Any business today will have heard about branding and wondered how it could significantly impact your success. Whether you’re considering building your company’s brand or renewing your existing branding strategy, research on branding is the first step you will take to make this happen.
With 46% of US consumers considering the value of brands they can trust, integrating a sound brand perception is vital to an effective growth strategy. Set an efficient course for your company by conducting branding research as you build your business foundations.
After reading this article, learn about brand research and how you can integrate its best practices appropriately.
Table of Contents
What Is Research on Branding?
Growing your business is a big challenge. It’s not an easy feat to overcome. Much like any challenge, the more equipped you are, the better prepared you can be for the opposition you may face. Think of research on branding as scouting ahead. Brand research is collating data on the market your business is entering, the customers you’ll be serving, and the competition you’ll be facing.
Branding research allows you to be as informed as possible about the industry. With this information, you can craft a brand that sets itself apart from its peers thanks to your work for a steady foundation of your business. Build it well, and you may just develop it up to global branding standards.
Below are some of the various terms you may have encountered before, framing the different components to know in branding research:
Brand analysis is a reflective process where you determine what value you can bring to your customers. It’s also known as a brand audit, where you evaluate whether or not your branding is presented the way you would like your audience to perceive it. This process can be done at any point of your business’s timeline but is typically performed once you have an established presence. You can conduct a brand analysis to measure company objectives and your progress throughout.
Brand attributes comprise the characteristics or personality that your organization embodies. These attributes can be physical, visual, or a general feeling that your brand emits. These qualities help your audience resonate with your brand. The more personal you can connect to your audience’s needs and preferences, the more your branding becomes recognizable and prominent.
Brand perception, also known as brand image, is how your customers see your brand. This impression is a mix of how they receive your messaging, their experiences with your business’ service and products, and what they’ve heard about you from your previous customers and competitors. Consider it a combination of how aware your audience is of your brand and how much they believe in its values.
Ultimately, brand perception drives your brand’s equity, which is its merit or how much your audience values your brand. This makes it, so the rate at which your branding is recognized can indicate your business’ possible profits. The better your audience thinks about your brand, the more likely they will recommend it to their peers, leading to more sales for your business.
Brand awareness speaks to how much your business is associated with the products and services you provide and how well you stay on your customers’ top of mind. It’s an excellent way to gauge how well you’re competing in the market. Keeping updated on the best brand awareness strategies is vital to making this work.
How to Conduct a Brand Research in 3 Steps
The central point to researching branding is knowing how well your audience is perceiving your business. Below are some methods to measure your brand perception and how to manage them:
Step #1: Survey customers on brand perception
Perhaps the oldest and easiest trick in the book, conducting surveys is one way to measure how your customers think of your brand. Asking the right questions is vital in quantifying brand perception, so be sure to know what answers you want to gather. Some questions you can include in your survey:
- What three (3) words would you use to describe the brand?
- What first comes to mind when you think of our brand?
- Can you tell us about your previous experience with the brand?
- How likely are you to recommend the brand to a friend?
Step #2: Track your presence on online platforms
Depending on your business, you’ll have at least a handful of social media profiles to manage for your business. At the start, it should be easy to keep track of your queries and comments. As you get busier, you’ll need to look into social listening tools to see what the internet says about your brand. Think of this as your “ears to the ground” approach, where you get a chance to gather brand perception from your audience organically.
Maintaining a steady social media presence also allows you to reach customers and their concerns much quicker than receiving their queries via email or phone call. Meaning you can address and resolve any negative issue before it goes out of hand.
Step #3: Conduct a brand audit
A more comprehensive, but more precise way to measure how your audience thinks about your branding is through a brand audit. Conducing one is a deep dive into your current processes, whether your services still match your customers’ needs, and how they impact your business. As a holistic process, a brand audit should cover three aspects:
- Internal branding is your organization’s core values and beliefs, as well as your long-term goals.
- External branding, which is your business’ main touchpoints for your customers to engage with, such as your logo, your visual imagery, and your messaging content.
- Customer experience measures how your customers have experienced your branding so far— whether through sales, support, or social media.
While the steps to a brand audit generally remain the same, they all apply to the different goals you may have as you progress.
The Importance of Research on Branding
Businesses who’ve done the work to build their branding have a better chance of being recognized by their target audience. Branding also helps you be more consistent, deliver your values and goals more efficiently, and connect and engage better with your audience.
With branding research, you can stay informed with up-to-date information to help your brand and
- Measure your brand’s impact and progress
- Be informed of the impression you’re making
- Determine if you’re achieving your long-term goals
- Keep up with trends and pop culture
- Stay relevant to current events
The brand study equips you with the relevant data to build a strong brand guided by your vision and audience perception. As these aspects change and evolve, regularly conducting branding research can help keep your brand in check that you’re on track to progress in your business objectives.
Branding market research also gives you a chance to do competitor analysis – not to copy what they’re doing, but to see what you can do better in your work and verify if you’re applying all the essential marketing techniques appropriately. An easy way to conduct a competitor analysis is to browse their websites and social media platforms. This can also provide insight into how your target audience perceives your competitors and how you can address these details. Coming up with creative branding ideas is key to maintaining a competitive edge.
The brand study process gives you a glimpse into how your business is growing. Research on branding lets you quantify your progress and helps you make data-driven and informed choices on your strategy as you move forward. How can making these conscious decisions affect your brand?
- A consistent branding presentation through all your channels and platforms can drive revenue up to 23%.
- 77% of customers buy from brands who share their values, so communicating yours on social media is vital.
- Collecting data on brand perception can bring you closer to your user-generated content, 79% of which impacts your customers’ purchase decisions.
- In crafting your brand, you can set a goal to be transparent to your audience about your ethical practices, which 66% of customers find as one of the most attractive qualities.
Why You Should Integrate Brand Study in Your Strategy
In every project, there’s something for everyone to love. Branding allows for your project to bloom and helps your audience resonate with that special something. That said, chances are you’re entering a crowded market, and it isn’t an easy feat to stand out. This makes branding research a critical step for any business wanting to carve a niche for itself.
With brand research, you undergo the process of gathering essential information with which to set the foundations of your brand. Building a brand guided by the appropriate data makes it simpler for your marketing and business development specialists to establish a substantial foundation for your brand identity to grow.
Supporting your branding with data substantiating its presence makes for an organic evolution as time goes by. Conduct research on branding regularly to keep up with any changes in your business goals and market trends. Alternatively, a professional branding agency can do the job for you.