To say brands are incredibly powerful is an understatement – brands are mammoth, even in the assisted living industry.
They create a visual image in the minds of consumers across communities and the country.
With images comes emotional connections.
It is the image and the emotional connection that creates a following and a loyal customer. Brands also dictate a business’ place in the market, which is determined by revenue and profit:
- If a brand is regarded as a discount, then consumers will demand a discount.
- If a brand is considered premium, then the price is expected to reflect as such.
Whether discount or premium, brands drive sales and sustain a business.
How do successful assisted living owners and operators build strong brand recognition that accomplishes business goals?
- What is your product/service?
- What do you want a consumer to experience when they encounter your business?
- What do you want consumers to say about your business to their friends and family?
- What image do you want to be etched into the minds of your consumer that will drive them to your website, social media platform, or front door?
Once these answers have been determined, you have a brand.
Sure, you will need to work with a professional designer, but the idea is more precious than the art.
After you brand your website with a digital image, what next?
BRAND TRACKING: WHAT IS IT?
Brand Tracking is to your business, what player stats are to a football player. Brand Tracking encompasses a set of metrics that provide a numerical dollar value to the idea communicated by your business’ brand.
How much is a player worth to a professional football team is determined by his stats, which reflect his performance capability.
Do you know the status of your business’ brand? What is its value? Is it optimizing your presence in the marketplace?
Knowing the answers to these questions is more than important. The answers are vital to the success and survival of your residential assisted living business.
THE BENEFITS OF BRAND TRACKING
Brand Tracking is essential to a business owner because it is central to making decisions.
How else can a business owner make sound decisions without knowing the relative impact to the business?
Brand Tracking provides the necessary information that allows a business owner to be confident in decisions associated with the business.
Effective Brand Tracking will highlight what is happening with and to the brand of your assisted living home.
- What initiatives or product lines are especially profitable?
- What initiative or product lines are marginally profitable but consistent?
- What do consumers boast about most relative to a business’ products or services?
- What is marginally profitable, yet alluring to consumers? A loss leader possibly?
- What is simply not working and unprofitable?
The information gathered from brand tracking is empowering for a business owner and operator.
Equipped with this information, decision-makers can take the decision-making process a step further – planning.
Brand tracking gives reliability and validity to the process of planning for the future. Ensuring a bright tomorrow is just as important as executing in the present day.
How Brand Tracking Helps Business Owners
- Measure and evaluate the performance of a product/service line, a business unit, a contractor, or a specific employee.
- Make comparisons between your product/service lines and that of competitors.
- Test strategies to determine which is most beneficial and why.
- Uncover new opportunities in the marketplace that are yet untapped.
- Keep an eye on competitors to determine if there is any infringement.
Mobile devices, apps, and social media make customer engagement simple. Loyal customers will communicate their pleasure or disdain boldly.
This, too, is a part of brand tracking.
Today’s business owners need not wait until December to discover customers did not like a specific product or service.
Changes can be made quickly, effectively, and efficiently when customer engagement is an on-going process within brand tracking.
How does a business owner conduct effective brand tracking?
KEY METRICS TO CONSIDER IN BRAND TRACKING
Measuring the effectiveness of your brand is imperative. The dollar value commanded by your brand determines the trajectory of your business.
Therefore, keep up-to-date information relative to your brand. What information should be kept up to date about your brand?
Many business owners might fear being overwhelmed with this information.
Instead of becoming inundated, use the following chart to gain information that is relative, concise and user-friendly to your brand.
Here is a list of key metrics necessary for measuring brand effectiveness. This information is gathered from individuals who are interacting with your business.
These people may be perusing your website, social media platforms, or residential assisted living home.
The idea is to get information from them that will help you build your brand wisely. Short questionnaires work well.
HOW TO START BRAND TRACKING
Know your audience. Brand tracking must be targeted or else it will be meaningless. Digital platforms make brand tracking simple and the targeting is done for you.
Whoever clicks, visits, purchases, creates an account, signs-up for promotions or newsletters should be engaged in your brand tracking program.
DESIGN YOUR TRACKER
Brand Tracking is not a complex undertaking – it is, however, a precise endeavor.
Do not ask what you do not need to know but certainly ask what you want to know or may not want to know.
The apparatus for Brand Tracking should be pleasant, engaging but not overwhelming. Following the KISS (Keep It Simple Silly) principle will keep your brand tracking appropriate.
A Brand Tracking should not be a lengthy process. Consumers are shopping, remember, not taking a test.
Keep your questions between 3 to 5 in number.
Consider altering the questions based upon purchases made so that performance can be evaluated, and planning can be done.
A brand tracking need not be too bright in color.
Yes, color matters.
There is a psychology associated with color, which is why certain businesses utilize particular colors repeatedly.
CHOOSE YOUR RESEARCH PLATFORM
The most effective way to conduct your brand tracking is digitally. With a pandemic raging, paper is not recommended for anything.
Besides, consumers love the independence and connection offered through their cell phones.
Brand tracking is everywhere, and you need to capitalize on it.
The platform utilized for brand tracking is relative to your business.
- Find the best means of connecting with your customers and give them the opportunity to help your business improve.
- Find one that has a simple back-end system, so you are able to adjust and gather information easily.
- Analysis should also be simple: charts, graphs, tables should be available for your comprehension.
- Avoid spreadsheets as most businesses utilize spreadsheet software for a variety of information gathering.
The platform matters and should be simple and effective.
WHO SHOULD YOU TRACK?
The residents in your brand tracking initiative for your assisted living home will vary over time. This is largely the purpose of tracking.
A good Brand Tracking initiative will encompass:
- Existing Customer Base
- Demographic Data
- Prospective Customers
Knowing who to target is not so daunting of a task when online interactions are prevalent. In-person interactions can be a bit tricky, but certainly possible.
Getting information from the right people at the right time must be a well thought out process so that brand tracking can be a beneficial tool for the sustenance and growth of your business.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOUR BUSINESS BRAND TRACK?
The frequency of Brand Tracking is a question that is posed as much as “What is Brand Tracking?”
It’s an honest inquiry and one that should be considered.
The answer, however, is not so simple.
The frequency of Brand Tracking is contingent upon who is asking for the data.
Marketing teams may only need the data in preparation for the launch of a product or to determine the success of the present promotion.
Executives or owners may only need the data at year-end to determine budgeting and resource allocation.
Organize your frequency based upon the overall goals of the business and disseminate information as needed.
IT’S NOT SO HARD
When simply considered, brand tracking is not difficult. It makes sense to brand track and what to track is evident in your business.
The platform used should be one you are able to manipulate easily with good data conveyance.
Make brand tracking a part of your everyday activities in some way because its relevance is vital to business success.
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