Brand research is a rather big term that covers a lot, for example de-mystifying things such as concept testing and customer’s expectations. However, it is often dismissed due to time and budget. In this blog, I would like to tell you why dismissing brand research might be the biggest mistake you could make in your career.
Let’s start at the beginning; What is a brand to you and your company?
A brand is what represents the company – it’s more than a logo, a name or a marketing campaign. Your brand is what people associate with you, it is a big part of your reputation, and also your success. It is how you are viewed by the public.
Brand perception is a great thing, it can give your company a ‘personality’. This entails much more than ‘just’ the branding that is associated with your company. It also includes the quality of your products, who represents you, your customer service and the list goes on. On top of the list is your marketing strategy.
If you play your cards right, your brand, name and logo can become a generic trademark; used in the English language as a name for the product you offer – see the likes of Hoover, Kleenex, Google.
However, when working on your company’s representation and marketing strategy, your opinion and views can be misleading because of your insider’s perspective. This one-sided approach can have big implications.
We have all been there; we wrote a piece, checked it repeatedly, thought it was great and sent it on. Then the first thing the recipient points out is the typo in your headline. This could cost you a project.
In terms of concept testing or marketing strategies, external brand research can help you eliminate these “errors” that happen when you are too close to a project. And let’s face it, after months on end of working and perfecting these concepts, you are too close.
The implications of not knowing what others think of your brand or campaign can harm both your income and reputation. The aftermath of a marketing campaign gone wrong can linger around and totally change the perception of your brand.
Keeping the sheer power and impact of your brand and campaigns in mind, I’d ask, why wouldn’t you do anything you can to go live with the best version?
Once you know which of the shortlisted concepts makes you seem most trustworthy among a cold audience, which strapline your target audience finds most engaging and which colour scheme makes you stand out against your competitors, you just have to piece your marketing strategy together. Moreover, it can be justified, tailored to specific audiences and monitored.
In the end, brand research can actually save you time and money in working out what works best before going live.
Since we started in 2006, we have done a lot of brand research with companies such as the RSPCA, University of Oxford, British Heart Foundation, Vitality, Christian Aid – and the list goes on. Each of these clients had very different approaches, audiences and marketing strategies.
We also tested our own methodology as part of our rebranding last year, which you can read more about here. Plus, you can read about our our brand proposition testing and other types of creative testing by downloading our Creative Testing Guide.
Perhaps we can help you optimise your marketing strategies as well and help your decision making within your concept testing. So why not get in touch and have a chat about your story and brand research?
This post was written by Renée Karsdorf, Head of Analysis and Operations at fastmap. For more information about how fastmap can help you with your brand research and market research visit www.fastmap.com. You can also get in touch with David Cole, Managing Director, fastmap on +44 (0) 20 7242 0702 or email@example.com.