“Where do I begin?”
“What are the critical threats and opportunities I should be focusing on?”
“How do I get the information I need to make smart, strategic decisions?”
These are just a few of the questions that business owners and senior-level executives ask themselves when their business is going through a significant transition. Running a business is challenging and there are numerous factors to consider when making normal daily decisions, let alone decisions associated with business transitions. Whether a business is experiencing a change in ownership, looking to reposition their brand, or planning to expand their offerings or service area, research provides the data necessary to make confident business decisions that lead to the best path of success.
In this article we will discuss how research supports three of the top business transitions facing business owners today:
Brand research uncovers valuable information directly from the people who know your brand the best; employees and customers. The information you need to confidently navigate transitions, exists in the minds of your customers and employees already. They hold the answers to the questions you have about how to move forward and prepare your business for the next stage of its journey. So let’s take a closer look at a few of the transitions businesses face and how brand research can help you uncover the information you need to grow and succeed through business transitions.
If you’ve recently acquired a business, or are considering doing so, one of the challenges you’re faced with is understanding the brand on a deeper level. You’ve done the research to ensure the business is financially sound and it makes sense from a financial perspective, but how do you ensure you can build upon the success the business has already seen? Brand research is an excellent tool that’s intended to do just that. It uncovers where a business is successful and aligned, working towards common goals throughout the organization, but also where there’s misperception or lack of clarity on who the brand is and how it can better be positioned for growth going forward. It takes into account the three key perspectives needed to align a brand and ensure success. Those three perspectives are; Ownership, Employees, and Customers. By gathering purposeful insights from all three of these groups it becomes easier to identify where there’s alignment within a brand and where there’s opportunity to improve, resulting in a stronger brand experience for both employees and customers.
Repositioning Your Brand
Let’s face it, very few things in life stay the same for long and businesses are no exception. Customer preferences change, the needs of the marketplace fluctuate, new technologies are introduced, your internal capabilities have increased, employee turnover occurs, and the next thing you know your business isn’t as well positioned to serve the current market as it once was. Repositioning your brand is an important part of business that all brands go through at some point in order to stay relevant in a world that’s constantly changing. But how do you ensure you reposition in a way that aligns with where your organization is internally and what the market’s looking for externally? Brand research. By gaining insights from the three key stakeholder perspectives you can decipher how your brand is positioned currently and what steps need to be taken to achieve the brand positioning you desire.
Expanding Offerings or Service Area
Growth is the goal of every business and oftentimes that growth looks like expanded service offerings or service areas, but expansion of any kind comes with increased expense and the uncertainty of success. Expanding service areas and/or offerings means investing money into new equipment and new staffing, which comes with increased time commitments for new training initiatives and higher levels of pressure to see success and ROI. You want to do all you can to ensure the work you’re putting in is fruitful and worth the investment. Brand research provides the data you need to position your expanded service offering/area for success. Your employees and current customer base can give you first hand insight into what you should be leaning into and what you need to change in order to see the success you’re looking for. Your customers can also tell you whether they’d consider using a new offering you might be considering before you’ve fully committed to the initiative. This allows you to a) know if this is a smart decision to embark on for your business, and b) if you’ll have to start marketing to a brand new audience or if you can roll the new addition out to your current customer base and allow the audience to grow over time.
Brand research is a tool that allows you to approach times of transition with confidence, knowing that as you develop a plan to move forward your strategy will be rooted in real data, eliminating the guesswork that often comes along with uncertainty. Don’t leave the future of your business up to assumptions, take the time to go through the brand research process and hear directly from the people who know your brand best to achieve the success you’re dreaming of.