Brand Positioning Research

Brand Positioning Research

Brand positioning communicates the delivery benefits to customers, not the product features. When a potential customer looks at a product or service, he asks, “How is this going to improve my life or my work? How is it going to solve a problem?” The customer wants to know how the product or service will benefit him. Product features, on the other hand, support the benefits by providing features of the product or service.

Concept testing is often at the core of positioning research. Consequently, it is important to make this distinction and separate brand positioning concept testing from product concept testing. Brand positioning concept tests focus on understanding how we convey the product or service benefits, not the features.

Why You Should Do ItWhy You Should Do It

Brand positioning concept testing will uncover the brand’s unique value proposition among potential positioning ideas, particularly if your products and services offer many benefits. Its main purpose is to find the most relevant benefits for your target market and secondary values for different segments.

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The ApproachThe Approach

Ideally, positioning concept testing should be conducted with a combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods. We use qualitative research to explore needs, perceptions, and expectations that can be matched with the brand benefits.

Quantitative research can follow to validate the qualitative research results and find a winning positioning statement.

At times, clients already have some positioning ideas developed and want to gain insights on how they are perceived by the intended audience. In those cases, clients may decide to do either qualitative or quantitative research, or both but in a different order.

Quantitative brand positioning concept tests are conducted with the help of surveys. However, the survey design will vary based on the analytical plan selected (see this section below).

Qualitative research data collection may include focus groups (online or in-person) or in-depth interviews (online, by phone, or in-person).

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Target Audience RecruitmentTarget Audience Recruitment

Relevant Insights can recruit B2C and B2B qualified participants through our sample provider partners for qualitative and quantitative research.

We determine the sample parameters from discussions with your team and assist with developing screeners. We also manage participant incentives.

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In direct collaboration with your team, Relevant Insights will:

  1. Assist in developing brand positioning concepts for testing to avoid confusion with product concept testing.
  2. Recommend the data collection mode based on sample parameters and the industry in which your organization operates. Surveys can be conducted online, by phone, by mail or with a hybrid approach.
  3. Develop survey questions and metrics to support an analytical plan that meets the project’s business and research objectives.
  4. Discuss recommendations for sample size and sample sources. Sample size requirements will depend on the product category, target audience and incidence rates, among other factors.
  5. Program, test and host the survey. In addition to testing the programmed survey for errors before its launch, the survey goes to a “soft-launch” mode to a small sample to detect any potential issues with actual participants before distributing the survey to a large sample.
  6. Monitor the field and provide daily reports on its progress and any issues that may arise.

If qualitative research is required, Relevant Insights will:

  1. Recommend the most appropriate qualitative research data collection method for the target sample.
  2. Develop discussion guides.
  3. Moderate focus groups and in-depth interviews.
  4. Rent facilities or online platforms as needed.
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Analytical PlanAnalytical Plan

Quantitative positioning concept testing can be designed in different ways:

  • Monadic Concept Testing – Only one brand positioning concept is presented.
  • Sequential Concept Testing – Several brand positioning concepts are presented sequentially, in random order, or in a pre-determined order.
  • Pairwise Comparisons – Two brand positioning concepts are presented simultaneously.
  • MaxDiff Analysis – Multiple brand positioning concepts are presented simultaneously.
  • Conjoint Analysis – Multiple configurations of brand benefits to identify brand positioning are presented simultaneously.

The study design selection will depend on study objectives, creative materials available for testing, time and budget constraints.

The metrics obtained will depend on the selected study design and may include measurements of:

  • Positioning appeal and relevance.
  • Comprehension and interpretation.
  • Clarity of message.
  • Perceptions of brand benefits.
  • Preference for brand benefits.
  • Impact on likelihood to purchase.
  • Impact on brand perceptions.
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Relevant Insights can provide different levels of reporting based on budget and time constraints including:

  1. Raw data only.
  2. Simulators (for Conjoint Analysis and MaxDiff studies).
  3. Cross-tabulated tables by key variables.
  4. A short summary report with key findings.
  5. A full, detailed report with analysis, charts, tables, quotes, and graphics in an appealing format.
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Typical Project DurationTypical Project Duration

Four to six weeks. If a preceding qualitative phase is included, add three to four weeks.

Factors that can affect project duration include:

  • The incidence rate of the target sample: The lower the incidence rate, the longer we need to stay in the field to gather the required data. 
  • Client team responsiveness: A delayed response to requests for feedback at different steps of the project will stall a project and affect the delivery date.
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The cost will vary depending on:

  • Data collection method (online, phone, or mail).
  • The analytical plan selected.
  • Sample specifications and sample size.
  • Reporting requirements.
  • Inclusion of qualitative research.
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