Sportswear raises $5 million to make brand tracking more accessible

sportsweara New Zealand-based brand tracking startup that wants to compete with traditional market research players by offering a more affordable, accessible brand insights tool.

“Market research and brand tracking have been around for a long time, and it usually involves a consultant coming in quarterly or every six months with a 100-page slide show and lots of complex data that doesn’t look back. forward,” Matt Herbert, co-founder and co-CEO of Tracksuit, told TechCrunch, noting that most market research services have been reserved for enterprise-level companies, leaving companies SMEs have less access to those insights.

“With Tracksuit, we wanted to create a streamlined, always-on, easy-to-use way to access these insights.”

Tracksuit launches in 2021 with an intuitive dashboard that tracks metrics like brand awareness, consideration, interest, and usage, and measures them against a competitive group of the company. It’s a flat-fee software-as-a-service product that Herbert says is 10 times cheaper by current standards.

Tracksuit’s tool currently tracks insights on more than 1,300 brands across New Zealand, Australia, the UK and most recently the US. The company recently raised $5 million in its first round of external funding and will use the funds to expand further into the US market. Tracksuit first rented in New York City in November and is building a 10-person team there to support expansion.

The round was led by Blackbird, which also included participation from Shasta Ventures, Icehouse Ventures, Ascential and brand consultant Mark Ritson.

Phoebe Harrop, a partner at Blackbird, said: “A strong brand is the difference between a good company and a great company – whether they are selling physical products or software. “The magic of Tracksuit is giving companies across every industry a common language to measure, talk about, and invest in brand health.”

“A common language.” That’s what Herbert tells TechCrunch Tracksuit is trying to achieve — a benchmark by which to judge, understand, and communicate the value of brands.

The startup is targeting growing mid-sized consumer brands in food and beverage, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), retail, direct-to-consumer services and financial services. main. Herbert says half of its customers come from the existing brand tracking market, but the other half is an entirely new segment that was previously underserved by the market research industry. Some of today’s key clients include Made by Nacho, Charity: Water and Athletic Brewing Company.

Herbert says that strong demand for the company’s products shows a shift in consumer businesses’ approach to marketing. They focus “less on immediate conversions and more on building long-term growth through highly effective, innovative marketing,” he said.

Tracksuit gathers insights by surveying target customers globally. It uses those surveys to establish brand fundamentals: What is the overall positionable market? How is the brand known, how well is it rated, where is it most popular? What do people really think and feel about the brand, and how has that changed over time?

From there, Tracksuit goes deeper.

“Each brand will have strategic pillars or value propositions that they want to own, so we help those brands track their performance against those brand pillars and their performance. The results of their communications, advertising, and marketing are changing those perceptions and attributes for consumers,” said Herbert, as he showed me a demo of his “natural image” feature. Tracksuit, a word cloud that shows what words come to mind for a particular brand, is placed next to a similar word cloud for that brand’s biggest competitor.

All these insights help brands ask big questions about What is the work to be done? It’s hard to sell to someone who hasn’t heard of your brand, so maybe Tracksuit insights can help a brand know they have to raise awareness before anything else.

“What are the growth opportunities and where should the focus be in your advertising, communications and marketing strategy?” Herbert said.

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