“The more you know, the more you grow:” an adage that applies to everything in life. Know more, and you can see more, do more, be more. In the market research world, branding research is the tool with which businesses evaluate a possible market in anticipation of a brand launch, identify brand value(s) and assess consumer awareness, consideration, loyalty and advocacy. In short, it’s the way businesses learn about their strengths and weaknesses and grow their brands.
Here are a few quick tips to remember when developing your next branding research strategy:
Remember that quality research begins with a quality question. Don’t assume anything and set aside your own ideas of what might or should be the outcome.
Understand the Emotion
Start with a qualitative assessment of your brand. Talk to people in focus groups. Interview some of them in-depth. Ask open-ended questions that focus on consumer perceptions of your brand. And don’t forget to question those employees who have firsthand experience dealing with your customers. This is one time when hearsay might actually be beneficial. With all of these measures, you can begin to understand the value of your brand to the marketplace.
Get the Facts
Follow your qualitative methodologies with quantitative ones like online, telephone, email and paper surveys to measure attributes across the brand funnel: How aware of your brand are consumers? Are they considering buying your brand? Do they buy your brand? Are they recommending your brand to others? Getting the answers to these questions will enable you to determine your brand’s penetration rate ((# of customers/size of target market) x 100) and efficiency rate ((# of customers recommending your brand/# of customers aware of brand) x 100), among others. These rates can point you to issues of concern or highlight successes that could be exploited further.
It’s important to make use of the information you gather. Review the ways you can display your findings. You will need to explain your methods and highlight key data points and insights. Brand mapping (correspondence analysis) can provide easy visual confirmation of the relationships among competing brands and word clouds can present qualitative data in quantifiable ways. Both methods allow for quick assessment of results in ways that are informative and appealing. Sometimes people would rather look at concise data graphics rather than detailed data logs and charts; but not always. Consider a variety of presentation styles and pick the ones that showcase your findings in ways that make the most sense.
There are many ways to conduct branding research. Communications for Research has 20 years experience with a range of methodologies and can create a custom plan of action for your company. Contact us to see how we can gather the best data for you!