Client and target market research is one of the most important steps in brand development.
The average budget for brand marketing is going down rather than up, yet the number of brands out there competing for customers has increased 3 fold in ten years and the number of ‘advertising’ messages delivered to a consumer has almost doubled in the same timeframe.
So the budget available for building the brand or developing a market presence for a new company name and concept is reducing. At the same time, the pressure to be accountable for results is increasing. Any spend must be effective, the viability of the old ‘trial and error’ method to understand customer needs is considerably diminished. Marketers can no longer rely on intuition vs a fact based understanding of the marketplace.
You may hear Marketers complain that adopting more quantitative techniques compromises creativity but Marketing Angels believe the opposite. In our experience the more factual and in—depth the information that goes into the creative brief, the better the creative result. A design that is on—target, on—brief and set up to achieve the desired result.
Businesses must understand their customers needs and wants and importantly which are the most important ‘moments of truth’. A moment of truth is any point at which your customers come into contact with the business and that contact has an impact on their emotional attachment to the brand (business / service).
When researching the target market it is also important to analyse the long term profit potential of each target segment. Businesses must consider emerging trends in the market and the effect they may have on the long term profit potential of a target market eg. the current growth in no carbohydrates, high protein diets, would have a huge effect on the cereal market and change the emphasis marketers place on the various ingredients of a breakfast cereal.
What trends are affecting your markets? Are there government regulations and other elements causing changes, over which you have no control and yet, to which, you must respond.
In considering the long term profitability of a target segment, it is important to distinguish between cyclical changes, long—term trends and economically induced change and then, the impact this has on profitability. Consider the increase in the gay population and the Pink dollar that many companies are now chasing; or the growth in DINK’s (Double Income No Kids) couples.
Cost effective brand building depends on knowing exactly which target markets to focus on, what the customers from each target market care about and then tailoring the brand and key messages to that knowledge. Delivering the key brand’s messages at each moment of truth, helps create strong brand recognition and loyalty.
Effective research builds a knowledge base by defining:
- target markets
- moments of truth
- key customer needs and wants translating into required brand functional benefits.
In the analysis of the research, we also define the intangible benefits of the brand or the emotional benefits derived by the customers.
All this goes to make up the essence of the brand and marketing communications. Marketers could promote many tangible and intangible brand attributes but the goal is to uncover the relevance of each to the customer (how important each one is) and the degree to which it helps distinguish the brand from it’s competitors.