A brand is not a slogan, a label, a phrase or a logo. Rather, it is a valuable — and in most highly competitive marketplaces, an invaluable — business asset that must continuously be monitored, adjusted and optimized.
Indeed, relying on previously-generated brand equity for too long is a recipe for losing market share and mindshare. Just ask former heavyweight brand champions like Sears, which is urgently trying to reinvent its brand and stay relevant. If it succeeds, it may well indeed enjoy a Ford and General Motors-like brand renaissance. If it fails, then the only way that future generations may learn about Sears is from their grandparents and great-grandparents.
With this being said, businesses cannot rely solely on their quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year sales numbers to assess brand health. Doing this, forces businesses to react frenetically and conduct damage control (again, Sears comes to mind), instead of lead the way and drive their brand into profitable new areas, while they fortify existing brand strongholds.
The best — and frankly, the only — strategic way to get this actionable insight is through branding market research, because it specifically solves 7 key questions:
- What does a brand stand for in terms of values, principles and characteristics?
- How does a brand perform at every stage in the brand funnel?
- What are the relationships between a brand, and its variety of brand characteristics?
- How does a brand compare with competing brands in terms of both strengths and weaknesses?
- To what degree is a brand included by target markets in their consideration set?
- How deep is a brand penetrating into its target market?
- What proportion, and to what extent, are members of a target market likely to recommend a brand — and what motivates them to do so?
The multi-layered, multi-faceted answers to each of these questions combine to create a robust, integrated brand definition that gives businesses the actionable insights they need to address weaknesses, exploit opportunities, and ensure that they avoid becoming one of two terrifying things: 1) the best kept secret in their marketplace; or 2) known far and wide for defects and flaws (regardless if these are undeserved) instead of key strengths and positive characteristics.
To learn more about branding market research and how it can help your business thrive for the long-term, then contact the Communications For Research team today. You’ll speak with co-CEO Colson Steber about your business goals and he can help you decide how branding market research can integrate with your current efforts.
For more information on how to communicate the value of market research to your clients, download our FREE eBook: