ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Gunelius
Susan Gunelius, MBA is a 25-year marketing and branding expert and President and CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She is the author of 10 books about marketing, branding and social media, and her marketing-related articles appear on top media websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. She is also the Founder and Editor in Chief of WomenOnBusiness.com, an award-winning blog for business women.
Top 10 Ways to Align Your Survey Sample Size with Your Goal

Top 10 Ways to Align Your Survey Sample Size with Your Goal

What’s the magic sample size number? Every researcher is asked this question at one point or another in their career. And rightfully so. Going too small puts you at risk of losing data significance. Going too big puts your budget at risk. While identifying the magic number is never a perfect science, there are certainly guidelines that can help you get there.

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5 Questions You Should Ask Your Market Research Provider Today

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Market Research Provider Today

The market research industry is continually evolving, but research fundamentals are the foundation of everything we do in search of deeper, more meaningful, and more actionable insights. Always remember that at the heart of everything we do in market research are two things: people and opinions. Market research provides a way for us to analyze those two things using data. However, gathering that data is a tricky thing.

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How to Choose the Best Visuals for Your Survey Results Report

How to Choose the Best Visuals for Your Survey Results Report

Should you use a pie chart or or stacked column chart to visualize the data from your survey results report? Would a line graph or bar graph work better? To communicate your findings in a way that people can understand visually, you need to choose the right types of charts and graphs.

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5 Reasons You Should Check Your Product’s Health ASAP (and 5 Steps to Do It)

5 Reasons You Should Check Your Product’s Health ASAP (and 5 Steps to Do It)

When was the last time you checked your product’s health? Are you sure it’s performing as well as it could be? If you’re not doing a periodic product health check, then you won’t know if you’re missing out on revenue because your product is underperforming.

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Study Shows Black Panther Poised for a Big Opening Weekend

Study Shows Black Panther Poised for a Big Opening Weekend

The release of the newest trailer for Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther movie had the internet buzzing this week! AYTM decided to find out just how far the excitement over Black Panther reaches, so we surveyed 1,000 American adults (balanced by age and gender) to get some insights into the newest phase of the Marvel craze.

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10 Survey Question Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Market Research Results

10 Survey Question Mistakes that Can Ruin Your Market Research Results

Quantitative market research data is only useful when it accurately reflects an audience’s opinions. Your ability to collect accurate data requires that you survey the right audience but also that you ask the right questions.

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20 Most Popular Halloween Costumes for 2017 Revealed

20 Most Popular Halloween Costumes for 2017 Revealed

Curious which Halloween costumes you’ll be seeing a lot of this year? AYTM surveyed 1,000 American adults to learn which will be the most popular Halloween costumes in 2017. If you don’t want to dress like everyone else, there is still time to switch your costume to something less on-trend. Read more

10 Critical Factors that Drastically Affect Your Market Research Success

10 Critical Factors that Drastically Affect Your Market Research Success

According to a study conducted by Gartner’s CEB and shared by Harvard Business Review, marketers rely on data to make just 11% of their customer-related decisions. Considering “data” is very much the go-to term that businesses are told to prioritize and invest in these days, it’s clear there is still quite a large opportunity for businesses to collect and use data for decision-making.

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Gun Violence Now a Leading Factor in Americans Skipping Public Events

Gun Violence Now a Leading Factor in Americans Skipping Public Events

This week, the largest U.S. mass shooting occurred at a large public event in Las Vegas. Reports painted a terrifying picture of a lone gunman with multiple weapons shooting from a hotel window, killing dozens of people, and causing injuries to hundreds more. The debate over gun laws quickly jumped to the top of headlines as Americans tried to make sense of what happened.

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Americans are Split on Trump vs. the NFL and National Anthem Protests

Americans are Split on Trump vs. the NFL and National Anthem Protests

In contrast to the findings in a poll conducted by the Remington Research Group and published by Breitbart News, a survey of American adults conducted by AYTM on Wednesday revealed that Americans are divided in their opinions about President Trump, the NFL, and the national anthem protests. However, most Americans do have very strong opinions about this controversy.

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Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Desire for Freedom

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Desire for Freedom

There is a reason why marketing programs hyping “no contract,” “cancel anytime,” and “money back guarantee” are so popular. All of these messages allow consumers to make purchases without feeling trapped by long-term commitments. Try-and-buy programs are used by brands in many industries today in an effort to start relationships with consumers without requiring them to give up their freedom to back out if they’re not happy. Consumers value their freedom and demand it in more of their purchase decisions every day. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Fear

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Fear

Everyone is afraid of something but regardless of what each individual might be afraid of, there is no doubt that fear sells. Since few products actually solve a person’s fears but rather placate fear temporarily, brands that effectively evoke feelings related to fear can establish long-term relationships with consumers who think they won’t be safe unless they keep buying the brand. Anyone who pays for any kind of insurance is proof that fear sells for a long, long time. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Desire for Instant Gratification

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Desire for Instant Gratification

It all started with instant coffee, the Polaroid instant camera product, the Domino’s 30-minutes or less pizza guarantee, and the instant retail credit card at the register program. I’m talking about consumers’ desires for instant gratification and the creative brands, products, and programs that became integral to meeting those desires. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Control

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Control

Most people like to feel like they’re in control of their lives, futures, environment, and so on. Therefore, it makes sense for brand marketers to evoke emotions related to that desire for control through marketing messages and branded experiences. Those messages can be extremely direct, making it incredibly clear that the brand puts customers in control, or they can be very indirect, enabling consumers’ subconscious minds to latch onto a feeling of being in control — regardless of whether or not the consumer actually has any control in the brand relationship. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Love and Belonging

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Love and Belonging

Relationship brands like Harley Davidson offer the perfect benchmark for building a brand based on the emotions of love and a sense of belonging. Harley Davidson surrounds consumers with branded experiences that can be shared with other brand loyalists. Harley Davidson merchandise, online communities, and clubs are just a few examples of how the brand has created a sense of love and belonging among consumers. It’s a brand strategy that your brand can implement, too. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Desire to Get a Good Deal

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Desire to Get a Good Deal

Most consumers want to feel like they’ve gotten a good deal when they make a purchase. Getting what is perceived as a good value for the money is a universal desire that is rooted in consumers’ psyches. In other words, whether a consumer consciously or subconsciously evaluates the value for the money relationship when making a purchase, the fact is that the analysis does affect purchase decisions. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Guilt

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Guilt

Guilt is a powerful emotion that can come in many forms. Whether you feel guilty that you work too much and don’t spend enough time with your family or you feel guilty that you ate that extra helping at dinner, it’s an emotion that can affect your purchase decisions. Therefore, it’s not surprising that guilt is also an extremely powerful emotion to tap into for advertisers and marketers trying to sell products and services. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Competition

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Competition

Competition is something that most people feel at some point in their lives. Feeling like you need to compete with your siblings, colleagues, friends, and even strangers is universal. Today, “keeping up with the Joneses” and tapping into the feeling that people need to compete with one another is an effective marketing technique. Feeling the need to be better than others motivates consumers to purchase everything from specific brand jeans and cars to big screen televisions and gadgets. These days, it’s even important to have the right kind of coffee in your cup. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Desire to Be Trendy and Cool

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Desire to Be Trendy and Cool

The feeling of desire can be used in a wide variety of ways in emotional branding. One of the most common is the desire to be trendy and cool. Brands in many categories tap into people’s desires to keep up with the latest fads or seem interesting, relevant, and timely to others. For many people, the desire to be viewed as cool by peers isn’t something that fades after high school, and that’s why it’s so effective when brands appeal to consumers’ needs to be perceived as cool in advertising and marketing. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Trust

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Trust

Trust is one of the most common emotions tapped by marketers to sell products and services. Whether a bank is telling consumers they can trust their money with the institution or an e-commerce website is telling consumers they can trust that their financial transactions will be safe when they make a purchase through the site, trust is a strong emotional benefit that drives sales. However, with the emotion of trust comes heavy consumer expectations and requires strict adherence to consistency from the brand. Let’s take a closer look. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Security

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: Security

Building a brand based on emotions is a powerful way to motivate people to purchase your products and services, and selling a feeling of security as an emotional benefit of making those purchases is a great way to do it. In fact, the emotion of security is so effective in selling products and services that many companies launch product tie-ins with the phrase “peace-of-mind” in the product name. Have you ever purchased a car or electronic device and been offered a peace-of-mind guarantee or a peace-of-mind protection plan? Selling a sense of security can add even more revenue to a company’s bottom-line. Read more

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: A Lesson in Brand Strategy

Building a Brand Based on Emotions: A Lesson in Brand Strategy

People are ruled by their emotions. Yes, practical minds can affect consumers’ decision-making processes, but more often than not, some type of emotion is the catalyst to a purchase. That’s why a brand strategy that focuses on building a brand based on one or more emotions is critical to brand success. However, emotional branding isn’t as easy as picking an emotion, creating an ad, and watching the sales roll in. Read more

Building Brand Value – Part 4

Building Brand Value – Part 4

Collective Brand Value and Continuous Improvement

Building brand value is an ongoing process that should never end, nor should it ever be de-prioritized. In Part 1 of the Building Brand Value series, I suggested that Apple and Disney would never de-prioritize building brand value, and neither should your company. If you missed that article, follow the preceding link to read it now. Be sure to read Part 2 and Part 3 as well, so you understand how to build brand value and meaning using features and benefits as well as about the kind of brand value market research you should conduct along the way. Now, it’s time to learn about collective brand value and continuous improvement. Read more

Building Brand Value – Part 3

Building Brand Value – Part 3

Brand Value Research

In Part 1 and Part 2 of the Building Brand Value series, you learned what brand value is and how to build brand value with features and benefits. Now, it’s time to learn about the market research you should conduct to ensure that your efforts at building brand value are the right ones. You can’t guess at what’s meaningful to your target audience. Furthermore, there isn’t a single benefit or emotion that is meaningful to all consumers. Market research is essential to developing an effective marketing plan to build positive brand value. Read more

Building Brand Value – Part 2

Building Brand Value – Part 2

Building Brand Value with Features and Benefits

In Part 1 of the Building Brand Value series, you learned what brand value is. Now, it’s time to learn how to build brand value with features and benefits. Keep in mind, brand value is rooted in behaviors. Specifically, brand value comes from a company’s ability to deliver on consumer expectations for the brand based on their perceptions of it. If the company’s behaviors aren’t consistent with consumers’ expectations, brand value cannot develop. That means you need to make internal branding a top priority, too. If your employees don’t believe in your brand and live your brand promise, why should consumers? Read more