It is not uncommon to see marketers questioning branding research quality and feeling disappointed when insights from the data seem obvious.
Often, they feel they wasted money in branding research, expressing their disappointment by saying aloud “I didn’t need to do research to know that.”
My question is always: Why didn’t you act on such obvious insights? The answers are often:
- I wasn’t sure
- Too obvious, there must be something more to it
What Can Obvious Insights Tell Us?
In a recent article about how insights can be used to build strong brands by Notre Dame Marketing Professor Carol Phillips, she argues that we should not reject an insight just because it seems obvious.
Before putting an obvious insight aside, we must first ask if it:
- Reveals something about the target?
- Relates to the category driver?
- Captures how consumers want to feel?
- Speaks to an enduring value?
- Challenges the brand to act in new ways?
I agree with Professor Phillips when she says that if you can answer yes to some or most of these questions, chances are you have an insight for building a powerful brand.
At the same time, I think these questions can be used not only to spot relevant insights (pun intended) to help build a brand but also to assess the quality of the branding research provided.
These questions should guide the research design and the analytical approach of any branding research endeavor to be able to obtain actionable insights, obvious or not. A branding research study that can’t answer yes to at least one of these questions is totally useless. Isn’t it obvious?
To learn more about how to design brand tracking studies, check the article Brand Tracking Studies – How To Design Them.