What Is Research on Branding?

What Is Research on Branding?
Article by Jelena RelićJelena Relić
Last Updated: June 09, 2023

Whether you’re considering building your company’s brand or renewing your existing branding strategy, brand research is the first step to make this happen. 46% of US consumers are willing to pay more for brands they can trust, so integrating a sound brand perception is vital to an effective growth strategy.

In this article, you will learn what brand research is, how to conduct it effortlessly, and why it’s crucial for the success of your business.

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What Is Brand Research?

Brand research is the process of gathering and analyzing data to gain insights into various aspects of a brand. It studies how a brand is perceived by its target audience while understanding its positioning in the market and evaluating its overall performance. The goal of brand research is to obtain valuable information that can guide brand strategy, decision-making, and marketing efforts.

Brand research typically involves qualitative and quantitative research methods, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations, and data analysis. These methods help organizations understand consumer attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, and preferences related to their brand.

Six Common Types of Brand Research

  1. Brand Awareness Research
  2. Brand Perception Research
  3. Brand Equity Research
  4. Brand Positioning Research
  5. Brand Tracking
  6. Brand Loyalty Research

Some common areas explored in brand research include brand awareness, brand perception, brand loyalty, brand equity, brand positioning, and more. All these areas can be researched to help businesses gain insights into different aspects of their brand.

Brand Awareness Research

This type of research assesses the level of brand recognition and familiarity among target audiences. It helps measure the extent to which consumers are aware of a brand's existence and its key attributes. Based on these findings, businesses can easily adjust their brand awareness strategies.

Brand Perception Research

Brand perception research focuses on understanding how consumers perceive a brand in terms of its image, reputation, values, and positioning. It involves gathering open customer feedback in the form of consumers’ attitudes and emotional responses toward the brand.

Brand Equity Research

Brand equity research aims to measure the overall value of a brand and its impact on consumer behavior. It assesses the financial and non-financial value of a brand, including factors like brand loyalty, perceived quality, and brand associations.

Brand Positioning Research

This research helps businesses identify and refine their unique value proposition in the market. It involves studying competitors, target audience preferences, and market trends to determine the most effective brand positioning strategy for a brand.

Brand Tracking

Brand tracking is based on monitoring and measurement of key brand metrics over time. It helps assess the effectiveness of marketing initiatives, brand campaigns, and overall brand performance. According to Qualitrics, organizations that monitor their brands regularly witness stronger rates of inbound and outbound marketing impact and boosted sales.

Brand Loyalty Research

Brand loyalty research examines the level of customer loyalty and repeat purchase behavior towards a brand. It helps organizations understand the factors driving customer loyalty and identify strategies to enhance customer retention.

Three Steps on How To Conduct a Brand Research

  1. Know Your Research Objectives
  2. Select the Best Research Methods for Your Needs
  3. Analyze and Interpret Data

Here are three essential steps to conduct brand research:

Step #1: Know Your Research Objectives

Clearly define the objectives of your brand research. What specific aspects of your brand do you want to investigate? Are you interested in understanding brand perception, customer satisfaction, market positioning, or brand awareness? Clearly outlining your research objectives will help you determine the appropriate research methods and guide your data collection efforts.

Step #2: Select the Best Research Methods for Your Needs

Based on your research objectives, choose the most appropriate research methods to gather data. Common research methods used for brand research are:

  • Surveys: help you collect quantitative data from a large sample of customers. You can conduct surveys online, through email, or in person.
  • Interviews: Conduct one-on-one interviews with key stakeholders, such as customers, employees, or industry experts. These provide in-depth qualitative insights into their perceptions and experiences with your brand.
  • Focus Groups: Bring together a small group of participants to engage in a guided discussion about your brand. This method allows for interactive exploration of perceptions, attitudes, and preferences.
  • Observations: Observe and analyze customer behavior and interactions with your brand in real-world settings. This way, you can gather valuable insights into customer experiences and brand interactions.
  • Online Listening: Monitor online conversations, social media platforms, and review websites to gather insights on how customers perceive and discuss your brand.
  • Secondary Research: Conduct a thorough review of existing market research reports, industry publications, and competitor analyses to gather relevant data on the market landscape, consumer trends, and competitor strategies.

Step #3: Analyze and Interpret Data

Once you have gathered the data, analyze it to draw meaningful insights. Use appropriate data analysis techniques, such as statistical analysis for survey data or thematic analysis for qualitative data. Look for patterns, trends, and key findings that address your research objectives.

Interpret the data to gain a deeper understanding of your brand's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Identify areas for improvement, potential brand positioning strategies, and insights to guide your brand strategy and marketing efforts.

Alternatively, you can collaborate with a professional big data analytics company to ensure you’re making the right conclusion.

Brand Research Best Practices

  1. Survey Customers on Brand Perception
  2. Track Social Media Presence
  3. Conduct a Brand Audit

Below are some common methods and best practices to measure your brand perception and how to manage them:

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 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?

2. Track Social Media Presence

Depending on your business, you may have different social media profiles to manage. At the start, it should be easy to keep track of your queries and comments. As you get busier, you’ll need to investigate social listening tools to see what the internet says about your brand. Think of this as your “ears to the ground” approach, where you can gather insights about 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 calls.

3. Conduct a Brand Audit

A more comprehensive and precise way to measure how your audience thinks about your brand is through a brand audit. Conducting 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 is your business’s 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

Branding research helps you:

  • 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
  • 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 and verify if you’re applying all the essential marketing techniques appropriately.

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?

Brand Research: Key Takeaways

Standing out in a crowded market isn’t an easy feat. 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 to set the foundations of your brand or make it even stronger.

Building or growing a brand guided by the appropriate data ensures success. If you’d rather focus on other operational tasks and have professionals do the research for you, you can always hire one of the top branding companies.

Research on Branding FAQs

1. How to do good brand research?

A good brand research follows the steps we've outlined above. A good brand research has well-defined objectives that provide clear guidance throughout the research process. If you've chosen a research method that aligns with your objectives, allowing you to collect relevant data, you're on the right track.

Lastly, ensure that your data collection is comprehensive and diverse, so you gain a thorough understanding of your brand. By following these steps, you can be confident you're doing a good brand research.

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