6 Famous Brands That Depend on Market Research

Starbucks cup with coffee beans

What do Starbucks, Apple, McDonald’s, LEGO, Dove, and Zappos all have in common? Well, I’ll tell you. These famous brands all depend on market research.

These household names use the data to their advantage to win over their customers and challenge their competitors.

Market research can help organizations achieve:

  • Strengths reputation and credibility
  • Enhances brand awareness
  • Understanding market segments and trends in the marketplace
  • Obtaining feedback on customer preferences
  • Establishing the effectiveness of marketing and product promotion

Not only can market research enhance a brand’s marketing and product strategy, but it can strengthen a company’s relationship with its customer and recruit new ones as well. 

See for yourself as we highlight a few of the many brands that depend on market research.

1. Starbucks Coffee Company

Ah, the first of our successful marketing research examples!

Starbucks is the largest and most successful global coffeehouse chain in existence. However, it is no secret how they become the number one coffee company in the world (no shade to Dunkin’.)  

Starbucks became the largest coffeehouse chain in the world because of its value for market research.

Starbucks’s market research approach includes: 

  • Tracking cultural trends
  • Monitoring social media 
  • Gathering customer feedback 
  • In-store product testing

Over the past 14 years, Starbucks has used market research by obtaining consumer feedback through its My Starbucks Idea platform. 

This platform essentially allows customers, potential customers, and employees to visit the website to submit any creative ideas they come up with.

These ideas can range anywhere from new offerings to minor changes in a current product. Starbucks considers all customer feedback for its business and marketing strategy.

Starbuck My Idea Platform

💡 The Key Takeaway: Of the brands that depend on market research, Starbucks is one of the most famous. They have a handy customer feedback platform to obtain the most up-to-date consumer information.

Recommended Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Customer Satisfaction Surveys

2. Apple Inc.

Apple is one of the most successful technology companies worldwide. Apple made that possible through product innovation and market research to understand its consumers’ needs.

Apple has a deep appreciation for market research and demonstrates it by developing an in-house research team.

Its panel is called the “Apple Customer Pulse,” which is an online community committed to catering to the needs of the technology consumer by analyzing data and its research is done through a variety of customer satisfaction surveys.

As a result, these surveys have paved the way for new product development and modification of existing Apple products.

For example, Apple has expanded its screens on some devices to enhance its customers’ viewing experience.

We understand most brands cannot employ an entire market research team. Lucky for you, Drive Research is ready to act as an extension of your team to help execute any of your research needs.

Our market research team provides a variety of services such as online surveys, intercept surveys, focus groups, customer surveys, and more.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Of the brands that depend on market research, Apple is one of the best (in our humble opinion). The iconic tech company has made impressive changes to its products based on customer feedback and other related messages. 

Learn more about the benefits of working with a third-party market research firm.

3. McDonald’s Corporation

McDonald’s is one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world. To remain number one in the fast-food industry, McDonald’s frequently uses market research to make its customers happy.

McDonald’s uses four key questions in its market research approach:

  1. Which products are performing well?
  2. What prices are most affordable for the consumers?
  3. To effectively advertise, what are consumers reading and watching?
  4. Which restaurants are most attended, and why?

By answering these questions, McDonald’s can gauge whether or not its customer base is expanding or not.

If not, then it adjusts its strategy to satisfy its customers and outperforms its competitors.

Additionally, McDonald’s obtains customer feedback to alter its product offerings.

For example, a plethora of McDonald’s customers were concerned with the absence of healthy and organic food items on its menu.

So McDonald’s took that feedback into account and added healthy items on the menu, such as apple slices. It even launched an advertising campaign to prove that its chicken nuggets and patties contain real meat.

Below is just another example of how market research can improve your advertising.

McDonalds Real Beef Advertising Campaign

💡 The Key Takeaway: McDonald’s used market research to glean important consumer insights for their menu. This resulted in a healthy (and well-received) change to their menu. 

4. The LEGO Group

Last but certainly not least, LEGO uses market research to promote inclusivity for all children to play with its toys. 

Over the years, LEGO has primarily been a boy-oriented toy company. However, LEGO didn’t want to limit itself to only cater to one gender. It wanted to involve all children to enjoy its products. 

Within four years, LEGO conducted a study involving 3,500 girls and their mothers to understand the children’s playing habits. It was a great approach to determining opportunity size when expanding into a new market.

As a result of the market research study, LEGO launched a new toy line, “Friends” to encourage girls to play with LEGO toys.

LEGO used market research data to determine the bright colors of the packaging and the figurines’ size. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Market research is a stranger to no industry–and that includes toys. LEGO used it to become more inclusive with their merchandising, attracting a female audience. 

5. Dove

Dove has long been a beauty brand that promotes self-love. Their proactive ads and marketing campaigns are designed to spark social commentary around body positivity. 

So, what better way to promote these values than diving into market research? 

Even though Dove began their #SpeakBeautiful campaign in 2015, its impact still needs to be measured by marketers who want to make an important statement. The campaign focused on the fact that women were saying more negative things about themselves than positive ones on Twitter. 

After partnering with Twitter, market research for social media was used to give life to the #SpeakBeautiful campaign. Before the campaign, a shocking 5 million female Twitter users had posted self-deprecating comments about themselves. After, that number had gone down to 3.4 million. 

When covering our brand research examples, it’s important to note the deep impression they can have not just on the company, but on society as well. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Dove made the most out of market research by teaming up with Twitter. By sparking the #SpeakBeautiful hashtag, Dove was able to cut down on self-negativity on the platform. 

6. Zappos

Zappos is one of those brands that seems to effortlessly juggle both employee and customer satisfaction. For the sake of this post, we’ll be covering their customer service efforts. 

Zappos uses tried-and-true market research tactics like customer surveys and in-person interviews to achieve true personalization.

When dealing with such a large brand like Zappos, it’s essential they treat customers like actual people–we promise, this is the key to continued business success. Customer surveys and in-depth interviews are designed for this purpose exactly. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Zappos zeroes in on customer needs through detailed surveys and interviews with customers. These tactics work to humanize a brand’s customer base, so their needs can be better understood. 

Recommended Reading: What Are IDIs? Explaining In-depth Interviews in Market Research

Primary Market Research Goals for Famous Brands

As you can see, each of these brand research examples has two primary goals.

1. Each brand strives to satisfy the customer’s needs and high expectations. 

Customers expect high-quality services and products. If they don’t have their expectations met, then they will take their business elsewhere.

So brands need to maintain customer expectations by understanding what customers want through market research.

2. These brands have a desire to eliminate competition. 

Starbucks, Apple, McDonald’s, LEGO, Dove, and Zappos need to stay on top of their market to be one step ahead of their customers’ needs because each company knows a customer won’t hesitate to find an alternative if they are dissatisfied with the product offering. 

Without market research, companies would not have been able to produce innovative products, enhance their product offerings, understand their customers, or solve the most challenging problems.

Therefore, market research is an essential part of making a brand successful.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Market research has done wonders for each massive company we covered. By using detailed research, brands are able to make accurate assumptions about their customers, which leads to better marketing and advertising strategies.

Contact Our Market Research Company

Drive Research is a full-service market research firm located in New York. Our team partners with organizations across the country to deliver data-driven insights through customer surveys, new product development, focus groups, and more.

Interested in learning more about our services? Contact us today. 

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