Success begins with research

Strategic Minute: Always Begin With Research

Organizations spend a lot of money each year to develop their image, brand reputation and messaging for their key audiences.

But there comes a point when leadership wonders if what they are communicating is actually being received as intended by their audiences.

Achieving success by re-enforcing your brand begins with research.

We often conduct qualitative research to help our clients address their concerns about developing the right messages to convey their brand. This is typically done through focus groups and one-on-one interviews.

We then evaluate if their communications strategies are successfully getting across, and ultimately producing, a return on investment.

First, it’s critical to understand what the organization is known for now, and what they are trying to become, before it tries to move the needle.

During focus groups with a cross section of audience representatives, collect opinions and perspectives on the brand, which often result in discovering branding opportunities for the future.

What the target audiences perceive, need, or would like to see from the brand should then used to inform the strategy.

This is done by actually listening to the audiences… and not trying to convince them that your communications approach is the right one.

Comprehensive rebranding and reputation research can yield good results, but it’s what an organization does with that data that is critical. Remember: Data drives direction.

Effective branding means giving your services or products a profile in the minds of current and prospective customers that distinguishes it from others and encourages people to want to support it.

How do you do that?

Take time to understand what motivates your customers to choose your brand and how it matches their priorities in terms of relevance, credibility, and sustainability.

And take a look at how your competition performs against those needs, too. That will help you differentiate yourself from them with a unique brand.

It sounds like a lot of work, but once this research is complete, a more thorough communications strategy can be developed with specific messages, mediums and measurements to achieve greater success.

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