Tracksuit, a New Zealand-based brand tracking startup, wants to take on traditional market researchers by offering a more affordable, accessible brand awareness tool.
“Market research and brand tracking have been around for a long time, and usually a consultant comes in every quarter or two years with a 100-page slide deck and a lot of complex data that looks backwards, not forwards.” Tracksuit co-founder and CEO Herbert told TechCrunch that most market research services are reserved for enterprise-level companies, leaving small and mid-sized companies with no access to such insights.
“With Tracksuit, we want to create an always-on and easy-to-use way to access these insights at an affordable price.”
Tracksuit launched in 2021 with an intuitive dashboard that tracks metrics like brand awareness, consideration, preference and usage and benchmarks against the company’s competitive set. It’s a flat-fee software-as-a-service product that Herbert says is 10x cheaper than the current standard.
The Tracksuit tool now tracks impressions for over 1,300 brands across New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and soon the United States. The company recently closed $5 million in its first foreign round and will use the funds to further expand into the US market. Tracksuit made its first hire in New York City in November, and is building a 10-person team to support expansion.
The round, led by Blackbird, also included participation from Shasta Ventures, Icehouse Ventures, Essential and brand consultant Mark Ritson.
Phoebe Harrop of Blackbird said in a statement: “Strong products are the differences between good companies and great companies – whether they’re selling physical products or software.” “The magic of Tracksuit is giving companies across industries a common language to measure, communicate and invest in brand health.”
“Common language” is what Herbert told TechCrunch Tracksuit is trying to achieve — a standard for evaluating, understanding and communicating the value of brands.
The startup targets the mid-sized, growing consumer products segment in food and beverage, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), retail, direct-to-consumer and financial services. Half of Herbert’s clients come from the existing product tracking market, but the other half is a completely new segment that has not been served by the market research industry before. Some key clients today include Made by Nacho, Charity: Water and Athletic Brewing Company.
Herbert says the high demand for the company’s product is changing how consumer businesses view marketing. They are focused on “immediate change and building long-term growth through more effective creative marketing,” he said.
Tracksuit gathers insights by surveying customers around the world. The brand uses those surveys to develop the basics: What is the total reachable market? How well-known is the brand, how well-regarded, where is it most preferred? What do people think and feel about the brand, and how does that change over time?
Then, Tracksuit goes deeper.
“Every brand has strategic pillars or value propositions that they want to own, so we help brands track how well they’re performing on those brand pillars and how their comms and advertising and marketing is shifting the needle on those attitudes and behaviors. The consumer,” said Herbert, as he showed me a demo of Tracksuit’s “unexpected image” feature, a word cloud that shows which words come to mind for a particular brand, next to a synonym cloud for that brand’s biggest competitor.
All of these insights help brands ask the big question. What is the work to be done? It’s hard to sell your brand to someone who hasn’t heard of it, so maybe Tracksuit Insights can help a brand realize that it needs to build awareness before anything else.
“What is the growth opportunity and where should you focus your advertising, communications and marketing strategy?” said Herbert.