Branding your business is a costly and time-consuming affair that involves a lot of to and fro between strategists, designers, and other stakeholders. While you desire to make the most out of the branding exercise for your business and do a million things to make it happen, market research often takes a back seat. 

In this article, we have compiled some successful market research branding examples that will offer a perspective on how market research is useful for the branding process. 

NexOptic — Market research for brand launch. 

DoubleTake by NexOptic is a reimagined binocular with instant 10x optical magnification designed for the outdoors. 

Source: Nexoptic

This was the company’s first consumer product, and it had practically carved a new market segment — a smartphone, binocular, and digital camera combined in one. So, they needed a strong brand image that reflected the product’s USP, wanted proof of market potential, and an actionable market strategy. 

The brand conducted market research as a two-phase process, starting with secondary research outlining: 

  • The potential target audience 
  • Market size, trends and opportunities 
  • Global market opportunity targeting hikers, hunters, fishermen, and outdoor enthusiasts 
  • Potential markets where the product and the brand will be a hit 

The second phase involved audience segmentation, which helped sync the market potential with the types of potential consumers, and their buying habits to refine the company’s brand and growth strategy. 

Market research helped them find a target audience most suitable for global launch and expansion. They successfully launched a completely new product in an untapped and unexplored category and won the award for Top Tech at CES in 2019 for photography. 

The product would have lost in a crowded market filled with smartphones, cameras, and other gadgets if they had not done market research.

Hello Bank! — Repositioning for the younger crowd. 

Hello Bank! is a mobile-first banking brand by BNP Paribas Fortis for the European markets. BNP wanted a fresh and completely independent brand identity focusing on the idea of simplicity and mobility – something not associated with the banking sector.

The peculiar repositioning goal made the market research process harder. The rebranding exercise focused on exploring new associations with the brand while standing out in a competitive market. They used market research to design a fresh rebrand campaign during the spring of 2018. 

The focus of the branding exercise was on identifying new associations and their market research process involved three steps: 

  1. Mapping current associations for revealing biases and emotional differentiators associated with the brand and its products/services. 
  2. Identifying a new brand story that focused on feelings of speed, warmth, youthfulness, and mobility. 
  3. Competitive research focused on leveraging existing competitive edge and using it to strengthen the brand. 

The brand identified an opportunity around ‘low-cost travel and banking’ that resonated with the young demography. So, they created a new brand story based on the insight and planned social media campaigns to reintroduce the idea of mobile banking for the youth. 

hello bank instagram post - market research
Source: Hello Bank on Instagram
hello bank instagram post - market research branding
Source: Hello Bank! on Instagram

Basically, market research helped them associate banking with the idea of travelling and become a cosmopolitan, modern banking brand. According to Micheal Anseeuw, the head of Retail Banking at BNP, they needed a different way to convince the 18-28 age group what a bank is. The rebranding exercise helped create this new association. 

Lidl — Repositioning based on market insights. 

Lidl is a popular German supermarket chain with more than 10,000 stores in Europe & the US. However, the brand was long associated with ‘discounts and deals’ and competed directly with the discount supermarket chain Aldi. 

But Lidl wanted to change the brand perception and reposition it into a place to shop for fresh produce and be known for the farm-to-fork philosophy. The plan for the strategic rebranding exercise made market research important and essential.

As the rebranding need was urgent, A/B testing of advertising and marketing assets was conducted with a market research panel. Their responses were recorded, analyzed, and neuromarketing principles were used for factoring in existing brand perception bias. 

A/B testing with a research panel helped to understand which creatives and marketing concepts made the brand feel ‘fresh’. 

The team quickly found the assets that produced the intended ‘perception’ among focus groups. The brand’s marketing campaigns were refined to link intended brand associations with the brand name. 

Jewelers of America — Understanding audience expectations. 

Jewelers of America is a non-profit trade association that aims to improve growth opportunities in the jewelry industry in America. The association wanted to break the ceiling in terms of sales growth in the jewelry industry. So, they decided to conduct market research to understand more about the target audience — their needs and desires, and create a national advertising campaign. 

A three-phase market research plan was designed that included the following: 

  • 10-min online survey with open-ended questions for members of the association. This helped understand the existing purchase patterns and sales trends and helped the creation of a consumer survey.
  • 20-minute online survey for high net worth individuals (target audience) to understand their attitudes, interests, buying habits, and expectations from the fine jewelry industry. This was done to find who has the most interest in buying jewelry and segment the market for focused targeting. 
  • Supplemental secondary research to fill up the missing pieces of the buyer’s personas, like the ‘jewelry enthusiast’ and ‘young and indifferent buyers’. 

The insights led to the creation of a promotional video for internal circulation to create curiosity and interest in buying jewelry and boost sales. 

The ad campaign, created by Cramer-Krasselt, emphasized the idea of ‘buying into jewelry’ and appealing to the emotional association of owning a piece of jewelry and handing it down as an heirloom through generations. 

The refreshed branding exercise and contextual advertising helped the association achieve its initial goals to boost sales and garner fresh interest from the intended audience. 

Antwerp City — Brand image refresh to attract tourists. 

Antwerp, a city in Belgium, wanted to attract more tourists. So, it planned on a turnkey branding exercise to promote the idea of the city being a ‘creative’ and ‘resilient’ destination.

The branding exercise focused on identifying the most relevant ‘gut feeling’ the city should reflect over the years. So, the branding team started analyzing neuromarketing consumer insights derived from rigorous market research over the years. 

A pilot market panel test involved finding content, design, and imagery to invoke the right feeling among tourists. The focus was on invoking a /creative gut feeling’ among potential tourists.

The city of Antwerp analyzed the test insights using a proprietary solution. The insights gave them an understanding of the impact of the branding pilot on overall brand equity. 

Revamping of the existing brand assets happened based on insights derived from market research about the choice of travel destination. The whole exercise gave Antwerp the desired brand image. 

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Market research has helped all these brands create an instant connect with the audience. While the thought can be overwhelming for a small business owner, it is not as hard as it feels. You can start market research using existing online reviews on the internet. GapScout helps you get a jump-start by finding untapped opportunities by analyzing customer reviews automatically. 

So, why not enrich your branding strategy with real insights from actual users in your industry segment now? 

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