How to complete your own brand research in 2018

by Neil Perrott on 19-Jan-2018 11:00:00

How to complete your own brand research for 2018 and beyond

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of research in developing your brand. As discussed earlier, when the pace of change in markets is so quick, it’s vital to remain tuned into the changing needs of your market(s) which can be achieved with ongoing brand research.

For brand development, you need to fully understand your market and audience; how can you generate the information and insights we need to define your strategy and develop our identity? If you’re going to do-it-yourself, here’s two useful research tools and techniques:

Brand Audit

A Brand Audit is a great way to get started on collating information that can help to shape your brand. Examples of things to explore include:

Customers

What are your customers’ wants, needs, and perception of your company and brand?

Competitors

Review your competitor's products, services, perceptions and sentiment. Why would they choose you over them?

Employees

What is their opinion of the company and brand? Again, use research tools to collect this information. At Katapult, we use Officevibe.

Prospects

What do lost prospects think of your company and brand? Canvass your sales team on why you’ve missed out on converting prospects into customers.

Community

What are the perceptions amongst your community and industry thought leaders? See if there are LinkedIn groups and trade associations that you can tap into.

Brand Assets

If developing your brand means a new brand identity and brand style, you’ll need to manage its implementation and roll-out. What would this include?

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Workshops

Brand Workshops - How can you complete your own brand research correctly.jpg
A brand workshop with snacks is a brand workshop done right.

Brand Workshops are a great forum for identifying and debating the best brand attributes to spearhead your sales & marketing and drive growth.

Once you’ve decided on attendees, you’ll need to make arrangements for timings, venue and facilities. Allow 4-5 hours for the session and ensure you have a liberal supply of flip-charts, marker pens, scissors, blu-tac and post-its... plenty of treats are usually a good idea too.

Introduction

To kick-off, take 5-10 minutes to talk through the purpose of the workshop, update the group on the brand development process and to establish any rules for the session (e.g. Mobiles switched off!).

Buyer personas

You’ll want to go into the workshop with a definitive list of the personas you’re going to cover, so you’ll need to have completed precursory work in segmenting your market and defining the audience you will be targeting. Use this time to share the personas.

Positioning Statement

Draft a positioning statement for every buyer persona created, based on their goals, challenges and pain points. Then, divide a wall into sections and list for each persona the tangible aspects your product or service provides, the benefits it gives customers (including emotional), how you want customers to view your brand and what the most compelling difference is of your brand.

Reflection

Reflect and discuss the positioning statement and see whether you can complete the following positioning statement. For… (buyer persona), your brand is… (descriptor covering product/service), that will… (benefit to your customer). Then list why you are better and why they should believe why you will deliver.

Both the audit and workshop tools will provide you with sound brand research to continue your journey on the Brand Roadmap. To get more tips on researching your brand, and turning this research into a clear and coherent strategy, download our brand guide.

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This post was written by Neil Perrott

Neil leads strategy, brand development and planning at Katapult, working closely with clients to build their brands, generate leads and drive sales. A graduate of Aston University, Neil has over 20 years’ experience working in sales and marketing, formerly occupying senior positions at Cable & Wireless, COI and GroupTrade.

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