When you’re running a business you need to know exactly what your assets are, and what they can do for you. You would never do business without knowing how much money you have in the bank, or how much stock you have in your warehouse, so it’s time to turn that discerning eye on other key assets, including your brand.
People think brands are simple, that brands are the same as branding, but that’s not the case. Advertising, marketing and branding are all ingredients that go into your brand, but even when taken together they don’t add up to a whole brand, in the same way that the McDonalds brand is bigger than simply the adverts they put out, bigger even than the iconic golden arches outside very restaurant. A brand is made up of every single way a customer can interact with your business, and the impression that forms in their head as a result. Yes, your adverts are part of that impression but so is where customers see those adverts and the experience they’re having at the time. Do they see your ads as posters while they’re waiting for a crowded train to work and how does that affect their impression of your business? For a travel company, sending people into work daydreaming of an exotic holiday might build their brand very effectively but it’s a less effective tactic for more utilitarian businesses.
To make sure you’re making the right decisions for your brand, you need to know what people think of it. Because it’s made up of so many different, complicated factors, it can be difficult to predict. An advert intended to build your reputation for luxury service might have the opposite effect if it’s placed on the wrong site, or in the wrong publication.
You can ask your own customers, but surveying people who’ve already chosen to use your services is of limited use if you’re trying to appeal to more people!
Working with a market research company gives you access to a wider spread of consumers, one representative of the market at large, not your existing chunk of it. If you work with a firm like Attest, brand tracker surveys will tell you what customers think of your brand, your competitors brands and why, exposing exactly what your choices have achieved, and allowing you to optimise your approach so that in future you can make sure you’re sending exactly the message you want to.