Top three reasons to track your brand health

Posted by Sapien Team - 07 March, 2023

If you’re new to brand tracking or think your brand tracking is not as effective as it could be, these are three critical metrics to pay attention to.


1. Mental availability

Also known as brand salience, mental availability tracks how well your brand is recalled (unprompted) by consumers. To measure this, we often ask consumers to list all the brands they know of in a particular category. For example, in the automotive category, consumers may list brands such as Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mercedes, Mazda, and Ford.

Brands that frequently top these lists are ones with high mental availability—they are the first brands customers recall and often the ones consumers will consider first in their customer journey. The better your mental availability the more chance your brand and its products or services will be considered.

Important! Mental availability/brand salience is not the same as brand awareness. Brand awareness measures if consumers have heard of a brand. Mental availability is about being a brand that consumers first think of for a category, e.g. automotive (Toyota, Mazda, Honda), or supermarkets (Pak n’ Save, Countdown, New World).

At Sapien, when we track mental availability we also often track your brand’s category entry points. Category entry points are the occasions or events where a consumer would consider buying your product. To continue with the car example, if you’re in need of a compact car to use around town just for yourself and maybe a partner, products such as a Suzuki Swift or Toyota Yaris are likely to come to mind first. For these two products, ‘small/compact’, ‘just for me’ and ‘town car’ are category entry points. Meanwhile a product like a Mitsubishi Outlander might have category entry points of ‘family car’, ‘comfortable for long drives’ and ‘room for travelling’. The more category entry points that are associated your brand and/or product, the higher your brand’s mental availability is in the mind of your consumer.

By tracking how strongly your brand is associated with certain category entry points, you can see where your brand sits in consumers’ minds. With this, you have an understanding of where your brand is now and where it could be. You may also find your brand has entry points you may not know about as well as entry points you think you’re in but actually aren’t (unless you significantly increase your investment).

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2. Advertising awareness

Monitoring the awareness of your advertising and marketing efforts is critical for building a full picture of how your brand is perceived in the market. Tracking your advertising awareness can help you gage:

  • whether your advertising is being correctly attributed to your brand.
  • the level of engagement with your marketing message(s).
  • if your marketing is reaching the right audience.
  • how relevant your marketing is to your target audience.

By having these metrics at your fingertips, you can see what impact your activity is having on brand engagement, personal relevancy and key brand attributes. Sharing this information with your partner media agencies helps them understand whether their content is reaching the planned target(s) and how different strategies (i.e. always on advertising, bursts, digital, out of home advertising) achieve different levels of awareness among different audiences.


3. Impact over time

Consistently and continually measuring how well you align with your key brand attributes, such as being fuel efficient, safe to drive or looking sleek/stylish, can give your business a clear indication on how your brand positioning is tracking over time.

At Sapien, we measure impact over time using implicit association. In an insights setting, implicit association is a form of testing that reveals what consumers’ subconsciously associate with a brand. We use it to test how well a brand’s attributes—e.g. fuel efficient, safe, stylish—resonate at a subconscious level in consumers.

Why this methodology?

Most purchase decisions start in the emotional centre of our brain, known as System One. The analytical, logical side is known as System Two. Implicit association reveals that unconscious, emotional System One side of the brain that drives much of our decision making but that we don’t always get a good read on that through standard questioning.

In addition to tracking your brand attributes over time, you may also choose to track your competitors so you understand what attributes you might be competing with and capitalise on any opportunities as they arise.

Brand tracking is a powerful way to understand how your brand sits in the market, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and see the impact of your marketing over time. Such a tool is invaluable for businesses to prove ROI on their promotional efforts, but also for shaping their businesses strategy going forward.

Interested in brand health tracking with us? Get in touch.

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Topics: Brand Health