When you were in college, or still are, you were busy building your personal brand—who you will be known as in the real adult world. A big part of determining that brand was doing your homework. It was more than just your GPA: doing your homework on how to be resourceful, homework on what you want to do with your degree, and homework on how to be better than the rest of the college grads.
Building a brand is no different; the homework just changes. As the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, famously said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” The same rule applies to company brands and that’s why homework is important.
Homework is just another term for research. Research will start to outline what your marketing strategy will be, which will pave the way for branding, followed by technology, and finally marketing. Miranda Vreugdenhil previously wrote about research being one of the most important things when rebranding a company and I couldn’t agree more.
Doing the appropriate research can save a lot of time, money, and frustration. There’s probably nothing worse than going down one avenue blind and finding out that it all has to start over because it isn’t producing the desired results.
People tend to get caught up in what they think is best when it comes to marketing. Keywords being, they think. It’s only natural to think like that; it is human nature. So the logical thing to do would be to simply ask the people you’re trying to reach what they think about certain things. You might find that they respond to it very differently than originally thought. BOOM. Time and money saved with an added bonus; you get to learn a lot of things from both clients and prospects that you might never have even thought about.
Another key part in corporate branding is the competitive analysis. The competitive analysis gives you a landscape of what your competitors and the industry is doing. Find out exactly how they are talking to their customers and prospects. You might learn a lot about what you want to do with your brand strategically.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of doing all the research is learning who actually influences the buying decisions. A good example would be a car dealership advertising in car magazines hoping to reach someone who doesn’t really care much about cars. Instead, find out who or what actually influences the buyer’s decisions. Maybe that target individual cares a lot about technology so they read Wired and not car publications. That car company should advertise in there about the technology in the car rather than just the car sale.
Aside from these few benefits that thorough research brings to the table, there are of course a plethora of examples. What has research helped you with? Comment below or shout out on LinkedIn.