Curious as to why buyers recommend other companies to their friends and neglect to mention yours? Brand research might be the thing to help you out!
Today, cannabis-related companies usually face a problem when managers sell and marketers advertise, but business is still not doing as well as it could. You start to question what problems your company might have and why your new clients may not be as loyal to your business as older ones might be? In such a situation, the aptest approach would be to focus your power and attention on brand research. Brand research is a detailed audit of your brand position among competitors, as well as an assessment of the brand's perception through customers. Learning more about brand research could enhance your market position and assist in building the kind of repertoire that your company needs!
What is Brand Research?
In a traditional survey, 90% of consumers say they choose products according to taste, appearance, quality, and price. Is this information enough to make informed marketing decisions? Does it answer the crucial questions of how to develop in the cannabis industry, how to attract new customers, and how to maintain the loyalty of existing ones? No. For an in-depth study of consumer behavior, attitude to the product, and an understanding of the underlying motives you should conduct a more thorough analysis. To make adequate market decisions and build a well-running business, brand research is absolutely crucial.
For the sustainable development of the company, ideally, it is necessary to conduct not one-time research, but constant studies, when data collection and analysis of indicators is carried out with a certain frequency. Following this method will allow your company to see timely market changes, customer preferences, and enhance their ability to evaluate the effectiveness of its actions and response time. The main goal of brand research to reach sustainable brand development by monitoring the cannabis market, consumer expectations, and the market position of your brand and competitors by assessing the effectiveness of marketing, advertising, and PR events.
Why is Brand Research Important?
Brand research helps to understand the state of the company, where it is moving, what management and employees need to change in order for the development vector to be right. Company brand research is done in order to:
- Identify the attitude of interested parties to it (target audience, consumers, employees, partners and customers of the company);
- Compare the original mission of the brand with its current reflection in the interaction of the brand with the target audience;
- To study the actions of competitors and develop a strategy for working with them;
- Understand how profit is formed, and the new ways of its accumulation.
In general, conducting brand research on your cannabis brand is beneficial to your company’s growth. It assists in finding out what problems the brand has so that the best ways to solve them can be implemented.
Types of Brand Research You Should Consider
The brand audit consists of two parts – internal and external. Let’s get a closer look at these two approaches
- Internal brand research
An internal analysis is very beneficial to your brand as it evaluates the organizational structure of the company, the internal corporate culture, and the role of internal branding. The main factors that influence the development of the brand within the company are determined as well. Also, an analysis of the marketing activities of the company in recent years can be properly formulated. In addition, you can thoroughly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the brand, its ideology, and its mission.
A separate place is taken by the assessment of brand attractiveness for consumers. To do this, you should evaluate a brand communication strategy, which takes into account:
- Corporate identity elements (logo, color combination, etc.)
- Communication channels with consumers
- Brand image and its place in the life of consumers, etc.
- External brand research
During an external audit of the brand, desk studies of the current market situation and development trends are carried out. A detailed analysis aids in defining the brand's place among competitors and the perspective of its partners. A significant indicator is a frequency of mentioning the company in the media and whether the recognition is negative or positive. In general, a detailed audit is the basis of the right choice for the further development of the brand especially in the eyes of the public.
You can conduct brand research within two categories – B2B and B2C. For the first category, B2B, the most significant factor is the analysis of the quality of service provided, the reputation of the company, and the assessment of the manager's image. For B2C, the non-verbal characteristics of a brand, the effectiveness of communication channels, and brand perception by consumers are the keys.
Key Points When Analyzing Your Cannabis Brand
So, you might be curious about what actually you need to analyze when doing brand research? The main points are:
- Brand Promotion Research
After implementing a brand promotion strategy, an analysis of its execution is simply necessary. This helps to identify the compliance of a given vector of development which depicts the current situation in the market allowing one to adjust future progress within the said market. It is also imperative to regularly review brand positioning. If the brand’s audience is young people aged 18-25, then the dynamism of their interests should be taken into account. With the development of the target audience, the brand itself should develop. SC Labs, for example, claim that brand promotion research not only helped them to avoid common pitfalls but also identify new sale channels.
- Linguistic brand research
Over time, the brand name may change its linguistic meaning for consumers and will cause new associations. That is why analysis of the brand name is carried out in order to check for relevance and compliance with the originally assigned associations.
In addition to analyzing the brand name, the company’s slogan is also investigated in how much it corresponds to the chosen strategy of communication with consumers.
- Identity Analysis
The design has one bad property – it becomes obsolete over time. It seems that soon what was relevant in the morning will already be completely irrelevant in the evening. That is why it is worth analyzing the corporate identity of the brand. First of all, it concerns the “brand face” – the logo and packaging design. Of course, it cannot be changed every season, because this will reduce brand awareness. Therefore, when developing packaging design, it is necessary to take into account modern design trends and add a touch of classics to them. In many cases, the brand’s main concern is outdated packaging that does not catch consumers' interests. Rebranding is the best medicine that will return your brand to the attention of the target audience.
How to Conduct A Brand Research?
Brand Research is usually conducted leaning on these 4 main steps:
At the first stage of work, it is necessary to conduct a strategic meeting with the participation of the company owner. An audit of a brand always begins with the formation of a problematic issue and then setting goals and objectives for its solution.
- Conducting an internal audit of the brand
Concentrating solely on well-known brands of competitors is a common mistake of many companies. The brand audit should begin with an analysis of the company's internal problems. Within 70% of cases, a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the brand helps to find most of the key problems associated with why the expected success of the brand does not match the real one.
- Marketing research of competitors
Constantly monitoring the actions of competitors helps to avoid global problems. The results of their activity supplement the information for what needs to be changed within the company itself. For example, it may turn out that the packaging design for your company is outdated, and competitors are already getting updated packaging in response.
- Finding Solutions
Awareness of the problem is the first step towards solving it. Knowing where gaps in the organization of the company’s work are or how the activities of competitors affect the company, make it much easier to draw up a plan to get out of such a situation. At the fourth stage, the marketing company develops a strategy for the further development of the brand taking into account the interests of consumers, market development trends, and internal corporate status.
When You Need A Brand Research
There are several reasons for conducting a detailed brand analysis:
- Expected sales do not match reality
- Increased negative feedback from consumers or customers
- The company wants to cover a new price segment or develop a new market
- Franchising planning
- Merger of two companies or change of ownership
- Expansion of the target audience is planned
- Evaluating the success of launching a new brand
- Planned rebranding
- Expanding the range of the brand or launching a new brand on the market
It is also recommended to conduct brand research before the launch of the advertising campaign and after it. The brand analysis provides a complete assessment of the current state of affairs of the company and its development prospects. The plan for overcoming the crisis dictates optimal steps to the positive dynamics of brand development. As a result of the brand analysis, you can objectively assess the stability of the company and its ability to make a profit.