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Brand TrackingSeptember 19, 2022

You’ve Been Using Industry Benchmarking Incorrectly — Here’s the Right Way

September 19, 2022
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Cory Schröder
Senior Content Marketing Manager

Industry benchmarking is an important tool in many a brands’ arsenal. Traditionally, it’s been understood as a means for brands to measure their performance against that of industry leaders — showing them how their brand compares to top companies in their market.

According to Shopify, traditional benchmarking “is a process of measuring the performance of a company’s products, services, or processes against those of another business considered to be the best in the industry, aka ‘best in class.’ The point of benchmarking is to identify internal opportunities for improvement.”

Now, this form of industry benchmarking isn’t meant to make brand managers feel defeated or needlessly frustrated — it’s meant to show them what they’re striving for and point them in the right direction.

However, over time we’ve learned that brands need to be careful and thoughtful about which companies they choose to benchmark themselves against. After all, just because another brand is a successful industry leader doesn’t necessarily mean it would be prudent for your company to compare themselves to or even emulate them.

Therefore, in this article, we’ll take a deeper look at how industry benchmarking can be used correctly to help your brand get ahead, as well as why it’s important to carefully select the brands you benchmark against. Plus, we’ll present an example from our own tool.

How Can Your Brand Utilize Industry Benchmarking To Get Ahead?

When your brand is growing, using every resource at your disposal is a key to success. And one of the most important resources you can tap into is industry benchmarking data.

Now, when many people think about industry benchmarking, they assume it’s only helpful for mid-sized to large companies — for brands that see industry leaders as more realistic competition. But that’s not necessarily true.

Industry benchmarking data is helpful for all types of brands, as Shopify notes:

“By studying companies with superior performance, breaking down what makes such superior performance possible, and then comparing those processes to how your business operates, you can implement changes that will yield significant improvements.”

With this understanding, it’s clear that industry benchmarking data can be useful for brands of all sizes — be it emerging, challenger, or leader — as there’s bound to be some aspect of another company’s process, offerings, or marketing strategy that your brand can implement. The key is choosing companies to benchmark against that make sense for your brand’s long-term goal and objectives.

Another benefit of industry benchmarking is to help your brand define growth goals for important performance metrics like brand awareness, brand consideration, brand associations, brand preference, and more.

Setting internal OKRs and benchmarks can be tricky if you have nothing else to compare your progress and performance to. When you have industry benchmarking data for other comparable brands in your market, you can better chart your future growth.

For example, with a brand tracking tool like Latana, you’ll have access to your own company’s brand KPI data — like brand awareness — as well as that of your competitors. That data is then presented to you on an interactive dashboard, seen as an average line across your selected brands.

With this data at hand, you can see how your brand compares to your relevant competitors in your market and how much room you have to grow.

Another great resource that Latana offers comes in the form of our syndicated data, which provides brands with access to widespread awareness benchmarking data of up to 20 brands in various categories.

These data sets provide information about:

  • Market Size: Discover which consumers are active in your industry and considering using products or services that are relevant to your brand

  • Brand Awareness: Find out the percentage of consumers that know your brand and chart how this changes over time

  • Purchase Drivers: Determine the key factors that make people purchase from a brand like yours, and how they differ across target groups

  • Brand Competition: Learn exactly how brand competitive your industry is, and where you stand against the competition

  • Population Sizes: Discover how many consumers are active in your industry and are considering using products or services relevant to your brand, in real-world population terms

In order to give you an idea of what that data could look like and how your brand could use it, let’s dive into a mini-case study on our syndicated data for the e-bike industry.

Industry Benchmarking Mini Case Study: E-Bike Industry

As an example, let’s consider our e-bike industry insights. This data set delivers key brand perception data for 10 important players in the market — such as Gazelle, Van Moof, Winora, and more — with a choice between data from the U.S., UK, or Germany.

With these insights, you can learn from audience opinions and competitor performance to make better marketing decisions for your own brand. You can discover which factors motivate consumers to consider e-bike brands, as well as segment the data by various demographics — such as location, income, gender, education level, and more.

And you can do all that while referring to the data from other, carefully-chosen brands in the market. At the end of the day, our in-dashboard benchmarking features make it possible for brands to see how they stack up against their most important rivals, as well as keep an eye on industry averages and top performers over time.

Final Thoughts

Industry benchmarking can be an invaluable tool when used correctly. Though it may be tempting, don’t get caught in the trap of benchmarking your brand’s success against ill-fitting competitors. Make sure you choose the right brands to compare your own brand’s performance against when using industry benchmarking to get ahead.

And you’ll be happy to hear that we’re rolling our industry insights modules for more than just e-bikes. From fintech to mattresses to e-learning, our syndicated data will allow brands from all different industries the ability to measure their performance against the right benchmarks and grow more efficiently in 2022 and beyond.

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