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Brand Research: All You Need To Know

Updated: Feb 23


Brand research - all you need to know

Brand research is a crucial part in the success of all businesses whether it’s a change of direction or vital input for brand strategy. This article is a compact guide of brand research, where we will explain what it is, the benefits of conducting such research and the key methods used.


Table of contents:


What is brand research?


Brand research is the collection of information and data from both internal sources and research conducted externally to inform businesses of where they stand in the market place compared to their competitors in meeting customer needs and their perceptions of the brand. This will help to form or change brand strategies to be more effective.


The main types of areas covered by this research is brand awareness, brand perceptions, usage, customer advocacy, advertising effectiveness, purchase channels, audience profiling and whether or not the brand is within the top consideration set of consumers.


[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning we get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links at no additional cost to you.]


Main reasons for using brand research


The main reasons for businesses to use brand research are:

  • To evaluate the effectiveness of brands.

  • To identify brand performance, perceptions and uniqueness.

  • Test brand promises and positions.

  • Monitor and track brands over time.

  • To competitively position your brand effectively.

  • In order to track the effect of brand promotions in attracting customers.



4 major benefits of brand research


There are many benefits of using this type of research for your business, the following are the 4 key benefits of conducting brand research:


1. Gaining a perspective of your internal stakeholders and customers towards the brand

In order to shape your brand to it’s maximum potential, you need to understand the perspective of your brand from a customer’s viewpoint along with the wider market. This does not stop there, where you also need to gain an internal perspective of the brand as well whether that’s from employees or stakeholders. This is all crucial input that will help influence how your brand is defined.


2. Unbiased outlook of your brand

You are likely to be too close to your brand to be able to have a proper outlook without being biased towards various aspects of the business. The research especially conducted by third parties will give you an outside perspective of your brand that may identify issues to resolve that you were not aware of before and potential opportunities for you to exploit.


3. Discover how your brand is perceived

By finding out how your brand is perceived will help to realign the positioning of the brand in altering certain aspects of your business such as marketing communications or product offerings that will appeal more to not only existing clients but also potential customers as well.


4. To guide and maximise the effectiveness of your brand strategy

Brand research will provide vital insights to help guide your brand strategy to it’s fullest potential such as attracting new customers without alienating your existing customers. The research may influence on what direction the brand should take whether that’s changing negative perceptions or gaining more market share.



5 Key methods of brand research


1. Internal sources

Sometimes this is the area that often gets overlooked but should be the first source of information by looking internally. This is more of a combination of internal sources of information that is not only sales data from a customer database but also getting feedback from employees, stakeholders and suppliers. Once you gathered all the internal information and feedback, this will then help guide you on what the next course of action should be such as customer feedback.


2. Website analytics

Analytics of your website will help you measure your traffic flow, user experience, your most popular web pages, how long visitors tend to stay on a web page, where they came from, devices used and many more metrics. As a website is likely to be your main representation of your brand online then it’s important to analyse these metrics, where you can change things around if they are not working or learn you are attracting a different audience than you expected.


3. Social media tracking

Social media listening will gage the sentiment towards your brand across all social media whether that’s positive or negative. The advantage of this is you can address any customer issues early on before they could get out of hand, identify areas where you can improve your product offering or new ideas to fill an unmet customer need.


It’s also great to highlight how you can gain a competitive advantage if people are moaning about competitor brands, where you could interact with them. Plus, you can identify influencers in that area you may want to approach using social listening tools.


4. Focus groups and in-depth interviews

Using qualitative approaches like focus groups or in-depth interviews will allow you to explore in detail your customers views, opinions and attitudes towards your brand, new concepts, advertising stimulus and new product ideas. As you are interviewing a very small group of people who represent the target audience you are interested in, you can take your time to go into detail about various aspects that are relevant.


These qualitative methods are often used before quantitative methods like surveys because they give you an early indication of feedback or aspects that you may want to collect in a measurable way.


5. Surveys

Surveys are a good way to collect information relatively quickly and is inexpensive to do, using do it yourself survey maker and form builder platforms such as JotForm to gather quantifiable data covering brand awareness, customer feedback and competitor analysis. These often cover key areas such as customer satisfaction, likelihood to recommend (NPS), employee engagement, customer feedback and concept testing.


Surveys are not only done online and can be carried out face to face or via telephone, which is often used by large medium sized brands for business-to-business research carried out by third parties (research agencies and consultancies). However, if you are a small business, entrepreneur or run your own website, the online method is the best approach you should use by using the platforms like those mentioned above, which will allow you to reach your customers or target audience fairly quickly and without you having to break the bank.


Hope you enjoyed reading this post. You may want to check out these related posts about branding – Brand Touchpoints, 9 Key Brand Research Questions To Ask and Brand Analysis.


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