Market Research for Branding: How Insights Help Your Brand Growth
Market research is critical, whether launching a new product, expanding your services, or staying ahead of your competition. Without precise data about your present and prospective clients, rivals, or industry trends, your strategy may be based on gut feeling or outmoded techniques.
The expansion in the market research services industry is commendable and indicates significant interest in market research as we approach 2023. The market is predicted to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 5% from around $75 billion in 2021 to $90.79 billion in 2025.
Market research and brand development are inextricably linked. They work together to help tap into your target audience's psyche and adapt your product marketing to meet their requirements and wishes. So, let's take a deeper look at how excellent market research in branding can help your business.
What is Market Research?
Market research, commonly known as “marketing research,” establishes the feasibility of a new service or product via direct customer study. Market research for branding enables a firm to identify its target market and obtain comments and other customer input on their interest in the product or service.
This type of research can be done in-house, by the firm, or by a third-party company specialising in market research facilities. Surveys, product testing, focus groups, and trends in market research can all be used to accomplish this. Moreover, it works great when investing resources in the research and development of a new product or service.
Methods of Market Research
Primary and secondary research methods are the two major strategies to gain knowledge and valuable data about your products for branding search. If you need help determining which approach is best for your company, here's a comprehensive look at each.
Acquiring firsthand knowledge about your target market is known as primary research. This information can be obtained from various sources, including focus groups, surveys, and questionnaires.
Primary research covers the following:
One-on-one talks about understanding participants' attitudes about a specific topic or product. They can take place in person, online, or over the phone.
You can gather critical information by observing people in a natural setting. For example, you can observe how a retail store conducts its clients as they enter and exit.
Customer surveys are one of the most typical approaches used by product managers while conducting a research study. You collect survey data by asking questions, which allows you to learn about people's opinions, attitudes, and impressions of a product. Feedback surveys can be administered online, over the phone, or by mail.
A focus group is a carefully selected group of people who meet to discuss a particular issue. This study is excellent when a direct connection with a product or service is required to obtain data. You might ask them to attend a demonstration, test new items, or respond to particular research questions.
Secondary research employs public data, and information others gather, such as reports and market statistics. You may also include internal sales and marketing documents from your company. Secondary research is helpful in understanding market trends and customer behaviour during your product's introduction.
The three primary sources for secondary research include:
The most popular public sources of market research are government statistics. If you're beginning a new firm, the United States Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics are excellent resources.
The business and economics website of the United States Census Bureau can assist you in obtaining demographic statistics and understanding how much people spend on your desired product in certain places. These tools are valuable for entrepreneurs aiming to cut costs.
You can gain credible information from data that your company already owns. Employee interviews, sales marketing campaign statistics, and other previously acquired data from your company can assist you in making findings that you can turn into choices.
Typically, they are market studies containing industry-specific information from research firms. You must generally pay to use and download them.
Primary Goals of Market Research
Some of the broader objectives that market research can assist firms in achieving include the following:
- Making critical business decisions
- Securing finance and investments
- Identifying new commercial prospects
- You can even avoid company failures.
Why is Market Research in Branding Important?
What is Branding?
Branding is the process of establishing a distinct brand for a company in the minds of its target audience and customers. At its most fundamental, branding consists of a company's logo, visual design, mission, and tone of voice. The role of branding in marketing is to:
- Boost product awareness
- Explain the values of the company and the organisation, and
- Instil trust in the audience
Branding comes in a variety of sizes and forms. Branding is a substantial activity that begins with the design of the logo, what it represents, and the advantages to end consumers.
Sure, gut intuition can be used to make business decisions, but doing so is dangerous. After all, not everyone has the vision of Steve Jobs, who famously stated,
It isn't the consumers' duty to know what they want. –
We respectfully disagree. Market research offers the required data-backed evidence to help you make confident judgments.
Let's find out why market research has so much importance in branding:
Deeply Connected with Your Strategy
Market research directs your brand strategy. Brand marketing is not just for industry titans. By following five easy steps, any company of any size can profit from using branding as a marketing approach.
- Identify the purpose of your brand.
- Evaluate your target market.
- Define and market your story.
- Learn about your competitors.
- Make brand guidelines.
When choosing the company's path, much money (or people) is at stake. Market research is either the necessary validation that tells you that you can proceed ahead. Or it can be the warning bell that signals you need to change your marketing or product strategy.
To prevent varying kinds of blunders, market research assists you in multiple instances. 95% of new product launches fail, according to Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen. And releasing a new product is an expensive endeavour. If you're introducing a new product, market research can provide you with the information you need to guarantee your product is among the top 5%.
Credibility and Authenticity
Moreover, market research increases credibility. It provides the data to support your arguments and assertions, whether you're seeking to generate appealing marketing collateral, become a thought leader in your field, or wow your C-Suite.
To get a clear understanding of future direction, market research reveals what you should do and where you should go next. We've all heard the phrase “innovate or die.” If your company does not adapt to market trends and the changing customer wants, it will be left in the dust by rivals. It can assist you in determining whether your brand is becoming stale, which new products/campaigns to launch, and which areas to enter next.
Understanding Market Research Insights
Marketing research insights are realities about your commercial operations that you find via data analysis. Using this knowledge to steer your marketing plan guarantees you're reaching the right people with the right message at the right time, or do market research by industry.
Marketing insights help a company grasp the present market and how it fits. They must:
- Enlighten you about your consumers and prospects
- Assist you in making informed decisions for your growth plan
- Explore market trends for innovation.
Marketing insights should give value and motivate people to take action.
The 7 Types of Market Research
Market research encompasses a wide range of activities. In truth, there are several types of market research that you can utilise to achieve your company's objectives. We'll go through the advantages of each market research in more detail below.
So, what is branding research? Brand research involves developing or refining your company's brand to generate a solid and favourable impression on your target market. Brand market research can be applied at every step of a company's lifetime, from conception through new product releases and re-branding.
Brand research allows you to analyse:
- the amount of brand awareness among your target audience
- how loyal your consumers are to your brand
- the attributes people connect with your brand, and
- other elements of your customer's relationship with your brand
Marketing Campaign Evaluation
Some market research focuses on the success of marketing campaigns and research on branding. For example, you can assess how many people saw your online advertising and the click-through rate. This sort of data can help you make modifications as needed and influence future initiatives, allowing you to reach customers more effectively while keeping client acquisition expenses low.
Competitor research focuses on the competition to assist you in acquiring brand insights on how your firm can outperform the competition. Examining a competitor's marketing initiatives, brand recognition, income or sales volume, and other key metrics can help you learn from their strengths and weaknesses.
Customer Segmentation Research
Customer segmentation is essential to market research, particularly for new enterprises. This research categorises your more extensive consumer base into several groupings or personalities. Understanding the various sorts of customers you want to interact with can assist you in creating customised campaigns for each category.
Almost all market research involves the customer somehow; however, some research focuses explicitly on better understanding consumers within a specific category. You could be interested in learning about their purchase patterns, hobbies, motives, and so on. The more you know about your customers, the more successfully you can appeal to them.
Product development necessitates market research to confirm that the concept has value before refining the product through time. For example, you may see a drop in sales on a flagship product and realise that customers' wants have changed, and this product should have a new function to be more helpful or handy.
Usability testing, like product development research, focuses on products. The emphasis here, though, is on how customers utilise your product. You may release a beta version of your mobile app and get input from users to see whether there are any bugs or other issues that need to be addressed.
According to a 2020 report, respondents regarded usability testing as the most effective for gaining user insights (rating it 8.7 out of 10). In comparison, digital analytics had a rating of 7.7, while user surveys received a rating of 6.4.
Subtypes of Market Research
For all you marketing nerds out there, here's some other theory. Professional market researchers differentiate between primary and secondary market research subtypes:
Consider interviews, open-ended inquiries, and outcomes communicated in words instead of figures and graphs. This form of research is used to uncover underlying causes, beliefs, and motives.
Consider surveys and polls, with often closed-ended questions and outcomes reported in numbers and figures. This research method tests or confirms hypotheses or assumptions by measuring specific variables (such as attitudes or behaviours) and generalising results from more extensive data sets.
How to Do Market Research for Branding?
We now understand what market research is, why it is essential, and all the major types and subtypes.
Let's look at how we apply that knowledge in the easy stages of market research.
Define the Brand Research Objectives
Before you begin collecting data, you must determine the purpose of your study. This enables you to select suitable approaches and tools.
Do you have a query regarding your company? Do you find a market opportunity that you wish to investigate further? Have you discovered anything unusual regarding your product?
Based on your first observations or queries, you might begin to evaluate what individuals look for on the internet to understand their goals, pain areas, and preferences. This can help you restrict your topic and build a market research strategy.
Create a Buyer Persona
Before you can comprehend how clients in your sector make purchasing decisions, you must first know who they are. This is where your buyer personas can help you.
Buyer personas, also known as marketing personas, are fictitious, generalised representations of your ideal clients. The aim is to utilise your character as a guideline for reaching out to and learning about genuine audience members in your sector. Also, your business may lend itself to more than one character – that's good! You must consider each persona while optimising and designing your content and marketing.
Analyse the Market's Size
Identify several subgroups, or market segments, within that broader market and their distinct characteristics and preferences. For example, reading about demographic and socioeconomic trends in library publications might be a functional data-gathering approach.
This can assist you in gaining branding insight and discovering how large the market for your brand is. You may observe each group to see what they do, where they go, and what they talk about. Consider interviewing a representative from each group. Finally, consider doing one or two focus groups among each group.
Collect the data
Following the identification of objectives, it is critical to begin gathering information. There are several data collection methods available for gathering information.
A survey is an excellent primary research approach for gathering information on company practices, marketing strategies, and product demand. Unbiased survey research can assist in capturing the opinions and sentiments of a specific group.
This research approach analyses two or more versions of a variable—for example, two layouts of the same website (version A and B)—to collect data to determine which would result in better outcomes and customer engagement. In this case, the purpose may be to determine which site receives the most direct traffic to boost the number of monthly visitors.
Social Media Polling
Setting up a social media poll can be a quick and easy approach to collecting user information. Polling existing and prospective consumers gather brand insight from your target demographic, which can influence how the firm curates its goods and user experiences.
Face-to-face or phone interviews can assist businesses in determining customer expectations of a brand. Participants in these interviews may be asked questions such as: How long have you been a customer? Alternatively, why did you select this brand over the competitor?
Focus groups combine a chosen group of people based on demographics, purchasing history, or other characteristics to acquire non-numerical (qualitative) data on a specific product or service. With focus groups, moderators can elicit a wide range of thoughts and emotions through open-ended dialogue or lines of inquiry to determine how potential (or present) customers feel about a product or service.
Analysis of Competitors
Understanding the current landscape is critical whether you are establishing a new brand or an established player. Competitive analysis can provide insights to help you position and improve your product. By evaluating share of voice, you can uncover the rival's strengths and shortcomings, identify their unique selling point in the eyes of the consumer, and gain an overview of the amount of competition across different markets and demographics.
Clarifying Your One-of-a-kind Value Proposition
Your offer explains why people should use your company rather than competitors. Using focus groups is a particularly beneficial data-collecting strategy in this field. Gather a gathering of potential clients and inform them about your ideas. Tell them how your ideas are distinctive. Let them know how your program will be seen (its positioning). Inquire about what they believe.
After you've completed your research and processed your data, you can create a research report to communicate your significant findings. You can show your report as a slideshow, an illustrated book, a video, or an interactive dashboard that allows viewers to see the data in various ways.
Marketing research reports include crucial company-specific facts such as customer profiles, target audience purchasing patterns, and market rivals, as well as answers to the questions your study aimed to solve.
The report should also address these difficulties, such as how the firm could modify its plans to maximise marketing and target its consumers better. Once the research is completed, share the findings with all key stakeholders, such as the marketing team, corporate management, or other individuals that this suggested shift in strategy may influence, such as engineers.
Maintain Consistency and Monitor Brand Awareness
It's critical to know who you are as a company and what you stand for and to express it consistently across all platforms, from your website to your social media channels to your advertising materials. You can check if you're doing this through frequent brand tracking studies.
Check-in on how you're doing regarding brand awareness, brand image, and reputation and whether you're winning in terms of brand recall and recognition.
How Insights Help in Business Growth?
Marketing insights give essential information on how your customers view your brand, how you compare to the competition, and if your time and resources are being used effectively.
Marketing insights assist you in the following:
- Understanding your client's demands helps you to provide a more personalised customer experience, which leads to brand loyalty and closing sales.
- Enhance your revenue. Data-driven marketing has been shown to increase ROI by 5-8x.
- Stay ahead of the competition. Insights enable you to outwit rather than merely outspend your opponents.
- Marketing insights provide the data you need to measure and enhance performance. They help you comprehend where you are today, but more significantly, they show you how to go forward in the future.
What are the Most Recent Marketing Trends?
Personalisation, social media, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse are among the top marketing trends for 2022. However, a solid marketing foundation is still essential. While new developments are significant, actual content must remain engaging, current, reliable, interactive, and accurate.
The Ending Note
Though market research for branding is time-consuming, it is crucial for survival in a competitive industry. Continuous involvement is critical whether you can undertake significant studies or are bootstrapping using agile research approaches.
The price and difficulties of performing brand research have decreased as data technology has advanced. Other alternatives will surely emerge on the market, making research more straightforward and economical.