What is brand intelligence?

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In the modern business world, brand intelligence occupies an important place among companies who are looking to discover what their customers (and the general public) really think about their products and services, as well as what their expectations as consumers are. This technique for data collection and analysis is used to evaluate online feedback and responses to traditional surveys to improve the customer experience and strategic decisions.

Definition of brand intelligence

Brand intelligence consists of collecting large sets of data about the brand, then analyzing and interpreting them, in order to understand the “feelings” of consumers towards this brand. This involves the monitoring of all discussions about the brand, seeking to develop a greater familiarity with the customers and prospects to gain a better understanding of their needs and desires, but also to discover any defects, problems or shortcomings to be corrected as soon as possible.

The data that is collected can be extracted from many sources, including customers’ and other stakeholders’ comments, published on the brand’s showcase site or sales site, and more generally, on the entire internet: press sites, social media platforms, forums, messengers, etc. They can also come from brand surveys, carried out online or by phone.

Using this information, companies are able to determine the positive or negative emotions consumers have about their brand, as well as their intentions to purchase their products and services.

What can brand intelligence do for you?

Consumers are most likely talking about your brand online, on the various sites they read and the services they use. If you collect enough information from these conversations, then you can understand what the general public really expects from you. The more you listen to what they say, the more you are able to create a brand that they want to interact with. In short, brand intelligence is an integral part of the success of your brand.

The detailed analyses of this social listening technique provide you with relevant context as to the nature of online exchanges about you, and allow you to know if the conversations related to your brand are positive or negative, and especially if they are consistent with your hopes and expectations.

Brand intelligence helps you build a clear picture of how your customers think and of their ‘feelings’ through the words used to describe your brand. You can then use this data to cultivate your brand message, improve your products and services, and therefore gain a real competitive advantage in your sector.

Brand intelligence makes it possible to answer important questions, such as:

  • Are consumers able to easily find your products and services when they are looking for them? What paths do they take to reach them? What paths do the customers follow?
  • Are your offers attractive enough? Are they of interest to potential buyers? Do they function according to their needs? Do they intend to make repeat purchases of your products or renew their subscription in the future?
  • How many people are talking about your brand? What software and platforms do they use? Is there a conversation going on right now?

By using accurate and up-to-date brand intelligence in real-time, you can also prevent disasters, detect possible problems immediately (internal defects, online bugs) and make corrections as quickly as possible. Similarly, you can detect dissatisfaction in order to make the required changes to your brand, and thus preserve customer satisfaction in the long term.

Therefore, practising brand intelligence means obtaining valuable and highly useful information for your marketing department and customer service, in order to determine where to direct your messages, what to say in response to customers, and what it is that you want to put forward. 

You can use it to add perspective and personalization to all your advertising campaigns on social networks and e-commerce platforms in Europe and around the world: Amazon product ads, Facebook collection, etc.

Another potential use: Competition analysis

Brand intelligence is not merely limited to monitoring your brand on social media: you can also use it to monitor your competitors’ data!

The goal here is to benefit from a broader perspective, by monitoring conversations involving your entire industry, to find out what is happening in your field and what is being said about your competitors. What are their latest updates? Or their new models? What do consumers most frequently feel when they talk about them? What are the common complaints or grievances?

This is also information that you can use to improve your product offers, optimize your messages, and win new customers. If at any point one of your competitors is able to solve a recurring problem, you can use their solution to work around the same obstacle. If the update leaves people satisfied, you’ll know about it in real-time…

Brand intelligence: What software tools are available?

To create brand intelligence, you have to choose the right tools. Some of them are free, others are paid. These include in particular:

  • Google Alerts. A free tool to track online mentions of your brand’s name, as well as any other term or expression you want to monitor. For receiving data, you can schedule daily or weekly emails containing all mentions and links to the original sites.
  • Social networks. The search tools provided by the major platforms, as well as the third-party services that analyze them, make it possible to collect comments in very large numbers. And these become all the more useful since people are likely to talk honestly and openly about how they feel about the brand. For example, ecommerce beauty, fashion, travel and home and garden companies have been using Instagram as a strategic channel for a long time.
  • Paid solutions. There are several professional solutions in the field of brand intelligence, such as Mention, Launchmetrics, Wiser, and Recorded Future.
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Naomi Botting

Field Marketing Specialist

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