• C.E.K. & Partners

Branding: The Value Of Insights


Quality Is Never an Accident

Behind the world’s most recognizable brands are experienced strategists with deep senior talent and expertise. If you’ve worked with us, then you know we take our work seriously. To borrow the words of John Ruskin, “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” That’s why all of our team members are hand selected and hail from the world’s leading ad agencies and marketing consultancies.

The topic of quality came up in a recent prospective client meeting when I was shown a brand strategy deliverable. The question was, “What do you think? Is there anything here that we can use as we proceed to articulate our value proposition?”

I’m open-minded and even thrilled to see other firms’ work. The thrill comes from the idea of maybe learning about a new strategic framework. I was underwhelmed when I reviewed the value proposition shared by my prospective client.

Insight-Driven Brand Strategy + Communications

It’s highly effective to follow a proven methodology for uncovering insights that support brand communications.

Insights are not captured from holding an internal meeting with a company’s marketing team. Insights are not captured from solely speaking to a few employees. Insights do not come from guessing who the customers are and then mapping out what the team thinks they think. While these efforts contribute to the discovery process — alone they are not a rigorous approach.

What Is Discovery?

We believe work that transforms brands and shifts perceptions, quality work if you will, is grounded by insights. Insights derived from qualitative and quantitative studies focused on the customers, the category, and a company’s brand. Insights don’t just appear. Our team doesn’t stumble upon them. They are sought out. They are discovered. They are revealed. It’s a process. It takes strategic planning. Many firms refer to this initial phase of a project as “Discovery.” Since the term is clear and self-explanatory, we do too.

Discovery

What might not be clear is that while many firms use the word discovery, not all discovery processes are the same. And the outcomes most likely are not either. So, it’s often very confusing for a marketing team to pick an agency.

The overarching objective of our discovery process — when positioning a brand and articulating its value proposition — is to identify a brand’s unique point of difference.

What makes a brand special, better or different? It’s most likely not what is articulated by customers or employees who are directly asked this question. A conversation or a series of intentionally designed questions are critical to answer this.

The point of differentiation must be connected to plausible evidence, meaning it must be defendable, ownable and true.

Research Techniques Involved in Discovery

One size does not fit all in the discovery phase. Here’s a sampling of what might be included in the approach:

  • Workshops

  • Employee survey

  • Customer survey

  • Internal and external one-on-one interviews

  • Focus groups

Research Isn’t Limited to Initial Discovery Phase

Research isn’t limited to the discovery stage. A few examples of other areas where insights are valuable include:

  • Naming

  • Creative concept testing

  • Tagline validation

  • Customer experience design

  • Usability testing

Whether you are seeking to articulate a value proposition or undertake a global brand refresh, building a brand that creates meaningful connections and drives business growth starts with identifying insights.

Ready to capture insights? Market research takes expertise. It's why we're here to help. Contact carolyn@cekpartners.com or call Carolyn Kopf at +1.404.345.6447.


Category leaders across manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, fintech and payments depend on C.E.K. & Partners' market research team to capture data and identify key insights in order to help them achieve their goals. What questions do you have about market research? Contact us today!


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