The Value of Market Research

In 2005 I was determined to test the effectiveness of my new brand name via a professional market research company. Knowing how much I believed in it was not enough; I had to find out what objective consumers would think about it when seeing it for the first time. By this time my trademarked name was approved in the United States and filed or registered in over thirty foreign countries. The name was legally protected as well as it could have been in that many countries as a result of my global vision of this remarkable name. However, would it catch the consumer’s eye, or more importantly, their pocketbook? Here is a case study of my experiences in real world market research.

In 2005, I had already created a new product brand name and needed to know how to better reach my target audience. So I contracted with two companies: one a web development to create an informational website and the second was a market research company. The focus was to get the word out about my new brand name.

While the product website was under construction, we started with the development of an online survey. This survey was deployed nationally to get the broadest consumer response possible. Some of the interesting highlights that the survey revealed were that:

64% of the respondents were open and receptive to the new brand name – This was important to me, because it meant that people liked the name.

The three most likely product categories to relate the brand name with were:
(a) safety and first aid products;
(b) personal health/hygiene products, and
(c) over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

Over 50% of the respondents selected the brand name to appear on bandages, joint pain ointments, sports/energy drinks and cold medications/allergy relief.

They even provided nine descriptive terms that consumers chose:
Healing
Comforting
Supportive
Dependable
Reassuring
Reliable
Soothing
Secure
Safe

These adjectives arrived at through our market research are connotations that most manufacturers would love to have associated with their product name!

Why was it important to determine adjectives? Because these connotations became the keywords we used in creating all marketing materials. We wanted to use words that resonated with consumers.

Based upon the market research findings, we created a PowerPoint slide show to illustrate the way in which consumers interfaced with the brand name. This was effective because it combined visuals – including graphics to illustrate the product settings along with the powerful marketing words that touched the consumers. This PowerPoint also served as great single ‘point and click’ visuals on the website. The marketing findings were written up into a quick fact sheet that website visitors could download and view at their convenience.

The most comforting result from my market research investment was that the survey supported my theory that this remarkable name was a “positive brand name strongly associated with multiple product categories.” Was it worth the expense to invest in market research? Yes, because it gave me insight into my consumers’ minds plus valuable wording for future marketing efforts in print, online and presentations. It also saved me money by investing in flyers and an online website presence that would connect with my potential clients.

I strongly recommend, if you are an inventor, be sure to set aside money for an independent market research on your product idea as well as your product name. You will be glad that you did!