Market research is vital for ensuring that your products can meet the needs of your market or that they can enter into relevant conversations consumers are having. At the same time, market research can extend beyond the general persona of “marketing” and affect your brand position as a whole. Most of the world’s most successful brands like Apple, Coca-Cola and relative newcomers like Tom’s use market research to help define brand strategy through insights that data provides.
If you are wondering exactly how market research can affect branding strategy, consider the following benefits that research data can provide:
1. Predict Effectiveness of Branding Strategies
Some companies spend millions of dollars on campaigns that frankly do not work. For every captivating and beautiful piece of creative like Honda’s brilliant Civic Type R video there is a debacle like U2’s generous gift of a free album that somehow met with significant backlash.
Simple polls like “would you enjoy a free album by a top-name band if it were forcefully downloaded to your iTunes?” can identify problems in branding strategies and avoid them before they do damage. Other times, smaller improvements revealed through market research like modifying the color palette of a display ad or changing the wording of select copy can have a huge impact on the way marketing is received.
2. Discover Entire New Markets
In addition to polling and data-gathering for the purposes of developing an intended brand strategy, general market research can identify new segments or niches that have an unmet demand. For instance, a coffee beverage brand can identify a need for a smaller drink size that is packed with caffeine for people who do not have the time to consume a 10 oz product while on the go.
3. Identify Brand Weaknesses
Market research can reveal cracks in your branding strategy that your marketing department was completely unaware of. Complaints like “I heard that company X has practices that hurt the environment” or “It is weird that company Y never has any people of color in their YouTube ads” can help brands identify shortcomings and address them so as to strengthen their overall position. Insights like these can even turn a brand with limited appeal into a cultural superstar via their efforts to address negative perceptions of their marketing.
4. Evaluate Current Practices for Efficiency
A brand does not have to commit a catastrophic faux pas in order for them to be falling short of their potential. Even small discrepancies in predicted outcomes versus actual outcomes can create gaps in knowledge that limit the ROI for marketing spend.
Quantitative market research can seek out metrics to evaluate branding strategies and determine where inefficiencies lie. A low-converting ad could be targeted towards the wrong demographic, for instance, or a programmatic RTB strategy could result in higher-than-needed bids for display segments that do not offer adequate returns to justify the spend.
Seeking out insights like these requires careful gathering of data and creative analysis to spot trends and generate actionable reports that can concretely drive decision making. You can learn more about effective market research strategies and how they can benefit your branding strategy by reading our free guide to field data collection.