December 3, 2020

Why is brand discovery so important?

In branding and marketing, the term “discovery” is multifaceted — ranging from a full brand discovery to discovery for individual campaigns. For now, we’re focused on brand discovery in general, its importance, and a few ways to begin the process.

Brand discovery uses a mixed market research methodology to gain a full perspective of a brand. Using both qualitative and quantitative data from internal stakeholders and external audiences, a deep dive into your brand helps your organization know exactly what’s working, what’s not and what lies ahead. Why is this important? A consistent, authentic brand can increase your revenue and build trust with your customers.

For our brand discovery methodology, a 360° Brand Audit seeks to answer the following questions about your brand.

  • Who are we?
  • Who do we say we are?
  • What do others say we are?

Insights from these questions lay the foundation from which to build (or shift) a brand identity that leverages current assets and keeps your mission, vision and values at the heart of your strategy.

Who are we?
Leaders often have deeply held beliefs about their brand. It’s easy to assume you know what your internal stakeholders and external audiences believe and feel about your brand. But it’s important to take a step back to objectively assess your brand often, and at the very least at every major milestone. By answering this initial question, your brand can ultimately grow to answer the question “Who do we want to continue becoming?”

Who do we say we are?
Do your leadership team, employees and staff share a single brand story? Is that story accurate? To better understand the aspirations of your brand, it’s important to understand what is currently being communicated. A unified internal brand identity and message translates to outside of your organization too. The information that your employees share and exemplify about your brand in their day-to-day activities is one of the most powerful tools when building your brand.

What do others say we are?
Do you know how your customers, competitors and communities perceive your brand? Often, it’s assumed which information is being communicated to the world outside of your organization. But reality shows that external audiences don’t always have the information they need to choose your brand. By identifying what information your audiences have and still need, as well as their current feelings and perceptions of your brand, your organization can guarantee that your brand is accurately represented to your target audiences.

These questions establish brand authenticity — showing that your brand is true to itself and true to its customers. Brand authenticity is a pivotal aspect of all branding and marketing efforts. Your customers don’t want to just buy into your service or product; they also want to buy into your brand’s story, values, heritage and personality.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just throwing these questions in front of people and expecting to get the answers that will be truly helpful from the onset. Organizations need a calculated plan of attack to see how their brands are perceived from all angles.

At B&Y, we use a combination of methods to help guide our clients through the discovery process. This mix of qualitative and quantitative data guarantees a clear, holistic picture of your brand as of today to be able to grow from in the future.

Brand Discovery Tactics

  • Executive & Stakeholder Interviews
  • Focus Groups
    (internal/external)
  • Surveys
    (internal/external)
  • Competitive Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Existing Materials Review
    (sales/marketing materials, previous campaigns, websites, press releases, etc.)

You wouldn’t build a house without a solid foundation, just as you shouldn’t build a brand without one, either. This research provides the groundwork for both the visual identity and messaging/positioning of your brand. It lays the foundation for everything that follows and failing to establish an authentic brand through extensive discovery may result in the end of your brand altogether.

Interested in exploring brand discovery for your organization? Let’s talk. Want to learn more insights from industry experts? Join our email list.

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