Branding without data is like driving with your eyes closed.
When you Brand with data (Branding Research), you are able to create a solid Branding Strategy as well as monitor and measure the progress of this strategy which in turn reduces budget and time-related risks as well as a stained reputation.
Regardless of whether your Brand is in the startup stage, growth stage, mature stage or decline stage, Brand Research should always be conducted.
So how does an MSME conduct Brand Research? Very similar method is used with all other types of research; the main differentiator here is with your Business Objective, Research Objective and Research Questions.
Step 1: Identify your Business and Research Objectives. Your Business Objective is the path a company wants to take to achieve their company goals and is usually tied to financial implications for the company. While your Research Objective is the path the research will take to achieve the Business Objectives; the different activities and areas the research must explore.
Step 2: Create your Research Questions. Your Research Questions are meant to guide the research project; they are questions your research is supposed to answer. They should be specific, concise, focused, researchable and measurable.
Step 3: Identify your Target Audience. The groups of people that would be able to answer your Research Questions. In many cases, these groups of people are usually the group your Brand is targeting. It is also good to differentiate between those who use your Brand and those who use your competitor's Brand and research both.
Step 4: Choose a data collection Methodology. There are different ways to get answers to your research questions such as Surveys, Focus Groups, Observation Research, and In-depth Interviews. The Methodology selected has to be able to get you answers to your Research Questions and must be a convenient way for your Target Audience to provide answers.
Step 4: After selecting your Methodology. Create your Methodology Guide. A Methodology Guide could be your Questionnaire, Moderator's Guide, Observation Guide, and In-depth Interview Guide. In this Guide, you ask more direct, concise questions or observe specific things that will help you answer your Research Questions.
Step 5: Execute your chosen Methodology and Analyze the Data. Once you have collected the data, you will need to analyze to make meaning from it. Some of the data you collect come in numbers (quantitative), some come in text form (qualitative). For your quantitative data, calculate frequencies and averages to see patterns in your data. For qualitative research you will need to conduct a content and structural analysis to also see what the patterns are.
Step 6: Create a Report. In your report, you should be telling a story - an impactful, memorable story on the backbone of your data.
Would you like practical examples of how this all comes together? Stay Tuned!