What Is Brand Research? (& How To Do It Like Experts)

Branding research materials

Brand market research is a crucial tool for businesses aiming to understand their brand's position within the market, consumer perception, and competitive landscape.

Insights drawn from brand research guide strategic decisions across product development, marketing strategies, and customer engagement to enhance brand equity and loyalty.

Effective brand market research utilizes both quantitative and qualitative data to paint a comprehensive picture of a brand's reach and resonance.

Understanding consumers' attitudes, behaviors, and preferences allows businesses to tailor their offerings and messaging to meet market demand.

Through this tailored approach, businesses can cultivate a brand that resonates deeply with consumers, establishing a loyal customer base and a distinctive market position.

What Exactly Is Brand Research?

Brand research (also brand market research) is an investigative approach to understanding many different aspects of a brand within its market.

Those include brand identity, brand vision, brand perception, brand awareness, and more.

Brand research informs companies on how their brand's value proposition measures up to customer expectations and identifies opportunities for growth and differentiation. 

Doing this kind of research typically involves a few different methodologies to gather important information about how consumers feel about the brand:

  • Consumer Insights: It focuses on what consumers think about the brand, their loyalty, preferences, and purchasing behavior.

  • Competitive Analysis: Brand research assesses how a brand stacks up against competitors (using industry and competitive benchmarks + research), noting strengths, weaknesses, and market differentiators.

  • Brand Attributes: The research looks at the brand's core attributes, including its image, personality, vision, ethos, and how these resonate with current and potential customers.

A brand is not just a product or service; it represents the company's ethos. 

The main thing that brand research seeks to do is to identify, measure, and grow the value of the brand in customers' eyes. 

This type of research is crucial for businesses aiming to develop effective branding strategies, make informed marketing decisions, and understand the wants and needs of their target audience.

Brand Research vs. Brand Analysis

If we boil it down to these two terms, brand research is gathering the information needed and brand analysis is the information we get out of it in ready form.

Let’s dive into their differences a bit more.

Brand research

Brand research in this context can be - discovering how the market (including all segments of your company) thinks about your brand. 

It incorporates various tools and methods, such as surveys and focus groups, to gather data on how a brand is recognized.

It is typically the process of looking for answers to formulated questions about the brand. 

Brand analysis

On the other hand, brand analysis is more of the process after the data has been collected and what to do with it.

In our experience, it’s usually an assessment of the collected brand data to determine the strength and current state of a brand's identity, strategy, and value. 

It is more of a reflective process, where information gained from brand research is analyzed to find whether a brand’s strategic decisions are aligning with business objectives.

Which is better?

Since markets change constantly, it’s a great idea to do both of them more often. In fact, the more your competitors are doing it - the more you need to be doing brand research. 

Working with outdated info is sometimes worse than working with no information at all.

The best approach will incorporate some sort of ongoing brand research process. It’s the best way to ensure that your brand is staying aligned with your target market.

How to Approach Brand Research

Brand research can be either highly in-depth or more surface-level, depending on what your brand needs.

Things like the age, size, and strategy of your brand will affect what kind of research you need.

Putting more effort into the project is beneficial, since the more put in the more you will get out of it both quality and quantity-wise.

Running a more involved project like in-depth interviews requires more setup than an online survey but is good for more involved insights.

However, in our experience, brand surveys can work great for any level of involvement needed.

The Benefits of Brand Research

Engaging in brand research gives brands key advantages to establish or refine their presence in the market. Brand research helps drive what we like to call, informed decision-making. 

By collecting data on consumer perceptions and behaviors, brands are more able to make well-informed decisions that can resonate with their target audience.

  • Understanding Customer Needs: Research helps to pinpoint customers' desires, motivations, and pain points. This ensures that the brand’s messaging and product offerings are aligned with what consumers are seeking.

  • Competitive Differentiation: Identifying how your brand is perceived compared to competitors is crucial. Market research enables companies to tailor their strategies to stand out in the busy marketplace.

  • Error Reduction: Research reduces the risk of costly missteps and can help refine marketing strategies to prevent potential failures before they occur.

  • Data-Driven Strategy: Incorporating quantitative and qualitative research into brand strategy leads to a more cohesive and evidence-based plan.

  • Enhanced Market Positioning: Continuous research feeds into improving a brand’s market positioning. It also confirms that the brand’s development is in line with ever-changing consumer expectations.

  • Effective Messaging: A well-researched understanding of the target market supports the creation of compelling campaigns and messaging that actually speak to the intended demographic.

Other Research Related to Brand Research

Brand Perception

Brand perception is the reality of how customers see a brand, as opposed to how companies think they are viewed. Research in perception helps brands understand the overall feel about them in the market and customer feelings associated with the brand itself. 

Brand Awareness

This measures how familiar the target audience is with a brand and its products or services. Brand awareness research can reveal the effectiveness of marketing efforts and channels of communication. 

Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty research aims to understand the strength of customer commitment towards a brand. This involves evaluating repeat purchase rates and customer feedback.

It also helps understand how your customers feel about your brand compared to competitors.

Plus with most consumers reporting they will spend more on brands they are loyal to, it becomes all that more important to measure and understand how dedicated your customers are to your business.

brand loyalty stat

Brand Equity

Brand equity refers to the value a brand adds to its products or services. With stronger brands, most of their products will be seen as valuable as soon as it’s launched just because of the brand behind them.

Research into brand equity helps brands understand what the value of their brand is both quantitatively and qualitatively in relation to their products and services.

Ways To Do Brand Research For Your Company

Brand Surveys

A company can do brand research by creating and distributing brand surveys to the target audience. These surveys should include questions that measure brand awareness, customer satisfaction, and loyalty.

They can be conducted online to make it much easier. Surveys help provide direct quantitative data that offers insights into the brand's performance.

Focus Groups

Focus groups provide high-quality data by engaging a small, diverse group of participants.

A moderator leads a discussion about the brand, its products, or advertising campaigns to gain deeper insights into consumer attitudes and behaviors.

The findings from focus groups help to understand the audience's emotional responses and perceptions. Analyzing the data from a focus group is just as important as gathering it to use as information.

Competitor Analysis

A thorough competitor analysis involves examining the strengths and weaknesses of competitors within the market.

This includes analyzing their branding strategies, market share, and how they are perceived by consumers. Such analysis helps to identify gaps in the market and opportunities for differentiation.

Watch our video for more benefits on conducting competitor assessments. 

Brand Research Data Interpretation and Reporting

Analytical Tools and Software

Researchers utilize a variety of analytical tools and software to assess market data efficiently. The chosen tools should offer robust statistical analysis capabilities and handle large datasets without compromising quality or relevance.

The integration of such tools into the research process is essential for reliable and efficient data interpretation.

Visualizing Data

Effective visualization techniques play a vital role in data interpretation, enabling recipients to grasp complex data swiftly.

Charts, graphs, interactive dashboards, and heat maps are common methods of presenting data visually for enhanced understanding.

A well-designed visualization highlights patterns and anomalies, facilitating a quick synthesis of information.

Strategic Insights

Data interpretation and reporting are the most important part of market research. It’s where the data is organized to be used to improve the brand strategy.

Insights must deliver clear relevance to the brand's objectives, highlighting opportunities for growth, areas for improvement, and innovative directions.

Research reports should translate data into strategic action points (which is exactly what we do here at Drive Research), formulated through comprehensive analysis and interpretation, guiding brands toward informed decision-making.

Continue Research With Brand Tracking

After establishing a foundation through initial brand market research, companies can maintain and improve their understanding of a brand’s performance by conducting brand tracking.

This process involves consistent monitoring and analysis of quantitative data. By collecting feedback from consumers at regular intervals, businesses can find shifts in consumer sentiment and preferences.

Plus, by utilizing a structured approach of regular data collection and analysis, companies can identify how their brand is perceived over time and what drives consumer decisions, which empowers them to make data-driven decisions to foster growth and adapt to market changes.

Recommended Reading: Ultimate Guide to Brand Tracking

Frequently Asked Questions About Brand Research

What are the methods of brand research?

The methods for brand research are mostly market research methods aimed at collecting in-depth data. Those include surveys, focus groups, competitor analysis, and more. 

How to do brand strategy research?

Here are a few staples of brand research that we always reference and any company can do:

  1. Customer surveys
  2. Brand awareness analysis (using secondary research or benchmarks)
  3. Focus groups
  4. Competitor analysis
  5. Customer feedback

Conduct Brand Research With Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company specializing in qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Our team has the skill, experience, and know-how to execute surveys, focus groups, competitive assessments, and other popular branding market research. To learn more about our services, contact our team today. 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

austin author bio

Austin Parker

Austin has an extensive background in SEO as he's been blogging since 16 years old back when the internet was in its infancy. As fitting, he holds a Bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing.

Learn more about Austin, here.

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