No brand is an island, and so in order to make the best decisions you must be as informed as possible about what is shaping your brand right now. In-depth research, both primary and secondary, can give you the knowledge base from which to develop future strategic decisions. The research can include:
Researching current perception of your brand
– bespoke questionnaires
Directly ask people their about thoughts of the brand and organisation, tailoring questions depending on what we aim to learn about. Our key aim is to discover what perceptions exist of your brand now. It is valuable to question people both externally (suppliers, clients, patients, partners, outsiders, etc). and internally (staff, directors, etc).
– media monitoring
Using one of the many media monitoring tools (social and mainstream media) available we can ‘listen’ to what people are saying about your brand. What are the common sentiments around your brand? Research has found that indirect recommendation (ie people recommending you rather than you promoting yourself) has much more persuasive influence on people. If you can ‘hear’ these conversations then you can gain a great insight into how your brand is being shaped in peoples minds – which is where it really matters.
– one-to-one interviews
Speaking to people at all levels of seniority internally, as well as relevant external people, gives another type of insight into current perceptions of the brand. Personal interviews can give a different insight into a brand by allowing a conversation to flow where people want it to go – a type of undirected insight.
– group discussions
Group discussions within which we talk about the various elements of your brand, such as current culture, behaviours, experiences, services, products, etc and might even share any research already completed. These discussions are useful as they give people the platform to bounce ideas and thoughts of the brand off each other, often taking the discussion down unexpected avenues.
By recording all responses anonymously (to the business and management) and as an external partner to your business, we can ensure we get peoples true and candid feelings and opinions on your brand, without them fearing repercussions by them speaking and opening up to management.
Reviewing current communication and culture
We review how you currently communicate your brand, and the whether the culture of your business is actually reflective of your brand. How do people come into contact through the messaging and communication, so informing their view of the brand. We review the various communication approaches including design, written content, tone-of-voice, pr and marketing strategies, social media, etc.
The world is changing fast, and so to will be your competition. Your competition may even be coming from a sector that you haven’t considered, so keeping up with who your competition are can help you best shape your brand for the future. We review key competitors, what are they doing well, what are they missing, and where opportunities might be within your market.
Analysing market and opportunities
The market you are currently working in or towards may have changed or developed since you last considered it. A clear understanding of what is happening in the market now can help to reaffirm or to shift focus in order to better explain your brand to people. There may be opportunities which have arisen through a changing marketplace, or there may be new threats which need to be allowed for. For your brand to resonate with people you need to know the market it is working within.
Image © Yoshikazu Takada