By Beatrice Capestany, Global Director, Solutions Consulting, quantilope
Learn more on November 14 when Beatrice presents, "New Brand Health Tracking: Grow Your Brand with Mental Availability"
What is brand health tracking and why is it important?
Brand health tracking is an ongoing research survey used to monitor consumers' experience with (and perceptions of) a brand over time. It’s a single study that’s fielded in periodic increments (a.k.a. waves) which might be monthly, quarterly, or annually. A useful brand health tracker should be able to guide future marketing activities and diagnose a brand's performance.
Over time, consumers gravitate toward the brands that are relevant to their needs and provide them with positive experiences, making brand health tracking a crucial measurement for long-term success. Consider Kleenex for example. Their brand health is so strong that anytime a consumer even thinks about buying tissues or asks someone for one, they often use the name ‘Kleenex’ instead of tissue; same with ‘Band-Aid’ in place of bandage.
New brand health tracking research concepts
Kleenex and Band-Aid, along with other successful brands have something called strong ‘mental availability’ which is the likelihood that consumers think of your brand in specific buying situations known as ‘category entry points’ (CEPs). Both mental availability and CEPs are empirically grounded market research concepts that have been proven to help businesses grow, based on the acclaimed work of Professor Jenni Romaniuk of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute of Marketing Science (author of Better Brand Health and co-author of How Brands Grow).
CEPs are the ‘cues’ that prompt consumers to think about a certain buying scenario (like the need to buy a refreshing soda when thirsty, or to buy luggage when thinking about packing for a trip). Mental availability is the list of brands that come to mind in those buying scenarios (like Sprite and Coca-Cola, or Samsonite and Away brand luggage). As a general rule, your brand will grow by increasing the number of buying situations that it comes to mind for.
Applying these concepts to a new tracking study
At quantilope, we’ve adopted these concepts into our new brand health tracking template within our Consumer Intelligence Platform and conducted a study on the soda category - with a focus on Diet Coke, and 9 other competitive soda brands. Before starting our study, we first needed to establish our CEPs for the soda category using an implicit pre-test. CEPs should be general enough so they could logically apply to any brand in the soda category - and should remain stable even if another soda company were to run a market research study. The 'pre-study' resulted in a list of 20 potential soda buying 'cues' such as 'refreshment', 'family gathering', 'cravings', 'thirst quenching', and 'restaurant'.
Using these 20 CEPs for soda, respondents were then shown 10 soda brands and asked to select the brands that fit with each entry point. From these answers, quantilope's platform automatically calculated four key mental availability metrics known as mental market share, mental penetration, network size, and share of mind.
Below is a quick summary of what each of these four key charts represents:
- Mental market share: How present is my brand in consumers’ minds?
- Mental penetration: How many consumers think of my brand in at least one buying situation?
- Network size: How broad are the associations for our brand within the category?
- Share of mind: What other brands are our consumers thinking of?
Learn more from Beatrice when she presents, "New Brand Health Tracking: Grow Your Brand with Mental Availability" on November 14 at 1 p.m. ET
She’ll discuss in more detail the new principles from Professor Jenni Romaniuk and the Ehrenberg Bass Institute around category entry points and mental availability, and the metrics that brands should really be measuring to track their success. She’ll also showcase how to implement these metrics through an automated tech-based approach, presented through the aforementioned study tracking brand health within the soda category.
About the Author
Beatrice Capestany is the Global Director of Solutions Consulting at quantilope with expertise in advanced quantitative research methodologies. Prior to joining quantilope, Beatrice earned a Ph.D. in Psychology & Neuroscience from Duke University studying human behavior with an emphasis on learning how and why people make the decisions they do. Beatrice now spends her time working with Insights Leaders at global brands helping them to enhance the quality and efficiency of their work through research technology while guiding them on the research solutions for their unique business needs.