When you’re running a business your brand is your most valuable asset. It’s far more than simply a logo: it defines how customers interact with your business, from advertising, to product design, to how customer service agents answer the phone. In brief, your brand is simply how your customers experience your service. It’s the ideas about you they hold in their head, that influence whether they’re going to like you, trust you and above all, pick you when they need a product or service.
You need to know your brand is doing what it needs to. If you’re investing money to grow your brand, to reach more people and create a firm impression of just what your business is, does and who it’s for in the mind of the public, you need some means of assessing whether that’s working. If your brand is not improving, not reaching more people, then you’re wasting resources and need to change your tactics.
Market research can get you the vital brand intelligence you need to find out how your brand is performing. Brand tracker surveys, for example, are a great way to ‘take the temperature’ of the market. You can check with a broad spread of consumer to find out how your brand is performing, what qualities they associate with it and what sort of audience it’s for. This tells you whether the investment you’ve put towards developing your brand is paying off.
As well as checking how yours are performing, you can also rank your brand against your competitors in the industry. This is a good measure of improvement and performance – better than looking at your own results in isolation and the abstract. You can see how you compare with the leaders in the field, and how that’s changed in a month, six months, and a year. If you’re doing better relative to them, you can really quantify how your efforts are paying off.
Your brand needs market research, because you need data to make your decisions. The best decisions are modelled using existing data, and if you don’t have a long history to look back on to see how things have worked previously when changes have been attempted, or your history simply is relevant to the decisions you’re looking at today, you need new data, and market research brings in the facts and figures for you to feel confident in your decisions.