Understanding Your Brand's Competitive Footprint First

Competitive intelligence reveals hidden insight for brands. But the biggest mistake brands make when capturing this insight is looking at their competitors’ positioning, audience and opportunities before fully analyzing their own. Here’s how to understand your brand’s own competitive footprint first, and why you must.

Using consumer and market intelligence we will show you:

  • How to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) and understand how your brand is perceived
  • How to understand your brand’s share of voice
  • Why employee reviews matter
  • How consumer perception can make or break a brand

And there are key facts to pay attention to:

  • Companies with happy employees experience 147% higher earnings than their competitors
  • 32% of mainstream brands are emphasizing social media engagement and analytics to stay on top
  • One brand we’ll be highlighting has a 90% customer retention rate thanks to on-point competitive intelligence

Importance of Competitive Intel

Benchmarking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) & Brand Perception

Consumer and market intelligence offer a window through which to view your competition and to understand how they’re perceived in both the news media and consumer realm. However, more importantly, it allows brands to view their own share of voice in these areas to:

  • Benchmark your brand position
  • Identify market trends
  • Understand category, share of voice, and consumer sentiment

And we’ll demonstrate this by way of BarkBox!

BarkBox has both pets and their owners howling with satisfaction. They have 600,000 subscribers and a 90% customer retention rate, all thanks to their consumer-centric strategy.

They likely know a bit about benchmarking and how to use it as a part of their marketing and consumer relation blueprint, and your brand probably does too, but here’s the differentiator: AI-powered consumer and market intelligence.

Market Intelligence in Action

Our market intelligence reveals where BarkBox is discussed in news and media, with cluster speaking to a different area/context:


As we arrange these clusters in a bar chart to see where the brand is talked about the most, we see Consumer building Communication as the number one category, and Dog Owner Reviews holding second for BarkBox.

Sorted by sentiment – green indicating positive mentions; yellow is neutral; and, red is negative – we can see where this company is getting things right, wrong and areas to watch:


Moving beyond news media sentiment to consumers, we explore summary metrics. This insight provides us the meat of consumer conversation and includes valuable data including how many times a brand is mentioned via social media.

Social Media Mentions Move Mountains

Below, our table shows a net sentiment of 86% (on a scale from -100 to 100), meaning BarkBox is killing on the consumer love scale. And good news spreads fast, as we see potential impressions are 97,398,233. This isn’t a number any brand could pull out of a hat to accurately measure against, and a lower number, taken in isolation, would seem amazing as well. But now, they’d have this benchmark to compare future efforts against.

This is why consistent benchmarking is imperative to a company’s daily debriefing as you don’t want to misunderstand your brand’s reach, nor its sentiment!


Further, we can separate each of these metrics using a Dashboard analysis. Here we see a timeline of mentions . . .


And can click through to see what is driving any spikes in mentions as everything in NetBase is supported by transparent, accurate intel.

Accurate, Transparent Competitive Insight

Here, our fluctuation report on 9/21 reveals a popular user and super relevant, potential influencer driving mentions:


It’s great to identify influencers before your competitors do. And understanding who is driving conversation for you before worrying over what your competition’s influencers are doing is a wise first step. This is competitive intelligence that can keep rash decisions at bay. Your brand will be less likely to attempt to woo away a category competitor when you’ve found an amazing one on your own that’s already talking about you!

There’s lots that a brand can do with this insight and that’s just a sliver of it. Let’s explore share of voice for some other potential!

Importance of Competitive Intel

Share of Voice

Understanding where your brand’s share of voice is in the competitive intelligence mix is also crucial.

Our crosstab is set to show BarkBox and two of its competitors. Here we selected Customer Service, Price and Product Quality to see where these pet focused companies bark the loudest. BarkBox is the leader in overall posts, while Chewy wins in Customer Service. And Petco and BarkBox are tied for Product Quality. And Price? That’s all Petco.


And this same crosstab can be used to see total percentage of brand mentions. It can be adjusted to explore other areas as well such as: sentiment values, potential impressions, total engagements and much more.

Chewy takes the lead in Customer Service (65%) and once again BarkBox and Petco are just about even-steven in Product Quality. Price is where our competitors see a wider gap with Petco once again leading with 44% in mentions.


Here, a market intelligence search around pet supplies reveals top segments which we’ve organized into bars representing company mentions within each section. For instance, Petco’s biggest mention (22%) is in the category Humane Society, while BarkBox’s largest percentage is within National Dog Day (44%). These are organizations and events for each to pay attention to, and key for Barkbox when it comes to understanding its own strengths and challenges:


By clicking the bars, we reveal related newspaper articles and blogs. These take us beyond share of voice to article sentiment and engagement count.


And beyond consumer perception, there’s an area often overlooked when it comes to brand perception, and it’s close to home . . .

Employee Reviews & The Consumer Journey

Employees are the face of your company, so you want them to be happy. Their mood often directly influencers consumer interactions. Companies that have happy employees experience 147% higher earnings than their competitors.

Using consumer and market intelligence to analyze employee data and employee reviews offers great intel not only sentiment, but also retention risks. And it offers a more complete picture of brand strengths and challenges. The truth is, happy employees go a long way to influence the consumer journey.

Consumer Journey Capture

Whatever your brand thinks of itself is largely irrelevant, as consumer perception determines whether you’ll be successful or not. And this applies to every stage of the customer journey.

Many brands lose out on lifetime value by not having a plan to stay connected post-purchase. And this is part of BarkBox’s success. Their social skills are sharp with 7.5 million followers across social channels – and they keep consumers consistently engaged. And they’re simply following the facts: 32% of mainstream brands are laser-focused on social media engagement and analytics. They realize the power of connecting directly with consumers to monitor brand health.

Consumer intelligence shows top emotions expressed on social media for BarkBox. And each word is clickable to explore further and give brands a better idea of how they are being mentioned.


And looking to the Index we see top terms driving brand conversation, along with how many posts they interact with, and @Maggaroo our pup influencer mentioned earlier makes the list with 400 posts . . .


Seems BarkBox may have a winner there.

What competitive intelligence could you find to support your brand’s efforts? Unlocking intel around brand perception, sentiment, share of voice and so much more is quick work with the right tools. When you’re ready to become leader of the pack in your category, reach out for a personalized demo!

Importance of Competitive Intel

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