Branding & Positioning
Branding and positioning research is called for when you seek to better understand your current position in the marketplace (vis-a-vis competitors) and consumer decision-making criteria. Research findings are used to inform the creation and execution of a new or updated brand position, promise and identity.
Our efforts are to provide a comprehensive view of your brand as it stands now while exploring opportunities that will best position it for increased awareness, preference and usage among stakeholders in the future.
Concept, Product, Message Testing
This research can be used to determine the appeal and resonance of: your brand story (or some specific aspect), your brand position, specific campaign themes, storyboard execution(s) or changed brand componentry, like a new label or a new logo, etc.
Attitude & Usage
A&U studies are designed to build an overall picture of your target market. Studies are designed with tracking in mind and our methodology, along with the thorough questionnaire design, will be easily replicable for tracking purposes. An analysis plan might focus on: assessing differences by category usage (heavy vs. medium vs. light users); exploring category and brand usage, preferences and perceptions by channel; determining key drivers for product users; analyzing the key strengths and leadership territories (attributes "owned") for your brand and your competitors; assessing differences by age and identifing key opportunities for gaining users from new/alternative demographics/psychographics; understanding consumer decision making and channels used as they effect attitudes, brand choice, size preference, frequency of usage, price sensitivity, etc.
Voice of the Customer
The American Marketing Association reminds us that, “market research is a multi-faceted discipline that can be a powerful tool for understanding your customers' buying behavior, identifying target markets, and creating new products they'll want to use.” In fact, everything we do, on a daily basis, is about designing and implementing the most effective, even creative way to listen to what your customers have to say, no matter who they are or how hard they are to reach.
New Product Development & Extension
The goal here is to determine which products—new or from another market—have the greatest potential for your brand in its existing market. Applying the principles of brand extension, we would expect the research to answer the questions about product/service areas your brand has “permission” to credibly go. We’d seek to know if there are extension products/services that are a logical “fit,” which products/services are the “closest” fit and which are a stretch for the brand, and why? As well as what does the “cascade” away from the core product/service/brand look like? Among other things, we’d look to see what leadership attributes can the brand “transfer” to the new products/services, just by association alone and what do the extended products/services “say” about the core brand.
Strategy development is often the logical next step after primary research in order to capitalize on white space opportunities or reposition in light of the competitive marketplace, for example, based on insight-driven guidance within the context of your unique brand environment.
When you want to quantify the effectiveness of a specific marketing communications campaign you would conduct an advertising effectiveness study. The survey is designed to measure awareness, recall, association of the campaign with your brand, as well as the impact of the campaign on assessments of your brand and main messages being communicated about your brand.
Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty
These studies are used to quantify your brand’s word-of-mouth. The study seeks to ascertain your customers’ willingness to recommend and their likelihood to return/repurchase. We can also conduct leakage studies to identify weaknesses in your customer lifecycle, that is, to establish at which point they dropped out. Findings are used to revise product/service offering(s), train staff, inform sales and marketing communication, as well as guide future customer research.
Segmentation can be useful when a brand seeks to strengthen its relationships with its customers by driving specific behavior among very specific parts of its customer base. For example, segmentation based on attitudes, behaviors, and demographics can be used to better inform a brand’s marketing strategy and branding efforts. Among customers you might seek to better understand who your customers are, how they use your product/services, what other competitive or supplemental products/services they use and why, to what degree are they awareness of your offering’s benefits, which features/benefits do they find most important/appealing, their usage of and experience with your product/services and features, their current perceptions of the your brand (versus others used) and any barriers that exist to increasing use/using your product/services.
Employee Engagement & Alignment
As the frontline interface with your customers across many touchpoints, this type of study is often a component of a larger customer experience project. Research explores the experiences and attitudes of your employees along with their brand perceptions to identify opportunities for tighter alignment with your mission, brand position and value proposition.
Website Effectiveness & Usability
An effective and intuitive website or mobile application is one of the most visible examples of “where the rubber meets the road” in your customers’ or users’ overall experience. Our studies are designed to test your navigability and user friendliness. We look to see if the appropriate conversions are happening as they should be and if the call(s) to action is/are easy to find and execute. We assess finite aspects like terminology/verbiage, page layout and flow, number of clicks, etc. as well as broader implications like is the online/app experience representative of your brand.
Competitive Landscape & Trends Analysis
This step is key to providing a solid understanding of the major players in your space and the trends and mindsets of your consumers. It is an essential step to identifying opportunities for competitive differentiation. This work allows us to analyze your market-facing position(s), missions, key messages and any other brand-related communication alongside your competitors. Along the way, we can typically make predictions as to whom your competitors are trying to target. It can also be used to inform later stages of research. For example, we can design a much smarter questionnaire for consumer surveys, as well as identify key messages, "hot buttons" and niches that we want to quantify. Where applicable, we include elements of social media "listening" as a part of this process.