At Movéo, we believe that very successful brand refresh must start with data insights at its foundation. Without research and data, branding is a guessing game, and one that won’t better an organization’s reputation nor win it customers. Read on for a glimpse at how Movéo uses detailed research to inform branding decisions, and what happens to brands that don’t.
Whether launching a new brand or refreshing an existing one, research must be step one. No branding work should be done in a vacuum. The types of research that are possible will vary based on your budget and goals, but whatever tools and tactics you choose, you must always aim to uncover key insights that will inform your branding decisions.
When planning a brand refresh, begin with your value proposition, and the key messages that support that value proposition. What are the elements of your brand that set you apart? Whether it’s a facet of your business currently emphasized in your branding or not, think about what you consider a core tenant of your work. These statements will be evaluated in market research to determine what’s impactful and what falls flat.
Then, evaluate your resources. Determine whether you can work with an outside research firm, and if so, how extensively. Design surveys, interviews and similar tests to better understand how your brand is seen in the marketplace and what customers associate with it. Robust research may include blinded tests of value propositions and visual brand elements, broad-based customer studies that ask questions about the brand and its competitors, and classic A/B testing. As we’ve mentioned before, your company may also find value in measuring your Net Promoter Score®—a metric that evaluates how likely your audience members are to recommend your brand to a friend or colleague.
One important step in your research will be evaluating internal perceptions of your brand compared to external perceptions. Are they in harmony or is there a disconnect?
To determine this, Movéo gathers insights from employees about the internal perception of their company, and compares them with extensive external data. Such branding work reveals a lot about the real-world effects of branding decisions, and can help brands make adjustments in an attempt to better convey their internal intentions to their audiences. It also provides valuable information on how a brand’s audiences actually perceive it, which may even give the brand new ideas about how to reach and interact with those audiences.
One thing we look for before launching a brand refresh with a Movéo client is “permission to move” in the marketplace. That is, is there an opportunity to move beyond what the brand stands for right now? We say the brand has permission to expand in a certain direction if our data shows that such an expansion would be welcomed by the market.
One key indicator of this permission is brand credibility. For example, if your brand is considering offering a new product line in the information technology field, we would look at how people perceive your technological expertise. In some cases, a brand may have plenty of goodwill and a positive reputation, but the wrong sort of brand expansion can hurt its credibility and perception because it moves a brand into an area where it has no existing recognition.
Remember to take your time and invest the necessary resources in any brand refresh. A strong brand is built on a firm foundation.
To dive deeper into our thoughts regarding effective branding that drives business growth, read our white paper 10 Simple Truths About Strong Brands.