Creating a brand that stands the test of time is no easy task. It needs to tell the widest possible crowd of potential customers that you are the right choice for them, while retaining a distinct identity of its own. The hardest part of the problem is that you can’t directly influence them – your brand is built in customer’s collective understanding of your business, out of every interaction they have with it. These interactions can be huge, with national advertising campaigns alerting consumers to new products and deals, or tiny, with a potential customer soured to your brand when they hear about a disappointing experience a friend had with a customer service operative.
Choosing the right branding is an important decision – it’s the biggest part of the problem that you can directly influence, so getting it right gives you a huge advantage. Getting it right first time also means avoiding potentially costly rebranding exercises, that can confuse your customers and rob you of any momentum your brand has managed to build.
Expanding Your Point of View
One of the things you need to remember when you’re deciding on your branding is that your customers are not the same as you. Depending on the industry you’re in and market you’re targeting, they might not even be similar to you. This means that your initial thoughts about what might draw customers to your offering might not work out in reality – you need to make sure your communications are tailored to the people you need to understand them!
To do this effectively you need a broader point of view than you as an individual can possess. Working with a market research company doesn’t just get you the wider perspective of your contact there, it gives you access to their full suite of branding intelligence options: surveys, data and insights that tell you what people in the demographic you want to sell to react to.
It’s not just in the planning stages that market research insights are useful. As you start to launch your marketing materials on the world, testing and feedback can tell you whether or not they’re having the desired effect, and allow you to make quick changes to ensure you’re building the brand you really want.
A/B testing is one way to get a quick result, especially with the digital arm of marketing campaign: launching two different versions of the same advert (with a different image, or different copy text) to select audiences and seeing which one inspires the most responses (clicks or sales, depending on what you want to achieve) tells you which is building you the stronger brand.
Building data and research into your processes like this helps you to make the right decision when it counts, and choose the right branding for your business.