Are you looking to enhance your brand’s marketing communication materials to be more well-received by your target audience? Maybe you are unsure if the direction your organization is headed will make your brand stand out among your industry? Or is it time to update your logo or packaging for a fresh new look?
A brand positioning study is the answer to solving these business objectives as it a popular research methodology for those looking to rebrand or reposition their organization to improve sales. It is important to have a brand messaging strategy most aligned with the main stakeholders of your organization – employees, customers, and the general public (including non-customers).
Below our brand positioning study company will outline how to leverage your market research by uncovering how these audiences perceive your organization. The brand positioning study will provide your company with fact-based and evidence-based data to guide your decision-making.
Create an aligned marketing and business strategy by reaching out to these 4 critical audiences in a brand positioning study.
Brand perception of employees
If you are looking to conduct a brand positioning study a great place to start is surveying your employees. Think beyond employee satisfaction surveys, and more so asking your team to share their perception of the organization and brand.
A brand positioning research company will create a custom survey asking your employees to answer questions such as:
- How would you describe our brand?
- How do you believe our brand is perceived by the market?
- What brand value resonates with you the most?
- What problems does our brand solve?
- How is our brand prices compared to the market?
- Do customers receive a good value when they buy from our brand?
- Where would you like our company to go in the next 5 years?
It is more beneficial to survey your employees with a third-party company. A brand perception research company specializing in employee surveys will craft unbiased survey questions and provide a more accurate assessment being that employees are more honest knowing their feedback is anonymous and confidential.
Brand perception of company executives
If you are a larger company, it is likely you have a board of directors, leadership, or executive team responsible for creating a company-wide culture. This is a great resource for your brand positioning study as this team decides the best route and brand message for your organization.
Rather than a short survey, our brand positioning research company recommends taking the extra step to conduct 30 to 60 minute individual in-depth interviews or executive interviews with each member of your leadership team. This interview can take place in-person or over the phone between a team member and research interviewer.
While questions may be repeated from the employee survey, the research interviewer would use a discussion guide to ask your board or directors additional questions such as:
- What are the core values of our brand?
- What is the brand’s value proposition?
- Does our tagline appropriately represent our brand’s mission?
- Who are the main stakeholders of our brand?
- Who is responsible for managing the brand of our company?
Once the results come back from the employee survey and the leadership team in-depth interviews, it is important to compare and contrast the results.
Overall, is there a universal sentiment across all answers? Or is there a major difference between how your leadership team perceives your brand vs. how your employees view your brand?
It is easy to assume both parties will be on the same page but the results from these studies might surprise you. Employees of all levels frequently hold many different views on a company and brand. It is important to have a strong aligned brand perception internally, before assuming it will be perceived the same externally.
Brand perception of customers
Up next? Your customers. This is a great resource to understand the awareness and word association around your brand from the people who have used your product or service.
For this type of audience, consider a two-tiered hybrid research approach for your brand perception study. This means conducting both qualitative research methods for exploring and quantitative research methods for measuring. This all encompassing approach allows for intimate feedback from a small set of participants as well as reliable, higher degree of data.
As a qualitative market research methodology, focus groups offer a lot of detailed context around your brand. Focus groups allow for an open dialogue among customers to share their perceptions on your brand and why they choose to do business with you.
This type of research is specifically helpful for organizations looking to rebrand with an updated logo or company colors. At a focus group facility, it is easy to display your existing or new logo for participating customers to discuss why they do or do not like the logo, if the logo accurately represents your brand, if the logo is easily recognizable, and more.
Online surveys are a powerful quantitative market research methodology, especially for brand positioning studies. It is a simple and cost-effective way to obtain feedback from your customers.
With an excel spreadsheet of existing customer emails, an online survey company can easily send an email invitation prompting customers to complete an online survey regarding your company and brand.
The customer survey will likely consist of questions such as:
- What words best describe our brand?
- Why did you buy from our brand? Will you buy from our brand again?
- Where did you see our brand for the first time?
- How do you feel when you use our brand?
- Do you get a fair value from our brand?
- Does our brand deliver on the services we promise?
While there is no definitive order to which methodology should be conducted first, our brand positioning market research company often recommends qual before quant if the resources allow for it.
Brand perception of the general public
Last but certainly not least, all brand perception research should include feedback from those of the general public or non-customers. This feedback showcases how your brand is perceived by a mass audience as a whole and not skewed by customers who are already knowledgeable of your organization.
This is a great resource to understand why people are not buying from your brand or why your brand has a negative perception. Receiving feedback from the general public for a brand perception study can be conducted in a variety of methodologies such as online surveys, phone surveys, or focus groups.
Regardless of the methodology the brand perception research company recommends, the overarching goal is to get inside the minds of non-buyers.
To best determine what is deterring people from buying from your brand, ask questions like:
- What do you know about this brand?
- How would you describe this brand?
- What would you expect to pay for this brand?
- How does this brand compare to competitors?
- Would you consider buying from this brand? Why or why not?
Brand perception study results
Here is where the fun begins. Once you have studied employees, customers, and the general public to understand their perception of your brand, it is time to compare and contrast the results. How aligned or misaligned is your brand’s perception from these differing audiences?
For example, if your brand’s highest value is advertised as the product’s quality, but the general public does not perceive it as a quality product, you are not going to want to hang your hat on this.
Or say your executive team believes your product is low-cost, but customers view it as a more expensive product compared to others on the market, consider rebranding as a more luxury product.
To properly rebrand, it is important to have an aligned strategy where all of these stakeholders share the same point of view and thoughts. Here, you will want to showcase the value of your brand that is most common across all audiences.
Drive Research is a market research company located in Syracuse, NY specializing in brand positioning studies. Our team has the knowledge and tools to design a robust market research study, should it be the right fit for your business.
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