Research and analysis: the Holy Grail or bullshit?

Brand research and analysis are the initial and one of the most important stages in any work. To understand the consumer, create the right product, find trends and motives, or launch advertising, research, hypotheses, questions, and their analysis are always needed. How this happens, we will tell you now.

How then can we get to the truth? Many methods and techniques allow you to get the corresponding results. Hence the answer: to get to the truth, it is important to understand where and how to dig. For this, it is important to clearly and concretely define research and analysis goals.

We are hired by our clients to address a need.
But the actual need isn’t always what’s stated.

Strategy Scrapbook

The art of “framing” the problem

To start any research and correctly determine the goal, it is important to rely on the business problem. It is necessary to determine the business problem based on the request and understand why this is happening (this is what research is given for). The problem can usually lie in one of four types: category, product, culture, and (or) the brand itself.

What do we use in our work?

A whole bunch of methods, techniques, and categories are necessary in research and analysis when working with a brand. Here are some important ones. You can see how some methods work and how to implement them on our page.

Immersion in business

This is the very first step, which begins with defining the purpose and problem of the brand. It is immersion in the environment, understanding the business as a “person”, determining its strengths and weaknesses, and the specifics of the environment. This serves as an excellent foundation for the study of further categories.

Market and trend analysis

It is important to investigate not only the business itself but also its environment. Therefore, we study the market as a whole, the category, economic results, and trends that may affect the development of the industry. It is also important to identify opportunities and threats that may have an impact on the brand from the external environment.

Competitors and benchmarks

Market research and analysis also include the definition of a competitive environment. At this stage, direct and indirect competitors are analyzed, resulting in a competitive analysis that allows you to highlight the competitive advantages of the brand or a specific niche in which the brand can stand out. The research and analysis of the benchmark allow you to identify strategic gaps and understand the directions that the brand can improve.

Brand audience

We cannot draw conclusions and create something from the brand’s side without looking at the target audience. Research in this area helps to delve deeper into the brand’s problem to study the target audience’s main motives and barriers, thoughts, and desires. At the same time, portraits of the audience are highlighted, and an understanding of the target core is created, which the brand will primarily address.
Well, do not forget that the target audience is a kind of “mirror» of the brand.

Qualitative and quantitative methods

Often, secondary information is insufficient to make representative conclusions about the situation and make strategic decisions. In this case, field methods of collecting information, which are carried out by the agency itself, are actively used. These can be quantitative surveys with subsequent interpretation, as well as focus groups and sometimes in-depth interviews. All this allows us to collect primary data that clearly meets the goal that we set for ourselves in our work.

Marketing Semiotics

This is not a common, but very advanced and useful tool that allows you to find what lies “out of sight” (imagine a huge iceberg, where most are underwater and invisible at first glance). So it is here. When we use the definition that a brand is a semiotic system, we examine everything “in context”, which means that all events and facts are considered in connection while taking into account the influence of culture, stereotypes, myths, signs, and symbols that indirectly (or somehow covertly) can influence our brand. This is somewhat like a subtle art that allows, thanks to the correct interpretation of signs and codes (implicit connections), to find a non-standard solution for the brand, thereby building a strong strategy and taking the brand to a new level.

What do we have at the end of the research and analysis?

An important goal of our research and analysis is, as a result, to have sufficient information to build a brand strategy since it is often a long and complex process that requires a lot of study. After all, this is the only way to find a solution that will work. Therefore, ultimately have a solid «foundation under our feet».

Information and data requirements

An important moment! In any work, the concept of “quality” is never abolished (and we always try to keep it at the highest level). Therefore, there are requirements for the data that we receive for research and analysis:

– completeness and objectivity of data (that’s why we always ask clients to fill out the brief carefully and efficiently because the result also depends on it)
– representativeness (we always use large and high–quality data samples or conduct several studies)
– reasonableness and logic (we need to understand and have a logical chain in the conclusions)
– relevance (after all, there is nowhere without up-to-date information!)

An important criterion for research and analysis: teamwork!

Another requirement that must be fulfilled is what is embedded in our positioning and clearly defines the methodology of our work. We are your partners! Therefore in research, analysis, or the creation of advertising: we always pay attention to customer engagement and teamwork. Because this will allow you to achieve the desired results faster and more efficiently.

FAQ: all useful information you need to know

What exactly and what files will I get as a result?

After the research block, hypotheses are formed based on the main conclusions of the research and analysis. All information is presented to the client, and at the end of this stage, you receive a full-fledged file with the described studies, conclusions, results, and developed directions.

Who will be involved on the part of the company?

On the part of the brand, it is important that key figures who are decision makers about our work actively participate. Usually it is the management or marketing department, CEO or other people interested in the result and making the final decision.

And what are the deadlines?

On average, the immersion, research and analysis of the brand and its environment takes 2-2.5 weeks.

Are there cases when the insight is not found: what should I do then?

As already mentioned, each brand is individual, and sometimes there are situations when the insight is not immediately detected. That’s what testing is for. According to the results of the analysis, several hypotheses are identified (the so-called “candidates for insight”). For example, if a brand platform is being developed, the hypotheses are the directions for positioning, which are checked for consistency, perception, reflection in the consumer, as far as it is in harmony with the brand. If not one of the hypotheses has not been confirmed, then the search continues! Until a direction suitable for the brand is found (this is the whole art of analysis).

In conclusion

Brand research and analysis is an individual and complex thing, so when working with a brand, we use a completely different set of tools and criteria. But it is important to know: this is an obligatory stage, any work begins with this – because thanks to research and understanding of the essence, you can create a high-quality result, determine a brand development strategy, or even tell which communication channels should be used.

Conduct high-quality research for the brand

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