Brand isn’t what you say about your business; it’s what your most important audiences believe (and say) about you. An important measure of brand health is the extent by which the way you want to perceived by your key audiences matches up with how they actually view you. A brand equity study gathering both external and internal input can help you identify any gaps and determine whether or not it’s time for a rebrand.
Research isn’t just for external audiences; it also plays a critical role in creating internal momentum and rallying employees – an organization’s most important brand ambassadors. Often overlooked, internal research can provide valuable insight into employee perceptions and motivations, give workers a chance to express themselves, and help generate widespread interdepartmental buy-in. One pharmaceutical company we worked with learned firsthand the value of internal insight as they launched a new division.
Which comes first: brand or culture? Just like the classic chicken and egg, there’s no easy answer. Research can play a critical role in uncovering the opportunity for relating culture to a company’s brand. If it turns out that the culture is truly differentiating in its industry, then incorporating culture as a foundational element of the brand may be the path to success. But if there are problematic aspects of the culture that are preventing the company from achieving its goals, then creating a strong brand can help surmount those cultural issues.