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Branding and the New Girl

In this week’s season premiere of “New Girl” (Tuesdays on FOX), one of the main characters, Schmidt, after a summer of problems, decided he needed to re-brand himself and thus threw a big party inviting everyone he knew to attend and be introduced to his new “dangerous” personality brand (complete with martial arts-style swinging fireballs).  I found myself thinking, no one would really go to this extent to re-brand themselves.  Correct, no individual person would – but companies are constantly concerned with their brand(s) and what they say about the company.

By its very nature, brand research is about differentiating one’s brand from others in the market, understanding a customer's choice leading to purchase, and ultimately being able to charge a premium price for your products, services, or solutions.  This set of expectations is different than other types of traditional customer market research.

I’ve recently been involved in two separate types of brand research, each with distinctly different objectives and designs.

Two Flavors of Brand Research

  • Brand Discovery – objectives here are to understand various attributes; associations with each brand; position relative to others’ brands; who owns or doesn’t own each attribute; and how to use this by segmenting and profiling prospect/customers.  This leads to different strategies to address each segment and profile.


  • Market Tracking – objectives here are to awareness, familiarity, consideration, and purchase choice; understanding awareness of advertising and resulting behavioral effects; as well as competitive positioning related to these objectives.


Have you seen or conducted other types of brand research?  What did you learn?  Please share and discuss.  Take a page out of Schmidt’s book and determine how you want to manage your brand(s).


Brad Linville

Walker Information

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