This week’s blog plunders the oldest jokebook in the world, considers the conundrum of tracking brands in specialist sectors and shamelessly plugs our own solution.

‘Well we know where we’re goin’, but we don’t know where we’ve been’

A city motorist lost in the countryside asks a local how to get back to the metropolis. The local replies “I wouldn’t start from here if I was you”. So goes the story, allegedly first printed in 1924 (our more learned readers might want to hazard a guess at the many actual destinations that have been used in the re-telling of this tale over the years). Of course the technophiles amongst you might rightly point out that GPS navigation has rendered this tale redundant in the modern world. But substitute the out-of-towner for a modern day marketer and the question about getting from one place to another remains as pertinent as ever.

‘And we know what we’re knowin’, but we can’t say what we’ve seen’

In the words of Nigel Molesworth “as any fule kno” to build a brand you first have to know where you’re starting from. There are a number of techniques, tools and time-honoured means of establishing the status of brands and the progress that you’re making on that journey. Most common of these is brand tracking, which has long been used by the world’s most sophisticated marketing organisations.

‘And we’re not little children, and we know what we want’

But what of those organisations that have come late to the world of brand marketing? A number of sectors, particularly those regarded as specialist, are still hesitant to use the ‘B-word’, especially those where brand marketing remains at best a dark art and at worst an expense. The aforementioned tale of the lost city dweller has often been applied to mean that if a person wanted to get there (a successful place), he or she wouldn’t start from here (a humble place) and as such it serves well as a metaphor for those organisations with ambitions to track their brand but not the resources to match.

‘And the future is certain, give us time to work it out’

The encouraging news is that those same specialist organisations are now turning their attention to tracking their brands, using it to measure audience awareness of and attitudes and disposition towards, their brands and those of their competitors over time. And can you guess who they’re using to do it? Of course, it’s Muse. We offer brand tracking for more specialist sectors than the mainstream tracking agencies. Whether you’re a cultural venue wishing to correlate brand affinity with visitorship or a specialist retailer looking to understand and build your brand values, our brand tracker can link to your segmentation, so you are able to identify perception and disposition by segment. To find out more about tracking your brand in 2016 click here.

Here comes the free stuff

And what was the answer to our question about the comedy destination? Well you could have said any of Boston, Cincinatti, Letterfrack, London, Louisville, or Portland. And if you can name the who and what of our title pic there’s a free bottle of Brunello for the first reader to email us at jamespage@musestrategy with the correct answer.