Brand Tracking Workshops – Do you need them?

If you are in the early years of your brand lifecycle, then chances are you haven’t conducted a lot of research and you don’t fully understand your brand. On the other hand, you might just be finding after years of growth your brand may be running out of steam?

Either way, Vision One’s brand workshops are focus groups designed to help you fully understand your brand and are the perfect way to prepare for the all-important Brand Tracking (which incidentally every brand owner needs in their armoury!).

Mission vision and values illustration.

Why you need Brand Workshops

Brand tracking is probably one of the most significant ongoing research investments your business will make over time. If you are starting out, then you will quickly realise that one of the biggest challenges is knowing what to focus on. Even in a survey, time is precious – so you need to know exactly what you want to ask and how  – but also ensure you are capturing the thoughts and needs of your customers. So to help with the process of getting the most from your tracking programme we offer optional brand development workshops.

Why is it important to get your brand research questions to a tee?

  • It is essential to protect the questionnaire design so that it stays focused on the brand measures and metrics it’s meant to capture. These should often come from your brand strategy.
  • But some clients’ needs are only beginning their journey, so they may not have fully evolved brand assets or plans, so these focus groups can be a useful exercise to help inform and resolve brand issues before launching a campaign or brand tracking programme.
  • One common mistake is to allow ever-changing ‘tweaks’ to the questions as it makes it impossible to compare data wave on wave, or to spot important trends.
  • If the data becomes inconsistent the research will begin to lose credibility and value to your business. Often there are many stakeholders and their expectations need to be managed – so keep it focused on the agreed objectives.

This paper outlines some of the themes you might look at when conducting a brand workshop and focuses on two key elements which are Distinctive Brand Assets and Category Entry Points.

Distinctive Brand Assets (DBAs)

Distinctive Brand Assets have come to the fore in recent years fueled by publication of  books such as How Brands Grow by Byron Sharp and Building Distinctive Brand Assets by Jenni Romaniuk from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute.

DBAs help to create shortcuts in consumers’ minds that make brands more memorable and impactful.

  1. They can significantly improve the chances of improved advertising recall and stand out.
  2. They will certainly help your marketing stand out and grab attention online or in-store or wherever they can be found.
  3. They can help all your brand communications feel and look coherent (even when disparate)
  4. Importantly they will also help you form mental connections with your category and market.

Your logo is your most important brand asset. But it can also include straplines, colours, packaging, symbols, words, fonts, celebrities, music… you name it!

In short, Distinctive Brand Assets get a brand noticed faster and improve the return on marketing investment.


A brief video introduction to DBAs courtesy of Julian Cole.


A brief introduction to Category Entry Points courtesy of Julian Cole.


Category Entry Points (CEPs)

Category Entry Points (CEPs) are one of the main building blocks of Mental Availability. They capture the thoughts that shoppers have as they transition into making a category purchase during their shopper journey.

By understanding and identifying the key  “Category Entry Points” are for a brand (and the competition!) – we can use this to evaluate the effectiveness of brand marketing in growing and strengthening the relationship with the CEP. 

What are Category Entry Points?
CEPs are a relatively new term in marketing but in truth they’ve been around for a long time. Any seasoned researchers will recognise them as simply ‘Needs’. These needs can be functional features and benefits (think cup-holders in your car or RAM for your mobile phone), but they can also be usage occasions (parties, breakfast, on the go etc). We believe most brands need to focus on owning an aspect of the category as best they can.

How Focus Groups can improve your Brand Tracking Research

There are many areas where qualitative workshops and focus groups can help brand owners. These include:

Hero Brand Archetype Vision One
Brand Archetypes

Check out our Brand Archetype Quiz to get a better understanding of your brand. Focus groups help finesse this even further.

Business Objectives Vision One
Brand Positioning

Most marketers believe that Brand Positioning is probably the most important facet of your brand. Understanding where your brand is positioned vs your competitors can be difficult but groups can often be the best approach.

Target Audience Research Vision One
Competitor Evaluation

It is often difficult for brand owners to develop an objective understanding of the competitors and research is great for unravelling their weaknesses and the opportunities for you.

Latest News & Articles