How to Conduct Positioning Research

Brand positioning research is a very powerful tool in the market research world. Brand positioning research is your opportunity to see how you stack up against your competitors, and – when taken over time – your opportunity to track if your branding efforts are effective in helping you improve your brand recognition and positioning.

Positioning research is an informal way to really get an idea of how the customer “feels” about your company and brand. It’s not necessarily about who they’re going to use, or who has the best products, services, and pricing. Rather, it’s about determining what emotions your brand sparks in the consumer, since those emotions are going to play a role in your company’s long-term branding efforts.

How to Conduct Brand Positioning Research

  • Figure out the Important Qualities for Customers: Through panels, brainstorming sessions, customer satisfaction research, and so on, try to find out what qualities customers look for in your type of business. You have to know this information ahead of time in order to make sure that you’re researching the right components of a successful brand.
  • Create a Survey: Once you have that information, create a survey through SurveyMethods that focuses on the “feelings” people have about those issues, and the brands they associate them with. Remember, the focus is on feelings, since branding is about instant reactions and emotions. Make sure you collect all of the brands you compete with as well.
  • Run the Survey: Find a large sample and run the survey. Make sure you’re using a random sample, and that you’re not introducing your own biases into the survey. It may be a good idea not to brand the survey at all, and possibly consider a third party to avoid causing the results to tilt in your favor.
  • Listen and Respond: Once you get back the results, analyze your results and try to determine what you can do to compete with those ahead of you. Then take action. Over time, you can run the survey again and see how your position has improved, dropped, etc. based on the actions you’ve taken. Don’t forget to utilize additional survey research to figure out the appropriate actions.

Overall, brand positioning research is a great tool for understanding how to turn yourself into the #1 choice for consumers. Make sure that you’re actively researching your brand’s position as part of your standard market research efforts.

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