Market research plays a crucial part in knowing which of your new business ideas or brands will succeed. Many businesses make the mistake of becoming so entrenched with their existing products, or focus so much on the creative process surrounding their brand elements–logo designs, taglines, and color schemes–that they lose sight of what customers actually want. Oftentimes, this leads to an aesthetically pleasing brand, but one that doesn’t necessarily resonate with target audiences. A re-branding process consisting of thorough and accurately defined market research will ensure your brand achieves top-of-mind awareness among your target markets.

Begin with a Brand Audit

If you have an existing brand that needs a revamp, the first step is to analyze it objectively. Where does your brand stand today and how has your brand changed since inception? A brand audit typically consists of evaluating the following:

  • External Branding: advertising, creative, website, social media, public relations, videos, and print collateral.
  • Internal Branding: messaging, brand values, culture, voice, Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and positioning.
  • Corporate/Infrastructure: corporate identity and policies, internal systems and sales processes.

Depending on your budget, focus groups, and online surveys of employees, customers, and partners can be helpful tools to identify an existing brand’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. The results of this analysis will provide the necessary direction for your rebrand.

Combine Primary and Secondary Research

For a new brand–be it an original or a rebrand–it is critical to combine both primary and secondary market research methods to produce one that will connect with your target markets. Use qualitative, or exploratory market research methods to ask customers for feedback about your brand or business (or industry-at-large if you are just starting up) via online chats, interviews, and social media.

Conduct secondary market research—information and data gathered by others— by collecting industry-focused information from publications, databases, and associations to assist you in better understanding target market perceptions and any market barriers. This method is also effective in reviewing the current strategies of your competitors; helping you to differentiate yourself in the marketplace.

Summarize Your Data

Once the market research phase of your branding initiative is complete, you will have created a comprehensive outline of the characteristics and messaging of a unique and successful brand. Along with driving the logo design and your brand positioning statement, this integral research will fuel the creation of a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which will serve as a uniform message that articulates why your product or service is the perfect solution for its target markets. The logo and USP should be integrated across marketing strategies for brand consistency.

When you feel satisfied with your finished product–and you still have the ambition and budget for some extra market research–it is a tried and true best practice to test your brand among potential customers and prospects via survey or focus group. Your result will be a brand that prospective and existing customers will embrace, remember, and reward with loyalty.

About Millennium Agency

Millennium Agency is a national award-winning digital creative, content/PR and video marketing firm. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!

Linda Fanaras is the President and Founder of Millennium Agency (www.mill.agency) located in Manchester, NH and Boston. She can be reached at 877-873-7445 or lfanaras@mill.agency.