We’ve long touted the necessity of research (here and here), especially for projects involving a rebrand or the creation of a brand identity — it’s another “r” word we feel strongly about. Plus, with the amount of people that we’ve interviewed, the social sites we’ve scanned and the communities we’ve toured, we’ve developed a knack for the art of research and are eager to share our strategies with you!
Though we generally trust our instincts, we prefer that facts drive our process when your brand is in our hands. A solid research process will determine what opportunities exist, how to position your community or organization and predict the opinions of your target market, in turn allowing us to offer solid launch strategies.
The details depend on a particular project’s scope, but our comprehensive approach includes diving deep into the following:
We want to see what someone not completely familiar with your community or organization can learn about it from the outside looking in. We start by looking at current marketing materials and your digital presence. We’ll then do the same for any identified competitor to see what they have cookin’.
We show up and start knocking on doors (in a sense). Heading out into the community, we check out the local scene, whether it’s a popular visitor attraction or where locals like to grab a bite. We’ll also sit down with key stakeholders or influences for in-depth interviews and hold focus groups with identified community organizations. We explore different concepts, questions and ideas to see what data rises to the top.
After all of that (phew, we’re tired) we conduct online surveys and polls with focused questions. And, since we know so much about you now, we can cast a wide net and gather some great feedback via that ever-useful internet.
The benefit of us doing this and not you is just that — we’re not you. Comfort levels go up with unbiased, third-party researchers, and participants let their true feelings fly (warm fuzzies and gripes alike). Plus, we’ve done this for so many of our clients that we know the right questions to ask, atmospheres to set and data points to gather.
Though we happen to love the research process, as well as the results it yields, like all good things, it comes at a price. We understand the temptation to cross this line item off a scope of work. But when considering any major overhaul to your brand, skimping on research can cause pain down the road when you’ve invested time and money spent on a brand only to realize it doesn’t resonate, is confusing or doesn’t meet its objectives.
We wouldn’t include a design love guarantee unless we had the expertise to back it up — expertise which includes understanding and executing the intricacies of research.