Sailors carry charts to help them avoid the shallows and find the channels – or seek the counsel of local captains and fishermen when they enter new waters. Coaches and managers of professional sports teams spend countless hours reviewing videotapes of their next opponent. Generals need to know their opponents’ strength, their numbers, their locations and their political aims before waging battle.
Yet many business owners change their corporate tag lines, or struggle through product launches, or press into new markets, with little more than their own knowledge of their company or their products – when, in the end, the only opinions that will matter are their customers’.
Brand research provides perspective. It helps you understand the perceptions of your current and prospective audiences, and how they interact with your organization. It helps you see yourself and your competition from your customers’ vantage. It helps you identify the brand gaps between where you are and where you want to be. It may confirm that you are on the right course, or help you avoid the most costly mistakes.