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.

building brand valueConducting Market Research

Building brand value requires a deep understanding of who your target audience is and what matters to them. With this information, you can identify the benefits and emotional messages that are meaningful to them. Without those elements, a brand has limited chance at success.

With that said, there are three core areas where you need to collect detailed information from your audience.

1. Who Is Your Audience?

broad audienceIt’s not enough to know that your audience is “women between the ages of 18-35.” That demographic description is far too broad to be useful, and it’s unlikely that everyone in that broad audience finds the same benefits and emotional messages equally meaningful. In reality, consumers have very different perceptions of brands and the value that brands deliver. Therefore, your market research should aim to identify differences between your audience related to their value perceptions. Your demographic, psychographic, and behavioral segmentation should include value perception segmentation, too.

2. How Can the Brand Help Your Audience, and Why Should They Care About It?

Your market research should seek specific answers so you can learn what matters to your audience. Once you know what matters to them in relation to your brand, you can create messages that demonstrate why they should care about it. For example, questions related to tangible features and intangible benefits can help segment your audience and identify what matters most to niche audiences. Ranking questions and either-or questions are particularly useful in identifying the most important points to communicate in order to show consumers that your brand can help them and should matter to them.

3. How Is the Brand Different from Competitor Brands, and How Can You Convince the Audience that Those Differences Matter to Them?

As you learned earlier in the Building Brand Value series, communicating differentiators is critical to developing brand value. Therefore, your market research should focus on gathering information that can help you identify the most important differentiators for each segment of your audience. Ranking questions and either-or questions that force respondents to choose the features, benefits, and messages that matter to them the most are excellent in this area of your research.

Remember, consumers don’t always know what they want and often respond to research questions the way they think they’re “supposed to answer.” Asking the same question multiple ways can bring these discrepancies to light. Most importantly, take your time in interpreting the research data and turning it into actionable marketing messages and tactics that can help to build long-lasting and powerful brand value.

Stay tuned for Part 4 of the Building Brand Value series where you’ll learn about collective brand value and continuous improvement. In the meantime, if you missed previous parts of the series, you can follow the links below to read them now:

Images: rigor789, Stephanie Hofschlaeger

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.