Your brand is the perception that you want your prospects and clients to have of your organisation. It is generally divided into messaging (the story you want to tell the world) and visual identity (the visual representation of that story).
“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.”Anais Nin
The traditional way of creating your brand message is to work with a creative copywriter and put pen to paper.
The traditional way of creating your visual identity is to work with a creative designer to design your suite brand collateral (logo, business cards, brochures, annual reports, web design etc). And these need to represent your brand story.
There is nothing wrong with the above approach to branding except for the fact that it ignores what the customer wants. Brand decisions are often driven by business owners, the exec or the marketing team (rather than the customer) and this can lead to sub-par or dire results.
Your brand is not just defined by your products or services, it’s made up of so much more. It has its own personality, mission statement, goals, ethos and even its own humour.
While you can influence some aspects of how your brand is perceived, it’s ultimately up to the customer to decide how they see and feel it.
A clever brand will spend time understanding how its messaging alters brand perception, and much of this is done via communication with its customers.
Data-driven branding is about making brand decisions based on customer data. And one of the first steps in this approach is to engage in brand market research.
In its simplest form, brand market research is the method of obtaining important customer data. It can include but is not limited to:
- Customer surveys, which may include perception maps
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys
- Product surveys
- Social media listening
- Focus groups
- CRM analysis
- Google analytics analysis