On the Right Track: Consumer Packaged Goods Brand Tracking


A new, domestic manufacturer of hand and power tools wanted to measure and track awareness, attitudes, and usage of brands within the tool category over time. An online survey was conducted to establish baselines for awareness, ownership, and general attitudes for the client’s brand (as well as competitive brands), and then it was repeated once a year at the same time as the benchmark study in order to measure changes in the category over time.

Strategic Issues

The hand/power tool industry is dominated by a few longstanding brands with tremendous presence (awareness and ownership) and brand equity. Then there are the big-box retail store brands that are usually value-driven. Finally, there are the niche brands that tend to focus on one line of products that they specialize in. The new tool manufacturer was using a number of major marketing efforts in order to expose the brand to the general public, and they wanted to monitor brand awareness and source of awareness as part of the tracking research in an effort to determine which marketing efforts were impactful. Further, they wanted to see how their products stacked up against the competition in the minds of consumers in order to identify threats or opportunities for the brand.

Research Objectives

The primary objective of the study was to measure both brand awareness and advertising awareness on an unaided and aided basis for the major brands in the tool category among a general population of U.S. consumers as well as professional contractors. Specifically, the research was designed to:

  • Measure brand awareness of 25+ tool brands over time.
  • Measure ad awareness of 25+ tool brands over time.
  • Monitor consumers’ perceptions/attitudes of the top 10 brands over time.
  • Track sources of brand awareness.
Research Design and Methods

The research was conducted among a large representative sample of U.S. adults, with a separate smaller quota for professional contractors.

Surveys were conducted each year at the same time via the Internet using Decision Analyst’s American Consumer Opinion® and Contractor Advisory Board® online panels.

The questionnaire was written, programmed, and tested by Decision Analyst. The core questionnaire remained unchanged from wave to wave, but extraneous questions were removed and new ones created as needed to best meet the client’s changing needs. Unaided questions preceded aided brand questions, and brand names and logos were used for aided brand lists.

Brand attributes were decided upon prior to commencing the tracking research and remained constant across all waves of the study. Key driver analysis at the brand level proved helpful to the client as they reviewed their brand strategy.


Initially, the new tool brand had low brand awareness and usage as expected, but slowly, over time, the brand increased its reach and gained in awareness and ownership.

Using the source of awareness data provided by the research, the client was able to identify which major marketing initiatives were paying off and which were not which helped them to focus their marketing plan.

The key driver analysis identified some “perception gaps” which was limiting their brand equity, and the brand has used the feedback to attempt to eliminate those gaps and increase their brand equity.

Analytical Consulting Services

If you would like more information about our Marketing Research Services, please contact Jerry W. Thomas, President/CEO (jthomas@decisionanalyst.com), or John Colias, Senior Vice President and Director of Advanced Analytics, (jcolias@decisionanalyst.com), at 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.