It is all too easy for product brands to multiply uncontrollably with little or no thought for the consequences. The truth is, in many companies, so-called ‘brands’ are actually just labels – basically a way of ordering products.
We firmly believe good brand management is not just a ‘nice to have’; it is absolutely crucial to b2b marketing. By recognizing the strength of your brand, and giving it good direction, your company can attain high return on investment for relatively low cost.
To read one of our most popular publications on branding research, follow the link below:
At B2B International, we always begin by establishing the facts. It’s important for all interested parties to understand what their brand stands for, and what its values are. Furthermore, it’s important to recognize how these compare with the values of your competitors.
We tackle b2b branding research with a structured approach, assessing your brand’s value by measuring its performance at every stage of the brand funnel (shown below). This includes the vitally important component of awareness. Without awareness, the brand is effectively useless. Being able to measure interest is equally important since it enables us to determine whether your brand is in somebody’s ‘consideration set.’
It is important for us to measure both penetration – that is the percentage of your target market that actually uses your brand – as well as advocacy levels (those who are likely to recommend your brand).
A very useful way of measuring brand efficiency is to calculate the proportion of those that are likely to recommend your brand compared to the total number who are aware of it.
Only when you understand your own strengths and weaknesses, and those of your competitors, is intelligent brand strategy possible. Recognizing those strengths and weaknesses at different stages in the brand funnel can, for example, enable your direct marketing resources to be directed where they will be most effective. Competing brands, meanwhile, can be attacked in the areas where you can see that they are weak.
Our brand research usually begins with focus groups or depth interviews, enabling us to get under the skin of decision makers and to understand exactly what your brands mean to them. The next stage would be to use quantitative research i.e. telephone interviews or panel respondents in order to establish measures along the length of the brand funnel. We would generally then measure brand performance, discovering how people rate your brand for all the attributes that our research has shown to be of importance.
The following webinar was recorded during our Go Beyond Webinar Series in June 2015. The webinar discusses 10 ways to drive your brand to top of the market - and how to stay there.
Key topics covered in the webinar include the brand funnel, differentiation, customer centricity, and brand performance.
A client had in excess of 2,000 different brands, the majority of which were old, in decline or no longer in use. The client approached us for guidance on how best to streamline their brand portfolio.
This was a challenging project, not least because these brands were to be found in every country of the world, and some of them were protected by local marketers who were resistant to change. However, initial research suggested that the majority of the brands were little more than product labels which customers didn’t know and didn’t use, therefore just eight family brands were chosen so as to simplify the existing portfolio. Ensuing research carried out across the world demonstrated how these brands were to be positioned against competing brands to allow for necessary alignment and strengthening.
While initially the brand research successfully gave direction to the brand portfolio, the project was designed as a tracking study, meaning the strength of the realigned brands could be monitored, measured and improved year after year.