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What's the difference between brand tracking and brand mapping?

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How are you managing your brand? Are you tracking where you’ve been or mapping where you want to go?

In a nutshell

  1. Brands are built in real-time, with always-on conversation and activity across an ever-changing media mix.
  2. Traditional brand tracking looks backwards, rather than offering a view to the future.
  3.  With Streamlight, we've reframed tracking to mapping to help marketers navigate through and forward.

Brand tracking gives marketers insight into who uses their product or service, how many people are aware of their brand, and how competitors perform. Commercial, brand and new product development opportunities are revealed through brand tracking.  

But tracking, by definition, looks backward. It follows activity. 

The dictionary definition is to “follow the trail or movements of (someone or something), typically in order to find them or note their course.” 

For marketers measuring their brands, that’s largely what a traditional brand tracking programme delivers: data on progress or regression in key brand metrics over time, delivered via surveys.  

But traditional tracking is expensive, consuming up to 40% of market research budgets. It’s manual, with results delivered weeks or months after collection. And it doesn’t provide direction on how to use tracking information to grow brands.   

 Today, brands are built in real-time. They stream in high definition, with always-on activity across an ever-changing media mix. 

Streamlight: Reframing brand insights

TRA runs brand tracking programmes across Australia and New Zealand, with decades of global experience across the team. We have a clear point of view on what brand tracking needs to be; real-time and actionable. And our award-winning innovation programme is focused on developing tracking solutions that achieve this.   

We apply this innovation mindset to businesses of all sizes, from the most complex solutions for major enterprises to our SaaS tracker, Tracksuit, for small businesses.   

After interviewing research buyers across Australasia, our client service, data engineering and innovation teams saw an opportunity to bring together our enterprise thinking and frameworks, with the immediacy and shareability of our SaaS product.  

Rather than tracking brands, we could enable clients to map them.  

A map helps you navigate through and forward, to chart a course of discovery and expansion. Map making is, after all, a combination of art, science, and skill. 

And Streamlight is the result.  




With Streamlight you can map, rather than simply track, your brand.  

Streamlight is a new world brand insights solution that is affordable, real-time, and directional. It combines a leading-edge technology solution with TRA’s internationally recognised frameworks on brand and communications. Real-time social listening data adds context and depth to results.  

Unlike traditional brand tracking solutions, which depend on customised and labour-intensive processes to analyse data, Streamlight automates data collection and delivery, freeing up the team to focus on connecting insights to TRA’s growth frameworks and creating action plans. 

It reflects the truth of how brands are formed in peoples’ minds and delivers real-time insight to support powerful business decisions. 

Streamlight launched in early 2022 to a select group of foundation clients. Feedback shows the immediate benefits of the shift from tracking to mapping:

“Streamlight is a great step forward for us. An always-on programme gives us so much more insight into our category and our brand. This combined with TRA’s Brand Edge and Creative Edge frameworks means we’re getting a much more powerful programme.” 
- Angela Irwin, CMO, Tegel 

Now, we're excited to invite more forward-thinking brands to join us. 

Reach out to us today to learn how you can join our next cohort of Streamlight clients.

Headshot of Mark Hutchinson, Product Owner of Streamlight in black and white
Mark Hutchinson
Product Owner, Streamlight

New problems need new solutions.

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