Your brand is the personification of your company. Its purpose is to create an identity for your company that people can relate to. In the best of times, it is your biggest asset. In the worst of times, your biggest liability. The health of your brand, like people, is vitally important and is susceptible to neglect. To maintain a strong and powerful brand, it’s important to conduct regular brand research. Not just a one-and-done brand tracker, but an ongoing commitment to measurement and tracking the health of your brand.
To obtain and maintain a good pulse on your brand, your strategic brand tracking should include the following 3 health metrics:
Above all, brand research should uncover the current awareness levels of your brand. Tracking aided and un-aided awareness will determine an initial baseline that you will leverage for all future brand research studies. In addition, it’s critical you get a pulse on how you measure as it compares to your competition. Beyond awareness, how is your brand perceived? How are your competitors perceived?
Exploring consumer perceptions of your competitors as well as identifying unique positive associations with your brand will uncover white space from which your brand can create a stronghold in the market.
In this day and age, with advances in behavioral economics and technology, we can uncover deep, emotional underpinnings of associations with your brand and category. We can understand how your brand makes a customer feel – and not just how they say they feel.
With methodologies like metaphor elicitation, facial coding, and biometrics becoming less expensive and more accessible – market researchers can tease out implicit feelings and attitudes for analysis, alongside the articulated emotions of a consumer. With this new metric, we can uncover even deeper associations and attitudes that a consumer may not be able to verbalize on their own–adding depth and richness to our findings.
Brand research should also provide intelligence around the role your brand plays in consumers’ lives. Traditionally, consumer journey mapping has been commissioned separately from brand trackers. It’s often viewed as a stand-alone study that to deliver insights into the products and processes a customer interacts with throughout their relationship with a brand. However, what is a brand if not the products themselves and individual interactions with its customers?
To deep dive into the health of your brand, you must also dive into your customer’s experience. Staying in touch with your customer’s real-world experience with your brand will allow you to innovate rather than react. You will uncover unmet needs faster and identify moments of truth in the customer’s journey that are true opportunities to connect.
Brand research is a standard and critical component of market research. Whether you want to understand the impact of your marketing strategies, uncover new insights, or develop product innovations around unmet needs, it all starts with a fundamental understanding of your brand’s role in its customer’s life.
Staying in touch with your customers’ perceptions and experiences will allow your company to focus energy on the future and creating proactive growth strategies that align with your customers’ needs.