Feel like your business identity is lost in a fog in today’s marketplace? Think it is time to “Rebrand” to clear and strengthen that identity? Well the first step is to design a new logo . . . right?
Wrong! Conducting thorough brand research is the most important and initial step in the rebranding process!
Prior to engaging in the exhilarating yet sometimes frightening re-branding process, successful rebranding requires going past mere theory and actively acquiring business altering knowledge and awareness that can pull market share in your direction and motivate sustainable business results.
In your personal and professional life important decision are not made with forethought so it shouldn’t be different when it comes to your brand.
Don’t fall prey to the easy route and depend one article or study when creating your plan for re-branding. Build a concreate plan incorporating some of the proven techniques listed below:
Qualitative Research: Organize a small focus group with the “right” types of people, or do comprehensive, in-depth interviews on-line or with a telephone campaign. Questions should be open-ended and the given answers subjective. A trained representative in the brand/marketing industry will dig for deeper perceptions, opinions and feelings in regard to the topic. What needs to be zeroed in on are emotional drivers, not rational ones since the goal of branding is to create emotional connections. The ultimate result we are after to plan a 360 brand that encompasses the elements of both the external consumer and the internal employee, so groups of consumers, employees, vendors and senior management types that are in the position of leadership should be included.
Quantitative Research: This type of inquiry is the best when used to corroborate the results of your qualitative study. Well-fashioned answers bring unbiased answers so it’s much more objective. Surveys can be done through on-line tools like SuveyMonkey or Zoomerange. The key, however, is to get the correct analysis from the resulting data. Make sure your sample is adequate by surveying through age, geography, skill sets (for employee research) and incomes.
Ideation Workshops: This venue is perfect during the creating of corporate mission and purpose statements, the launch of new products and product extensions or the taking of research findings into the next stage of development. It’s a structured environment for shared brainstorming and can be supplemented with panels and leaders of thought from the outside. Have fun with it! Have on off-site retreat inviting 12-24 of your most trusted, multi-faceted individuals with an investment in the process and let the brand games begin.
A Business Owner’s Most Common Downfall is when they try to do all this themselves. It is important to bring in a party from the outside to engage in this research. In qualitative research, an outsider is more effective because they are not afraid of the truth. It is easier for an outsider to transform negative discussions into positive opportunities without feeling personally attached. In regard to quantitative, it reassures both the internal and external participants that there is anonymity in the results. When the choice is made to facilitate the research off-site helps keep the subject completely honest rather than their just providing the party line.
During Evaluation pulling it all together is more of a talent than science. The analysis is where real branding experts are set apart. They are more proficient at integrating the multi-sides that come with every story. Top professionals use the latest technology and tolls to analyze the data resulting in unique marketing plans and messaging that reverberate through even disconnected groups. Experience, insight and creativity are necessary to review research and have the outcome become tangible business results.
The Goals 1) Find the truth about how people really feel about your brand. 2) Align the new knowledge with your company’s mission, vision and values. And an employer brand needs to be aligned with your consumer brand. 3) Find your “private slot”, your niche; a place you can deliver something found nowhere else. This applies to both external and internal branding. 4) Lastly, review your current status as to not miss opportunities. Learn from those your respect in your industry. How can you emulate their success?
There are more tools available to professionals in the brand research industry today than ever before. Always keep in mind that there is no one “right” way to craft the perfect research plan; but through cautious consideration of objectives, timeline, and budget that a workable plan arises. Along the way you will run across painful questions, and one question can turn into multiple questions, however, keep in mind that each one can bring you to new opportunities to capture market share through avenues you never before recognized.