Shifting your brand tracker for better insights
We recently wrote for Greenbook about how the brand tracker needs to evolve in the face of shopper promiscuity and other changes in today’s shopper landscape. At a fundamental level, shoppers are operating in an unbound, option- and choice-filled environment that traditional brand trackers can no longer monitor. This not simply a temporary change brought on by global upheaval, but a permanent change in the way people are making purchase decisions. In the new article, “Redefining Brand Tracking with a Consumer-Centric Approach“, our CEO Rebecca Brooks and CSO Devora Rogers, write about how brands can better keep up with changing audience behaviors.
They maintain that most brand trackers are operating on models that no longer exist, such as the outdated path to purchase and brand-focused awareness metrics. Now that the shopping environment is virtually limitless, with easy access to an array of product choices and a huge amount of information to advise decisions, the brand tracker needs to take a more consumer-centric approach. Even in a single category, each shopper can – and is – behaving in a vastly different manner than their counterparts. This makes predicting behavior difficult and, unless the way we ask questions changes, we will not have any usable audience insights.
In short, navel-gazing questions about the brand, something the authors call “Brand Narcissism”, must be left behind, instead moving toward questions that are shopper-focused – and much more powerful. While this will change the metrics that are regularly measured, it will better reflect what’s happening with a brand’s shoppers in real life. So how do we construct better questions to track?
Rebecca and Devora say that focusing on shopper needs first, and what they may be asking themselves during the purchase process, can help. This moves focus off the brand and onto the true subject of the research: the shopper. They conclude the article with, “In today’s ecosystem, traditional brand tracking may be limited in its ability to help a brand make the right decision. Without understanding consumer needs, the influence of the sources they consult when making a purchase decision, the context in which they are making decisions and other consumer-centric information, brands are making guesses in the dark about what their shoppers need and when they need it.”
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