Excel wizard or know your way around website design better than most. However, is it worth your time, or are your efforts best capitalized on elsewhere? Try and find the right tools to help you get the job done.

These tools can be anything from tools that help you manage and launch your branding campaigns to tools that help you track branding effectiveness.

A couple of our favorite tools for this are:

  • Surprise! The best way for scaling ecommerce brands to build customer loyalty.
  • Attest: For tracking brand and campaign effectiveness.
  • Sprout Social: For brand building and tracking on social media.
Brand loyalty tracking - Smile rewards User interface

Set regular times for review

Just because you’ve tracked your brand once doesn’t mean that information is still relevant six months down the line. We know this news may be painful to hear. Brand tracking can be a tedious task, especially if you’re doing it manually and haven’t onboarded any SaaS tools to help you along the way.

Plus, if you’re running campaigns, you’ll want a more regular overview of your brand efforts to see if you’re on track for hitting your goals and KPIs and if there’s anything you can tweak in your strategy to help you get there.

Depending on your internal resources available will determine how regularly you can do this. However, we’d suggest at least every 2-3 weeks when a campaign is live, and monthly if not.

Brand loyalty tracking - Slack Logo

Rinse and repeat

Tracking is one thing but analyzing your efforts and learning from them is something else. The above point was addressing tweaking tactics as you go. However, you need to book in time to do a complete review of your branding efforts.

Did you hit your goals or not? What worked for you and what didn’t?

Once you’ve identified the above, rinse and repeat. In your rinse, update content and written copy to ensure it’s relevant to seasonality, new product features, and pop culture. In your repeat, stay true to those processes and avenues to market that worked best for you.

Set tougher goals

Last on our list for creating a brand tracking master plan is to set more challenging goals.

Whether you hit your goals or not the last time around, you most certainly made a giant leap towards them. So, let’s get tougher; let’s work harder and aspire for even greater results.

This will keep your brand and product teams on their toes and ensure you’re as creative as possible when working toward a better brand.

Putting your brand tracking master plan into action

For all of the planning you do to ensure your branding master plan is as successful as it can be, there’s one step you need to take before it all.

Get internal stakeholders on board.

Whether this is leadership or those managers that can approve your budgets, maybe, it’s your team, so they understand your branding vision and can work toward a unified goal on the same page as you.

Or, perhaps you need to get your sales and customer service reps on side, so they know what people out there are seeing and are as informed as can be when new queries come flooding in.

By getting stakeholders on board, you’ll ensure a smoother internal experience—company-wide. You’ll also provide a better customer-facing experience that’s unified and as “on brand” as can be.

This is a guest post by Ray Slater Berry, content strategist at Outreach Humans. He has been working in social media and content marketing for eight years. He specializes in the tech, innovation, and travel sectors. He is also a published fiction author with his first title, Golden Boy.