Case Study: Market Research to Re-brand an AEC Company

Drive Research recently completed a rebranding study for a local architecture, engineering, and construction company in partnership with an advertising agency. The market research was used as a foundational piece for next steps with the branding, marketing, and messaging. This market research blog post highlights the objective, process, and outcomes of the project.

Drive Research works with a number of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) firms in Central New York (CNY). Learn more about a recent study completed here.

Case Study: Market Research to Re-brand an AEC Company

Market research is an essential piece to the rebranding process. Conducting market research as a first step before the re-brand takes place ensures all strategies are aligned with stakeholder feedback. This stakeholder feedback should include data from constituencies like customers, employees, and principals at the firm.


The client partnered with an advertising agency and Drive Research on a market research study. The company was looking to assess its brand equity, understand differentiators in choice, and understand the culture of its organization. These and other secondary objectives were addressed in the market research. The findings and insights were designed to drive branding, marketing, operations, and strategy for the client based on reliable and measurable feedback. The market research focused on internal stakeholders, current clients, former clients, and employees of the company. It will serve as a baseline for future research.


Drive Research recommended (1) in-depth interviews (IDIs) with principals, (2) an employee survey, (3) and an online survey to current and former clients. Each of the 3 components of market research are highlighted in greater detail in this case study to understand the specifics of each approach.

The study created a 360 degree view of the brand.

Component 1: Principal in-depth interviews (IDIs)

In order to gather in-depth feedback and insight from key internal stakeholders, Drive Research completed a total of 11 one-on-one interviews. These interviews were conducted on-site at the client offices in Syracuse. For those out-of-market interviewees, the interviews took place via telephone.

Interviews were pre-scheduled for a specific date and time for each participant. The goal of the interviews were to gain additional insight into branding, messaging, and culture. These interviews provided a deeper level of context beyond what could be gained from a quantitative employee survey. The intent is to compare key stakeholder feedback to data received from clients and employees. This comparison across the 3 audiences is critical to provide a 360 degree perspective of the brand.

The interviews were conducted from August 28 through September 6, 2018. Drive Research designed an interview guide prior to fieldwork which was reviewed and approved by the aency and client project team. The interviews each lasted approximately 30 to 45 minutes each. These interviews were digitally recorded to assist the Drive Research team with analysis and reporting.

Component 2: Employee Survey

As a second component, Drive Research managed the employee survey with all contacts sent through an email invitation with several reminders to non-responders. Similar to the client survey, using a third-party and independent market research company for this effort ensures confidentiality and anonymity.

Fieldwork for the employee survey began on September 18 and lasted until October 3, 2018. The survey took users an average of 3 to 5 minutes to complete and included 36 questions. The survey received 71 responses from the total of 88 contacts. This represents an extremely strong response rate of 81%.

A sample of this size produced a margin of error of +/- 5.1% which makes the results highly reliable. The +/- 5.1% margin of error means if the survey was conducted with another random sample of employees, the data incurs a 95% confidence that results would yield within +/- 5.1% of the stated totals.

Component 3: Client Survey

Another critical audience to receive feedback from as part of branding research was clients. This component included responses from both current and former clients. To obtain feedback for this component, an online survey was sent through email invitations and reminders. This approach offers the best ROI because online surveys are cost-effective, timely, offer quality data, and are simple to implement.

The survey addressed the key objectives of the study including questions recommended by our survey team based on past project experience as well as customized questions for the needs of the client. Using a third-party administrator to manage the market research ensured honest and unbiased responses from clients. An introductory pre-survey email was sent approximately 1 week prior to fieldwork beginning. The survey was PC, mobile, and tablet-friendly and responsive to any type of screen the client had access to.

The client survey fieldwork began on October 19 and lasted until December 3, 2018. This included the initial invite and 2 reminders sent to non-responders through the Drive Research system. A final reminder with survey link was sent directly from the client to acquire any final feedback.

The survey consisted of 26 questions and took respondents 5 to 7 minutes to complete. A total of 99 responses were collected, representing a strong response rate of 27%, particularly with a small sample size of 361 clients. The margin of error for this study is +/- 8.4% at the 95% confidence interval which means if the survey was conducted with another 99 random clients, 95 out of 100 times results would yield within +/- 8.4% of the stated totals.


Although the specific findings remain confidential with the client, several key objectives were answered through the market research. Highlights of those key objectives are outlined below.

Principal in-depth interview (IDI) objectives

(1) What is the principal perception of the brand?

(2) What are strengths and differentiators for the brand?

(3) What areas should the brand? focus on going forward?

(4) What do principals think about the culture at the brand?

(5) What is the ideal employee for the brand?

Employee survey objectives

(1) What is the employee perception of the company?

(2) How satisfied are employees with the company?

(3) What are the strengths and weaknesses for the company?

(4) How did employees first learn about the company?

Client survey objectives

(1) What is the client perception of the company?

(2) How do clients become aware of the company?

(3) What aspects of the company are clients satisfied with?

(4) What do clients want to see improved?

(5) How does the company compare to the competition?


Contact Our Market Research Company

Drive Research is a company who assists architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) companies with their market research needs. Whether it is a client satisfaction survey, employee survey, or total re-branding effort, our team can assist.

Interested in learning more? Need a proposal? Contact us below.

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Text us at 315-303-2040

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