Brand Research Fundamentals: Part 5 - Brand Growth and Change

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Posted Sep 21, 2011
Susan Gunelius

As you learned in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of the Brand Research Fundamentals series, brands, consumers, and markets are continually evolving. What works for your brand today, might not work tomorrow. Therefore, it’s essential that you monitor those changes (as well as new opportunities that develop as a result of those changes) through brand research so you can adapt accordingly and stay successful over the long-term.
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brand research

Do you feel the same way today about the brands that you buy (and those that you don’t buy) as you felt 5 years ago? For example, do you feel the same way about your cable provider that you did in 2006? How about the Twitter brand? Do you feel the same way about MySpace today as you felt 5 years ago?

I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you don’t feel the same way. In 2006, cable companies were heros with digital channels and DVRs. Today, cable companies are getting negative publicity for high prices and consumers are spending more time watching streaming video content online and less time watching cable programming.

Similarly, when Twitter debuted publicly in 2007, many people were wary and thought it was a fad. Today, it’s one of the most popular websites in the world and has played a key role in multiple global events. MySpace still had a lot of loyal advocates in 2006, but today, the brand is just a shell of its former self.

myspace tshirt

Your brand is neither insulated nor immune from the changing world around it. More importantly, if your brand isn’t flexible enough to evolve with the changing world, it’s going to have a very limited and short lifespan. Whether your brand research identifies opportunities for brand extensions and expanding into new regions or it shows you that it’s time to rebrand in order to stay relevant, your brand needs to be able to navigate through those changes and come out on the other side even stronger.

Brand Growth and Change Research

Brand research related to brand growth and change requires detailed knowledge about the following brand-related elements:

  • Awareness
  • Recognition
  • Relevance
  • Unique value
  • Benefits
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Consumer perception
  • Competitor offerings
  • Market opportunities
  • Brand equity
  • Consumer preference
  • Consumer needs
  • Consumer emotions
  • Customer segments
  • Brand identity elements (logo, tagline, messages)
  • Brand promise believability
  • Consumer buying behavior
  • Brand trust

When changes to your brand are required based on your brand research data, implement them with an understanding that people inherently dislike change. Read through my Rebranding Essentials series to learn how to rebrand successfully.

Furthermore, when your research supports entry into a new category or market with a brand extension or expansion, your brand research is not done yet. In other words, identifying the market size, audience, growth rate, and profitability of a new market is just the beginning. Successfully launching a product into that new market requires the same kind of ongoing brand research that you’ve learned so far in the Brand Research Fundamentals series.

The final part of the Brand Research Fundamentals series is coming to the AYTM blog soon and will teach you about objective and subjective analyses of your brand through brand research including analyzing consumer emotions. In the meantime, follow the links below to read Parts 1-4 of the Brand Research Fundamentals series.

Images: 1, egg, ilco

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