When you look in a mirror it is almost impossible to see yourself the way the world around you sees you, and the same can be said for your brand. The way you perceive your organisation could be wildly different to how your customers experience it, which is why research is so important in reflecting back to you a picture of your brand from the outside.
As Jeff Bezos puts it, “your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”. Although there are many ways to describe a brand, there is certainly truth in the fact that a significant part of your brand is made up of external perception. After all, your brand exists with one of the core purposes of interacting with customers; that interaction and the way it is perceived by customers is, therefore, an unavoidable and substantial part of what makes up your brand.
With this in mind, we wanted to shout about the importance of following a research-led approach when it comes to reflecting on your brand or strategising about moving it forward.
We would always recommend taking the time to garner insights from internal stakeholders, but it is important to recognise the unique insight that can be gained from speaking to customers and prospects. By ensuring you are seeing the brand’s reflection from every angle, your strategy will be a balance between internal reflection and external perception, and one that is rooted in truth and authenticity.
Seasonal solution: Be prepared to listen to your addressable market. Ask them what their needs are, recognising that the challenges they face may be surprising to you and remaining open to hearing all perceptions of your business, good or bad. It is also worth remembering that needs change, so regular research is important. As Neil Armstrong so concisely puts it, “research is creating new knowledge.” Think about how you can use this new knowledge once you have it.
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