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Polaris Marketing Research

August 2012

Do It Yourself Webinar

DIY Webinar

One of our great Research LifeLine ™ resources is our DIY Online Research Webinar. From sampling, to question design, it's full of great information for anyone who wants to DIY marketing research!


Upcoming Events


October 1-3 , 2012
Las Vegas, NV


Research and Strategy Summit


Today’s hyper competitive, ever- changing environment is causing a transformative shift in the market research industry. Marketing research and strategy executives are now expected to lead the evaluation and adoption of innovation for their companies.


Google, NBC Universal, Pandora, VEVO and more! With unique access to the world’s most forward- thinking executives and industry insiders, AMA's Research and Strategy Summit will challenge your thinking, deepen your insights and empower you to lead critical transformative initiatives for your business.

October 8-11, 2012

Scottsdale, AZ


Taking Control: Strategies for Transformative Times


There is much to consider as technology and DIY offerings continue to disrupt our marketplace. CASRO's 37th Annual Conference will begin by going back - back to school - for lessons taught by esteemed business professors from Wharton and Stanford.


We'll have at the podium two companies leading the way in social networking - Facebook and Google - to better understand the path they are blazing in MR.


We'll also delve into the growing influence of Social CRM with analysis from Gartner and get an industry examination by consultants that know it well: OC & C.


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Brand Research 101

By Shana Latham, Analytics Manager, Polaris Marketing Research

Whether you are creating a totally new brand or want to change your brand strategy, information about your competitors’ and your positions in the marketplace is important in developing your strategy.

There are seven business situations where conducting branch research is important in developing your strategy. They are:

  1. New Brand – When forming a new company, brand research will provide information about your competitors from your customers’ point-of-view and your positions in the marketplace. This is important in creating a new brand position and developing your strategy.
  2. Extending Brand – One of the great things about strong brands is the way they help companies enter new markets, new geographies, and new product/services categories. Before offering new products or services, you must understand whether your customers will accept them from your current brand. To leverage your brand, you must understand what your brand stands for.
  3. Brand Architecture – Related to brand extension, understanding and managing your brand architecture (how equity flows throughout your brand/product/service portfolio) is an important element in brand management.
  4. Merging Brands – A new brand strategy must be developed for two merging brands as the different brands may vary in the marketplace. Conducting brand research will provide information and insight on which direction to develop this strategy.
  5. Brand Management – Information on brand awareness and perceptions of your brand image is critical to managing the brand’s lifecycle.
  6. Revitalizing Brands – In spite of a company’s best efforts, brands lose their way and equity begins to erode. As brands mature, businesses should implement marketing research efforts, and this will provide the information you need to bring a tired brand back to life and set it on the path to growth.
  7. Brand Positioning - Differentiation is key to brand strength and positioning is the expression of differentiation. Research to identify the optimal brand position is key to brand strength.

When conducting brand research, there are certain techniques that will provide you the best results to help develop your strategy. They are:

  1. Brand Knowledge – This is not based on factual information of the brand but on customers’ feelings and perceptions of the brand (brand awareness and image). This includes both the customers’ recognition and recall abilities (both unaided and aided techniques).
  2. Brand Performance – This will provide information on the brand’s perceived quality, perceived value, and price sensitivity.
  3. Brand Imagery – This refers to external and sometimes intangible traits relating to the customers’ psychological or social needs. This embodies the customers’ personas (type of customers who use the brand), customers’ usage (ways in which the customers utilize the product/service), and customers’ experience (customers’ experience and history with the brand).

Surprisingly, many companies do not pay a lot of attention to managing their brands. However, as it is an important organizational asset, you need to allocate resources to continually building your brand understanding and strengthening your brand. Not doing so leaves you open to confusing the marketplace and alienating loyal customers.


Shana Latham is the senior data analyst in the analytics department of Polaris Marketing Research Inc., where she is responsible for handling data manipulation tasks involved in survey research. She has a bachelor's degree in business from Georgia State University.

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