Brand development requires research. One of the cardinal sins in marketing is to assume that the customer is like you. You don’t know until you ask. In technology, you are probably out of date within six months of leaving the customer’s world and entering marketing or engineering or sales. Sales people probably lose it more slowly than the others, because their job is centered around daily contact with customers and their needs.
We look at these four primary areas in our brand research.
- What does the client believe about their brand values and position today?
- Is there a vision of the future of the brand, and if so, what is it?
- What do customers think the brand is about today? Is there a match between those perceptions and the internal view of the current or future brand?
- What can customers tell us about the competitive situation? How familiar are they with direct and indirect competitors? How is each differentiated?
This is always fun, because the internal and external views are never the same. Even in good marketing organizations—and most of the people we work with are good at what they do—the daily grind makes it difficult to stay properly in touch with customers. A well-designed brand research program can gather answers to these questions relatively quickly.