The definition of a “Brand“ is often misunderstood. As a result, many SME owners tend to overlook the importance of branding and the role that it plays in building a successful business. Others mistake branding-research as the equivalent of market research, and therefore deem it to be irrelevant to their company due to the SMEs’ smaller scale of operation.
What is the difference between “Market Research“and “Branding-Research“?
Evidently, market research and branding-research are employed for different purposes but they are not mutually exclusive. Employing both types of research simultaneously will allow a company or brand to gain a all-rounded, multi-dimensional perspective of their business through the eyes of their stakeholders.
At Qoorious™, we are dedicated to helping our clients uncover important information about their current brand position. Through our branding-research findings, we seek to identify “break-through” opportunities and provide insights on how our clients can strengthen their competitiveness through effective differentiation. This involves the design and execution of customised brand audits to answer specific questions including brand awareness, brand recall, brand recognition, brand associations, brand positioning, brand image, brand values, brand concept, brand architecture, brand loyalty, brand promise, brand delivery, brand communications, brand culturalisation and employer branding.
Knowledge to be gained from Branding-Research:-
- Are you competing in the right category?
- Are you targeting the right customers?
- Why do your customers choose you over competing brands?
- Why are your potential customers not buying from you?
- Why did your past clients turn to your competitors?
- How can you differentiate yourself in order to increase your competitiveness?
- What are your customers’ unmet needs?
- What new products and services can you offer?
- What are the most important brand attributes that a customer consider when choosing a supplier in your industry?
- What do your employees, customers and suppliers think about your brand?
- What are the key messages and hidden motivators that you can use to expand your customer base and influence your current customers to buy more from you?
When should Branding-Research be conducted?
Regardless of the economic outlook or the stage in which your company or product is in, branding-research continues to remain relevant as brands continuously evolve with respect to these changes.
During times of economic recessions, many businesses tighten their budgets as they struggle with decreased sales and excess manpower. However, Qoorious™ believes that such trying times present excellent opportunities for business owners to improve their businesses. With the reduced pace of business, business owners can afford the time to engage in activities such as re-looking at their brand strategy and sending employees for training. This way, when the economy recovers, the company is better equipped to get ahead of the competition with a sense of purpose and increased productivity, while competitors are still scrambling to get up on their feet.
1. Introduction Stage: New Company or New Brand
When new companies or brands are launched, branding-research is conducted to first identify suitable white spaces (a new or niche area in the marketplace that competitors have yet to claim) and understand how best to position the new brand within this white space.
2. Growth Stage: Existing Company or Merging Companies
When companies develop a brand new product, it is necessary to determine if the new product should adopt an existing brand name, or if a new brand should be created. When two companies merge, a suitable brand architecture is needed to define how the two brands should be housed under the new parent company, and how each of the two brands should grow in order to retain current customers and attract new ones.
3. Maturity Stage: Manage a Group of Companies and Multiple Brands
As companies mature, branding-research can be conducted to check and maintain the health and performance of their brand portfolio, ensure consistency of brand touch-points and brand communications, and build an army of brand ambassadors who are able to carry the brand wider and further.
4. Decline Stage: Revitalise the Company and Rejuvenate the Brands
As brands mature over the years, customers’ needs evolve and the market gradually changes. As such, matured brands start to lose their relevance to their target audience and lose their customer base to new competitors. Branding-research can be employed to bring a new breath of life to these brands through brand re-positioning and renewal of their brand promise. Alternatively, a new group of target audience may also be identified to aid the brand to stay relevant in the marketplace.
The journey to build a strong brand begins with understanding where you current stand, identifying the desired destination, and finding the shortest and easiest way how to get there.