September 18, 2017 – James Bost, Director | Leadership and Insights
Organizations can spend a considerable amount of money to create a new brand. Since business environments change constantly, rebranding can help a firm adjust to a new reality and create a new perceptual space. Sometimes, it is simply a senior executive within the organization who seeks to create a new brand in the hopes that it ignites increased sales, membership, loyalty, awareness or other measures.
Many companies do not conduct any market research when considering a brand change; they simply change the name to something that is appealing to them. However, brands have meaning and they have a history. Market research can discover who or what the current brand really is, and who or what it can be, not just to the current employees, customers or members but also to the potential employees, customers or members it seeks to acquire through a new brand. Market research in terms of gaining reactions and impressions from the target segments of the desired audience is essential to truly understanding the impact, if any, the new brand will have.
Media icon Ellen DeGeneres suggested “Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” Market research can discover how key groups currently see your brand and compare it to how you hope they see your brand. Market research in the form of focus groups, surveys, interviews and other methods can replace hope with evidence of how the brand will be perceived.
Jeff Smith of branding company Sentio Marketing has used the benefits of gaining insight from research into numerous rebranding efforts. “Tapping into the minds of your audience through brand research can provide you insights into how your brand is performing and where there are disconnects with your customer base. Brand research helps provide clarity and identifies where your brand needs adjusting.”
Kay Holt was the Executive Director for Canterbury Chorale Society, where she led a rebranding effort before she became the Associate Director and Associate Professor of the Graduate Program in Non Profit Leadership at Oklahoma City University. “It is important to hit the refresh button every so often with a communications package,” suggested Dr. Holt. “What can be most amazing about the whole process is the discovery, which can happen when an organization remains open to the art of possibility.”
There is a strong conclusion that you need to conduct research, usually by hiring an independent research firm if you do not have a dedicated research department, to fully understand how a new brand could reshape perceptions, and if your efforts will actually achieve that goal.
Now that the importance of market research on rebranding has been illustrated, how do you know when you should consider a new brand? Keep an eye out for our next article that will focus on the clues that suggest you need to consider rebranding.
And, if you would like to learn more about market research services available at Jones PR, please email James at James@jones.pr.