The 7 Types of Brand Research

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Posted Jun 30, 2021
Tiffany Mullin

Brand research is an indispensable means of establishing brands and ensuring that they stay relevant today. There are seven common types of brand research, all of which assist in bringing valuable insights to the table. Today we’ll explain the seven types: advocacy, awareness, loyalty, penetration, perception, positioning, and value. We’ll also discuss benefits these insights offer to consumer brands and when to use them.

1. Brand Advocacy

Brand advocacy describes how avid supporters of your brand continually promote products and services to new customers and prospects. Brand advocates can include employees, business partners, influencers, and customers. 

Most consumers trust word-of-mouth marketing recommendations over any other type of marketing, making brand advocacy a critical component of your marketing strategy. 

By conducting online surveys, you can identify consumers willing to provide testimonials about your brand and its products, which can be used on your website, across social media, and within sales enablement content. 

2. Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is how well people recognize your brand and what your brand is best known for. It’s the first step in the buying process and one of the most important. After all, how can someone purchase a product if they don’t even know it exists? Survey research can be done to decipher unaided and aided awareness. 

Unaided awareness (also referred to as brand recall) is asking questions to find out if your brand is at the forefront of consumers’ minds when they think about a specific product. For example: “What’s the first brand that comes to mind when you think about vehicles?” A good follow-up question to that is: “Can you think of any other vehicle brands?”  

Aided brand awareness is brand recognition that’s prompted by a list of brand names or logos. Brand research on awareness tells you if your target market knows who you are and considers your brand a serious option. 

3. Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is when the consumer keeps buying from your brand instead of competing brands because they trust you. It’s when consumers believe you offer better service or higher quality products than anyone else.  

Loyal consumers are also more likely to try other products, even if they’re a bit more expensive than other options. One of the leading contributors to brand loyalty is fantastic customer service. According to this article (which based its data on research from the BlackHawk Network), 94% of consumers are loyal to brands with excellent customer service, with other priorities being convenience, easy payment, and new/innovative products/services.  

Brand loyalty naturally leads to brand advocacy, with 56% of loyal customers willing to post positively about brands on social media, compared to 29% of non-loyal brands. A brand loyalty research study can reveal whether you’re retaining customers and how willing they’d be to recommend your brand. 

4. Brand Penetration

Brand penetration can also be referred to as brand popularity. It’s measured by the number of people who buy a specific brand or category of goods at least once in a given period, divided by the size of the relevant market population. That number is then multiplied by 100 to provide you with the percentage of brand penetration. These percentages are then compared to industry averages to see if you’re meeting or exceeding your competitors’ rates.  

Having a brand penetration strategy is an effective way to create faster growth in terms of brand perception and equity. Conducting brand research to determine penetration helps define the proportion of your target market that is actually using your brand. 

5. Brand Perception

Brand perception (sometimes referred to as brand equity) is how a customer feels about your brand. Consumers’ thoughts about the brand are affected by how they are made aware of the brand and what they hear and see as they interact with the brand and its product.  

Brand perception research can be conducted to measure consumer’s thoughts about your brand, but also to see how you stack up against the competition. According to the IT Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), a group with over 20 years of brand and research experience, it takes 3-5 years to dramatically change brand perceptions.  

Positive perception is an essential piece of creating brand loyalty. Research on brand perception tells you what people think of your company’s identity and what qualities differentiate you from the competition.

6. Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a specific place in consumers’ minds. It describes how a brand is different from competitors and where and how it sits in customers’ minds.  

Brand positioning strategies involve creating brand associations in consumers’ minds to make them see the brand in a specific way. Brand positioning helps you determine the best ways to differentiate your brand and how to articulate it in a way that resonates.  

7. Brand Value

Brand value refers to the sale or replacement value of a brand. It’s the financial amount that your brand is worth. It also refers to how much extra money people will pay or how often they choose a brand over the competition. Brand value is why people choose a Tesla over the cheapest alternative or an iPhone over an Android brand. It’s why people are willing to go to restaurants with a higher price tag or prefer certain artists and actors over others.  

Brand value is determined by a brand’s visibility, positioning, messaging, customer loyalty/perception, equity, and strong leadership. Brand value research tells you how much people are willing to pay for an experience with your brand over your competitors.

Without brand research, there is no way to know what impression your brand makes on consumers (or if you’re even on their radar at all). Sixty-four percent of marketing leaders agree that data-driven strategies are vital in today’s economy. Conducting brand research tells you how your brand stands out from the competition. 

Market research surveys are a useful tool for determining features and benefits that differentiate your brand from its competitors, which can then be translated into emotionally compelling consumer language. 

Aytm’s marketing research experts have decades of experience in every aspect of brand research. Contact us to learn more.

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