4 Ways You Can Use Market Research to Position Your Brand
Creating a brand isn't just about choosing cohesive visual elements and posting relevant content on social media. Your brand is how you connect and resonate with customers and the basis on which you direct business decisions.One of the most common mistakes made by would-be successful businesses is failing to complete market research throughout the brand development process. Here are four ways you can use this tool to position your brand and resonate with your ideal clients.
Understand Customer Problems
One of the biggest benefits of market research when positioning your brand is understanding customer problems. The purpose of your business is to solve a problem that your niche struggles with. If you can't offer a solution to a problem, your brand has no value.Value comes in understanding what your customers need and positioning your brand as a solution to that problem via your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This positioning tells your customers what problem you can solve and why you can do it better than the competition.
You can understand customer problems by conducting primary and secondary market research. Surveys and polls are an excellent form of primary research for social media audience members and existing customers. You can also research case studies and industry-relevant statistics to paint a more detailed picture of what your customers need.
Minimize Risks Through Testing
You've assessed customer needs, you've created a solution for their problems, you launch it, and it fails. What happened? You failed to conduct market research specific to your offering as a prototype or beta test.
Holding paid focus groups or a beta launch can help you capture feedback relevant to your offering before you stake your brand reputation on it. For example, the findings from your focus group might indicate that your product would be perfect if it just had X or Y. Conversely, your beta group could tell you that the messaging about the value of your offering misses the mark. You can then use this information to refine your offering to make it market-ready.
Conducting market research to minimize risks helps you position your brand as an industry expert and go-to. This approach sets the foundation for word-of-mouth marketing and testimonials to build brand trust through social proof— all while saving you valuable resources.
Identify Competition Gaps
Market research isn't just about finding what your customer needs or how you can improve upon your product. You can also use research to identify competition gaps, so you know who you're up against, what they excel at, and what they're missing so your brand can solve for (and attract) those customers. With this information, you can refine your USP and position your brand to stand out from the competition.
It's equally important to flip the switch on this equation by assessing your brand weaknesses and competition gaps. A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis can help you clarify what aspects of your brand are vulnerable to the competition.
Adapt and Stay Relevant
The needs of your ideal customer today will not be their needs a year from now. The world is continuously changing, and along with it, customer behaviors and motivations evolve too. New technologies attract new competitors and what was once considered innovative or best practice becomes tired and obsolete.
Conducting regular market research allows your brand to stay abreast of trends so you can adapt and stay relevant to customer needs. This allows your brand to maintain customer loyalty by offering continuous value over time.
Market research doesn't require an in-house marketing team or a substantial budget. Of course, having more resources allows for more in-depth research. Yet, small businesses and personal brands can still use research tools and techniques to help position their brand for success.
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