Comparing your brands to peers could be a must whether you just start your operations or are at a mature stage. Benchmarking is a method that is useful for any company to optimize the operations, technology, product development, and more; and focus on branding can help your brand stand out from other ones and position your product. And at the same time, identify your strengths, weaknesses, areas of opportunity, and threats.

Beatriz Orozco, an expert in retail and product development in the fashion industry reveals why is it so important to do a benchmark, before positioning a product or brand “Is to increase sales or general business performance. The correct benchmark helps the company to identify the areas that are not working as well, such as their marketing strategies, a specific product, or even the way their team is structured, it allows the company to develop new strategies and try new opportunities.”

Benchmarking can also help brands target the right audience and place themselves where they are more likely to be successful, as well as pull back on places that are not working well, in other words, making the right investment decision for the right audience.

Orozco, who has also worked at the French luxury brand Elleme tells us If you are a jewelry brand, don’t just compare yourself to other jewelry brands, you need to go further and observe the changes in general consumer behavior, with the purpose of avoiding missing growth opportunities. For example, you may want to innovate in the way your customer pays for your product and this can lead to boost sales without having to modify your product offer or marketing strategies.”

It is also important to mention that since the pandemic hit it has been difficult to track a brand’s real performance, you should try to measure it in a place where people are closer to living a “normal” life.

Doing benchmarks for your brand will help you set clear and realistic business goals, and understanding what your competitor is doing better so this will allow you to develop innovative strategies specifically towards each goal. 

Steps to Follow to do a Benchmark
  1. What information do you want to collect and for what usage? What is your objective?
  2. Identify the right team to execute the plan, track it, measure it, and make changes in your organization if necessary.
  3. Identify competitors: the ones that are direct competitors, but also the ones that are going to be challengers. It is not enough to do a benchmark within the highest performing companies in your industry, it is necessary to do “vertical benchmarking” which means you need to research companies that are disrupting other industries.
  4. Know your competitors deeply: Collect relevant information about how they advertise their products, or whatever area you need, you can even buy their product or service to know what perks they offer to customers…
  5. Analyze the information or data you get and find what works for you, and take into consideration the difference between your sector or activities. What works for others won’t necessarily work for you, however, this will help you be more creative.
  6. Create a narrative for that information in order to prepare your strategies and find what works best for you, between what you have learned and daring to try something new.
Creative Tools Can You Use to Create a Benchmark

Orozco tells us “with most of the retailers closed around the world and more and more businesses relying on e-commerce, you should track their online performance, you can do social media research taking into account the real engagement, followers, etc and check their participation in wholesale to have an idea or their general digital presence”.

It is important to measure the performance of your brand, and now, during the pandemic, the industry is relying on online tracking.  Some creative tools that can measure the online performance of your e-commerce, and social media are the following: When it’s time to organize the information that arrives, this tool offers you different templates in order to analyze and do a benchmark properly. For example plotting a conceptual map Identifying the following: Prestige, Mass Marketing, Exclusivity, and Affordability.

In miro you can also create a buyer journey. What is a buyer journey? It’s mostly used to create a path that will help you get from “point a” to “point b”. It connects the dots between the insights of your brand and landing your marketing plan. Analyze accurately your competitor, and your own brand. From PR advertising and communication to social media among other ideas, you want to measure. A buyer journey can help you understand better where your brand is standing. Ask yourself the following questions: What is your competitor doing? What are the areas of opportunity of your brand?

Fanpage This is great to analyze content in real-time, it allows you to see content ranking with topics and influencers. It lets you compare your own social media accounts and your competitors, and even do an annual analysis. is an essential tool when it comes to digital benchmarking. Measure the real-time audience, insights, and competitors’ activity from social media. See what are the online trends, filter demographics, and get an insight into your brand online. This tool lets you publish and schedule content on different social media accounts.   

Ad library is a Facebook tool that allows you to look for a specific account to see their advertisement on Facebook and Instagram. The tool allows you to filter by channel, date, reach, and impressions, so, the relevant is that you will be able to know what are their business priorities, seasonality, what promotions they have, and how they communicate it.

Social Blade is a tool that helps you analyze, and track social media channels, you can get stats and measure live performance by tracking results. You can meet the leaders of your industry in each of the channels. 

Benchmarking is necessary in a marketing plan to validate data in order to analyze your competitors and develop a new product. These platforms are going to give you a lot of information in the process along the way, so setting priorities and storytelling will be essential. Many times, you will have to sacrifice information, because it’s not the right time to analyze it. But once you have a clear vision, these tools will help you to land a marketing plan online and offline to achieve your goals.