Companies invest a considerable amount of time, effort, and capital in developing their brand, as it is their direct link to customers and prospects. While customer-focused research is The DRG’s most common study type, it is no surprise that brand research is right behind. A strong brand is critical to success, as a business will not even have customers if potential prospects are not aware of and have positive perceptions about the brand.
At The DRG, we understand the importance of establishing strong brand equity, and we partner with you to deliver market insights around the following:
- Brand Perception Research – Evaluates awareness, attitudes, and usage of a brand, often in comparison to competitors.
- Advertising Research – Tests concepts, messaging, and ads prior to launch to be sure they convey the desired message and feelings to the target audience. Research is also often done before and after an ad campaign to measure its success.
- Website Evaluation and Usability Research – Provides insight into the features, content, design, and usability of a site that customers and prospects will find engaging and easy-to-use.
Through our brand research, you are able to identify solutions and develop strategies to help you increase awareness, differentiate your brand in a crowded market, build your reputation, and attract more customers.
Brand Perception Research
…Understanding Awareness, Attitudes, and Usage of Your Brand
To develop successful sales/marketing strategies, businesses need a good understanding of market perceptions, what drives prospects to purchase, and how brands compare to competitors.
The DRG’s brand perception studies provide a full picture of your brands and evaluate:
- Awareness and Attitudes – Explore the primary brand and sub-brands/products.
- Consideration and Purchase Intent – Understand the decision-criteria when evaluating brands and making a purchase decision.
- Usage and Satisfaction – Examine perceptions of brands purchased and used, future purchase intentions, and likelihood to recommend the brand to others.
- Advertising and Word-of-Mouth – Understand what is being seen, heard, and discussed in the market.
- Image Associations – Identify key image attributes associated with a brand’s product and services.
- Market Influencers – Evaluate the impact of new technologies, the economy, competitors’ actions, government regulations, changing consumer demographics, and other items that may affect how your brand is perceived.
Another important component of brand health that The DRG evaluates for you is reputation. Companies with a strong reputation typically are delivering on their brand promises, meaning that their brand (who they are) is closely aligned with their reputation (how the market perceives them).
…Capturing the Hearts and Minds of Potential Customers
Advertising is typically one of the most expensive components of a marketing budget. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in marketing research to test ads prior to launch as well as to evaluate the impact of advertising post launch to ensure marketing dollars are being well spent.
We design advertising research aimed at uncovering awareness and perceptions of a brand’s advertising, emotional responses to the key messaging, and the advertisement’s impact on consideration, future purchase intent, and overall brand equity.
We regularly partner with advertising agencies as well as directly with businesses to conduct advertising research across all stages of development, including:
- Concept Checks – Preliminary ad ideas, messages, and storyboards are shared with prospects, typically via qualitative research, to identify which are most likely to resonate with the audience.
- Key Messaging Evaluation – More in-depth research is often conducted to evaluate taglines and messaging for upcoming campaigns.
- Ad Testing – Ads are shown to prospects prior to launch to ensure they make a positive impression and communicate the desired message. This is often done via a web survey, incorporating images and video of the ad(s) being tested. The DRG has a number of online tools available, including a highlighter that allows respondents to highlight copy or visuals they like/dislike. We also use a custom ad builder that allows participants to design their own ad with different images and messaging options.
- Pre and Post Campaign Tracking – A baseline survey is typically completed prior to campaign launch to evaluate market awareness and perceptions. Then another survey is completed post launch to study the impact of the advertising. Questions are often incorporated about specific ads and media (TV, print, online, radio, etc.) to understand which are most effective.
Advertising research helps you develop strategic campaigns that clearly communicate your brand’s message, capture the emotions of the target audience, and drive prospects to purchase. The end result is a higher ROI on advertising expenditures.
Website Evaluation and Usability Research
…Optimizing Online Experiences
A brand’s website is one of the most important marketing tools for connecting with potential customers, and it is often the first place prospects turn to learn about a brand. To be effective, a website needs to be engaging and provide the information visitors need. Another critical aspect is a site’s usability; if a website is not easy to navigate, users are likely to leave the site and not return.
The DRG partners with you on research before, during, and after website development:
- Exploratory Research (before or early in development) – We identify critical content needs, evaluate preliminary layout or design options, and understand reasons for user preferences. As outlined in the example in our Case Studies, qualitative research is typically used during this phase.
- Usability Testing (during development) – One-on-one sessions are held with potential website visitors using usability software that tracks participants’ activity on the website. This allows us to evaluate how easy it is for users to navigate the website and complete specific tasks (e.g., find a specific page, make a purchase, or request information).
- Continual Evaluation (after launch) – Feedback from website visitors allows us to assess their experiences and identify any potential concerns early. Visitors are typically intercepted while visiting the site and asked to complete a brief survey, and responses can be supplemented with website analytics (e.g., page views, bounce rates, average time spent on site, etc.).
The insights from website research are used to optimize your website traffic / SEO, create positive website experiences, and convert more visitors to purchase or become customers.