Multi-Phase Brand Positioning Study Using Integrative Methods

Fortune 200 Seeks Centralized Brand Value Proposition

Project Objective:

A Fortune 200 company wanted a centralized brand value proposition to leverage for expansion. MDRG partnered with the client to conduct a multi-phase brand positioning study.

Research Methodology:

Phase I: MDRG conducted two online insight communities with a total of 50 respondents over the course of one week. Online metaphor elicitation was also used to uncover deep emotional attitudes.

Phase II: MDRG used an online survey with 1,500 target consumers in a new expansion area and monadic testing (assigning one of the five concepts to each respondent for viewing and rating across a variety of metrics). To ensure demographics did not affect the ratings, each concept was viewed and rated by an audience with similarities in terms of age, gender, and familiarity with the client. 

Results and Recommendations:

Phase I: MDRG identified key pain points in the relationship consumers have with their providers. In sum, consumers felt:

1. There is a lack of commitment to innovation in the industry.
2. Providers do little to evoke feelings of trust.
3. Providers create unnecessary complexity.
4. There is a lack of commitment amongst providers towards improving the communities in which they operate.
5. Providers tend to be large, impersonal, and indifferent to the wellbeing of their customers.

Phase II: Five positioning concepts were developed:

1. “Modernity”
2. Dependability”
3. “Simplicity”
4. “Access”
5. “People First”

MDRG identified the two most compelling concepts: “Modernity” and “Simplicity”
– However, there was little separation in the ratings of these two concepts.

Nonetheless, there were important differences in the way they were rated.
– “Simplicity” generated interest in switching to the client and was most effective amongst primary decision makers, but not as effective amongst millennials.
– “Modernity” received strong ratings from millennials and those who share decision making.

Strategic Considerations:

The client’s short-term strategy was to acquire customers in the new service area as quickly as possible. The longer-term strategy was to target Millennials (age 18-34), who would hopefully remain with the company for long durations.

Strategic Recommendations:

Considering the importance of new customer acquisition, MDRG recommended the client use the main ideas of “Simplicity” for the expansion, but to incorporate some of the elements of “Modernity” over time to make it more appealing to Millennials. The phrase ratings exercise identified particular themes of “Modernity” that drove the concept’s appeal among Millennials. MDRG recommended some of these themes be integrated with the overarching message of “Simplicity” as the client becomes established in the new service area. This would take advantage of both concept’s strengths and serve the client’s short and longer term growth strategies.

Phase III:

In response to Phase II recommendations, MDRG’s client and its agency partner developed two creative executions in animatic format centered around the theme of “Simplicity”: “Simple Talent” and “Simple Tech.” MDRG measured emotional responses to the creative executions to identify the most effective one. Read more about Phase III here.

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