• Mikaela Bolling

Why research is the most important part of branding

Instead of marketing by hoping we can do marketing by knowing.



Customer and market research needs to be at the root of all marketing decisions - from the strategic, such as which customers to target to tactical decisions, such as your logo.


Why?


Without clear knowledge of what your customers want through unbiased data and research, you will be basing your marketing on… well, nothing.


Customer and market research is the deep and informed understanding of the relationship between the customer, the marketing environment, and the company’s offerings. Customer research can revolve around many different questions depending on what you want to know. However, when developing marketing and branding, the questions usually revolve around:


  1. Who are your customers? How do they make purchases? What is their decision-making process? What are their wants and needs?

  2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your company? What do your customers think you do well? How could you improve?

  3. Who are your key collaborators? Are there other complementary companies or products that you could partner with?

  4. Who is your competition? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

  5. How do your customers find and consume information? What marketing channels are they on? What kind of content are they interested in?


By understanding this information, businesses are then able to figure out their white space - the opportunities or the gaps where a customer's needs aren’t being met.


The question then becomes, how do you find this information? Many business owners believe they can answer these questions, however, we find that what businesses believe to be true are much different than the answers you find out in the wild.


To understand these questions, there are various types of data and methods that can be collected and used. Usually, at Brilliant Marketing, we will use a mix of primary and secondary data to inform our brand messaging, visual branding, and marketing strategies.


Secondary data is information that has been collected by others.


This can include:

  • The company’s own data and information

  • Financial records

  • Customer communication such as customer complaints or testimonials

  • Past customer surveys or information

  • External information from competitors, industry information, etc.

  • Paid Research from research organizations like Nielsen

  • Free publically available data

  • Free social media listening


Primary data is information collected through original research.


This is where the magic happens. It is some of the most important research because you are actually talking and listening to your customers. But remember, customers, are not always forthright. Therefore, when doing interviews or focus groups, having a third-party interviewer or facilitator can be incredibly helpful to ensure honest answers from customers. In addition, the fresh set of eyes and ears can help to analyze the information and pull out key themes.

Primary data can include:

  • In-depth interviews with current, past or potential customers (This is our personal favorite as you are able to dig deeper into why a customer behaves or thinks a certain way.)

  • Focus groups

  • Surveys, which can be administered online, through email or social, or in a store

  • User testing through things like A/B testing

  • Observation of customers in a store or online


When doing research and analysis it’s important to do both secondary and primary research to get a full understanding of your industry and customers.


When’s the last time you surveyed your customers?

We challenge you to get out there and start a conversation. You never know what brilliant feedback you may receive that takes your business to the next level.


Schedule a consultation call to learn more about how research can help your company.