Brands are all about people’s perception of products and organisations. You may think that you know how other people perceive your brand, but without reliable data, all your thoughts are mere speculation. It’s alright if you find market research too demanding, but you won’t be able to stay competitive without concrete knowledge of where your brand stands today.
You need data to guide your branding process, and you can only obtain data from research. With brand research, you are more able to influence consumers’ behaviour because you know the state of your brand. But how exactly can you do brand research?
Step 1. Gather data on how your organization perceives its brand
How does one start brand research? Contrary to what you might think, brand research doesn’t begin with knowing what your customer wants. In fact, one source of data that can be easily overlooked is your internal stakeholders. You want your brand to be organic and intuitive, and the best way to start finding out how people perceive your brand is to start within your organization. Conduct stakeholder interviews in person to find their impromptu and honest responses.
If your organization’s employees aren’t living the brand on a day-to-day basis, how can you expect outsiders to embrace your brand? You also want to know how the executives want the brand to be perceived internally and externally. By gathering data from your internal stakeholders, you can begin bridging the gap between your brand’s current image and the organization’s desired one.
Step 2. Know if your desired brand perception fits the market’s needs
After you have gathered data from internal stakeholders, the next thing you have to do is to get data concerning the market of your business. The market is the landscape which will provide context to your data and tell you how and why your customers perceive your brand in a certain way. To define your market, bring together data concerning people’s needs, trendy behaviours, demand growth, and institutional hindrances such as regulations.
At the same time, you need to gather data on your existing and target customers. Find out why they buy from you, as well as your competitors. In the process of analyzing all that data, you can determine opportunities where your brand can offer itself as an alternative or viable solution.
Step 3. Cut your audience into segments
To consolidate your branding efforts, you need to start with a base of customers who are likely to promote your brand. Thus, you need to narrow down who you serve exactly and why. People like products or brands for different reasons. You have to identify these reasons and classify the members of your audience accordingly. By knowing your audience segments, you can tweak your branding for each specific group to make your brand relevant to their concerns. This is in contrast with canned messaging blasted to the general public, which is inefficient.
Step 4. Actual customer research
Now that you have determined your audience segments, it’s time to conduct polls and interviews on people you want your brand to serve. You will also gain added information on your competitors in the process.
Customer research entails collecting quantitative and qualitative data. Qualitative data includes customers’ biases, preferences, beliefs, and motives. You also need to bring the number of believers and perceivers through quantitative data, as that will tell you how many people in your audiences perceive you in specific ways.
Combined with internal stakeholder perception data and market behavior for context, you can now find out the power areas and problem areas in your branding campaign. All of these data will also serve as a baseline with which you can measure your branding efforts’ results.
If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency in Cambridge, Orange Squash Agency is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.