tracksuita New Zealand-based brand tracking start-up aims to take on traditional market research players by offering a more affordable, accessible brand insight tool.
“Market research and brand tracking has been around for a long time, and it usually consists of a consultant coming in every quarter or twice a year with a 100-page slide presentation and a lot of complex data that doesn’t look ahead,” Matt Herbert, co-founder and co-CEO of Tracksuit, told businessupdates.org, noting that most market research services are reserved for enterprise-level companies, reducing access to such insights by smaller and medium-sized companies.
“With Tracksuit, we wanted to create an affordable, always-on, easy-to-use way to access these insights.”
Tracksuit launched in 2021 with an intuitive dashboard that tracks and measures metrics such as brand awareness, consideration, preference and usage against a company’s competition. It’s a flat-fee software-as-a-service product that Herbert says is 10x cheaper than the current standard.
Tracksuit’s tool now tracks insights for more than 1,300 brands in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and most recently the United States. The company recently closed $5 million in its first outside round and will use the money to further expand into the US market. Tracksuit was first hired in New York City in November and is building a 10-person team there to support the expansion.
The round, led by Blackbird, also included participation from Shasta Ventures, Icehouse Ventures, Ascential and brand consultant Mark Ritson.
“Strong brands make the difference between good companies and great companies – whether they sell physical products or software,” Phoebe Harrop, partner at Blackbird, said in a statement. “The magic of Tracksuit gives companies in every industry a common language for measuring, talking about and investing in brand health.”
“A common language.” That’s what Herbert said businessupdates.org Tracksuit is trying to achieve: a standard for evaluating, understanding, and communicating brand value.
The startup focuses on medium-sized, growing consumer brands in food and beverage, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail, direct-to-consumer and financial services. Herbert said half of his customers come from the existing brand tracking market, but the other half is an entirely new segment that was previously not served by the market research industry. Some major customers today include Made by Nacho, Charity: Water, and Athletic Brewing Company.
Herbert says the strong demand for the company’s product suggests a shift in how consumer companies approach marketing. They are “focused less on immediate conversion and more on building long-term growth through highly effective, creative marketing,” he said.
Tracksuit collects insights by researching audiences around the world. It uses those surveys to build a brand’s fundamentals: What’s the total addressable market? How well is the brand known, how well is it considered, where is it most preferred? What do people really think and feel about the brand and how does that shift over time?
From there, Tracksuit goes deeper.
“Each brand is going to have strategic pillars or value propositions that they want to own, so we help those brands track how well they are performing against those brand pillars and how well their communications and advertising and marketing are moving the needle on those perceptions and attributes for the consumer,” said Herbert, showing me a demo of Tracksuit’s “unprompted imagery” feature, a word cloud that shows what words come to mind for a specific brand, alongside a similar word cloud for that brand’s closest competitor.
All of these insights help brands ask the big question What has to happen? It’s hard to sell to someone who’s never heard of your brand, so maybe Tracksuit’s insights can help a brand learn that the main thing it needs to do is drive awareness.
“What is the opportunity to grow and what should you focus on in your advertising, communication and marketing strategy?” Herbert said.