Brand research is a rather big term that covers a lot. However, it is often dismissed due to time and budget. In this blog, I would like to tell you why overlooking brand research could be the biggest mistake a marketer can make, and how understanding how people view your brand can help you improve all your marketing performance.
Why brand research is important
You brand represents your organisation – 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. Your brand is effected by the quality of your products and services, 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 as a common term for the product you offer – see the likes of Hoover, Kleenex and 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. Writing an email, checking it repeatedly and sending it off; only to find the first thing the recipient points out is a typo. If this email happens to be part of a major marketing campaign this could damage your brand and ruin your response rate. In a similar way without brand research and testing how external people view your organisation; you could miss issues with your logos, propositions and campaign concepts that could spoil your brand’s reputation. The implications of not knowing what others think of your brand or campaign can harm both your income and reputation.
Different types of brand research
Brand research can encompass many different areas. When we complete brand research projects for our audience we usually cover a few of the following:
Understanding how large an audience currently recognises your branding can help you track improvements over time. This is often a way organisations work out how effective their marketing is, and precedes creative testing of logos and sometimes complete rebrands. We also completed our own rebranding in 2017, which you can read more about here.
Brand research into how people perceive your brand is a fantastic way to discover the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing strategies. However, it can also be used over time to learn about changing attitudes towards your brand. Organisations will often complete this type of brand research to with a specific goal in mind. The example below is taken from the a brand perception test we completed for a major membership organisation who wanted to see how open people felt their organisation was for accepting people from different backgrounds, as you can see opinions change in just 3 years.
Testing marketing campaigns
Many of our clients want to complete campaign concept testing and creative testing against internal and external audiences, i.e. those who already have a relationship with their brands and those external prospects who don’t. Campaign evaluation in this way is especially good for increasing response rates in external audiences who, in our experience, are likely to respond very differently to campaigns. One other major benefit of pre-testing marketing campaigns as we do is that you can always ensure you go live with the best version that gets the best responses and shows your brand in the best light. If you are interested in campaign development through creative testing, take a look at our guide.
In the end, brand research and marketing insights can actually save you time and money by 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.
Perhaps we can help you optimise your marketing strategies with marketing insights, brand research and help your decision making with concept and creative testing. So why not get in touch and have a chat about your story?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER FOR MORE INSIGHTS AND INFORMATION