Using Market Research
To Develop Brand Loyalty
This is Part 9 of 17 on writing
Market Research Plans.
Market Research 101
Why Develop a Market Research Plan?
Where's the benefit?
The 3 Key Ingredients in Every Market Research Plan
Market Research For Small Business Owners
Remember Pink iMacs?
Jose Mourinho Taught Me About Market Research
Kickstart your Market Research
Using Market Research To Develop Brand
Mystery of the Seven Sided Market Research Plan
Stage 1 - Why?
Stage 2 – Why Some Customers Are More
Important Than Others
Stage 3 - How To Find The Information You Need
Stage 4 – How To Collect Data
Stage 5 – Analyze Data
Stage 6 – Generate Report Findings
Stage 7 – Choose Best Strategies
How to Develop Brand Loyalty & Increase Long-term
What’s better than a customer buying your product once?
Market Research – Competitor Analysis
The holy grail for most companies is to persuade them to
buy again, and then again, and then again, and…
Instead of finding new customers, sell more products to
your current customers.
Most marketing experts believe that the fastest way to
generate more sales is to:
- Identify your best customers
- Understand their preferences
- Examine their buying habits
- Define their emotional
- Revise your marketing plan to convert softcore buyers
into hardcore fans
Repeat business is always more cost effective than
finding new customers with all their associated costs and overheads.
Brand Loyalty Influence on Customer Spending
So, how do you persuade customers to buy more than they
already have? Or more than they need?
First, let’s define what is brand loyalty:
‘Brand loyalty is a customers commitment to repurchase
or continue using a product.’
You can see this when customers make repeat purchases
and also when in other ways, such as promoting the product through word
Brand loyalty is more than repurchasing.
Customers may repurchase a product for other reasons:
- Situational constraints (also known as vendor lock-in)
- Lack of viable alternatives
In marketing terms, this is known as “spurious loyalty”.
Once the constraints are lifted, other alternatives arise or things
become more convenience, then the customer will move elsewhere.
You can see this when cable or telco companies keep
customers locked into horrible deals. It’s only when a rival enters the
market do they finally change their rates and offer better value.
Brand Loyalty? Give Me an Example
A good example is Apple.
Its intense fan-base evangelize most every product
release, making repeat purchases and endorsing the product
to their friends, families and other social channels.
True brand loyalty exists when customers have a genuine
positive attitude towards the product which is then seen through repeat
This type of loyalty is a great asset to the firm:
- Customers may pay higher prices (see the high cost of
- Cost less to serve (Apple fanboys often have deep
technical knowledge of the product)
- Bring in new customers (by showing off the new
features to friends and bigging up the brand)
Four Types of Brand Loyalty
In marketing terms there are four patterns of behavior:
- Hardcore Loyals – who always buy the brand and
usually detest the competition. See Apple v Microsoft.
- Softcore Loyals – loyal to two or three brands.
- Shifting Loyalty – move from one brand to another.
- Switchers – with no loyalty (possibly ‘deal-prone’,
constantly looking for bargains).
How to Name Your Brand
There are several ways to do this. Here are some
guidelines regarding the ideal traits of a good brand name.
Make sure the name:
- Attracts attention.
- Easy to pronounce.
- Easy to remember.
- Easy to recognize.
- Easy to translate.
- Protected under Trademark law.
- Suggests product benefits.
- Highlights your product’s position relative to the
- Stands out among a group of other brands.
How to Develop Brand Loyalty
Before you can start any of the above, you need to find
out what customers (and maybe prospective) think of your current brand.
Once you have this information, you can develop
different marketing tactics to increase brand awareness and address
some of the issues and concerns highlighted in the market research
To understand what your customers think of your brand,
use a Brand Loyalty template to survey your customers.
Use this template to develop your own survey based on
the type of product or service your company offers. You can use it to
gauge the loyalty consumers have to a specific brand. For example, if
you’re selling personal computers, then ask them:
- What type of computers they use?
- How many computers they have at home and in the
- What brands do they prefer?
- What is the killer feature for each brand?
- How important is cost? For example, on a scale of 1-5.
- When do they plan to make their next purchase.
In the survey template, ask your customers a combination
of open and closed questions.
Open questions allow the person to discuss
things with less constraints than Yes/No type questions.
‘How would you describe the product to your friends?’
This lets the person discuss what they think and feel
about the product. These type of questions often uncover things you had
not thought of when marketing your products.
Closed questions are useful when you want to
gather so-called hard data. For instance, how many PCs do you
have? Do you prefer Netbooks or Desktops? Where did you see our product
Creating Brand Loyalty Surveys
The key to successful surveys is to work backwards and
- What do I want to really know about my brand?
- What do I want to know about my competitors?
- What gaps exist in what we know about our customers?
Once you have clarified what you need to capture, modify
your Brand Loyalty survey to reflect this.
The goal is that once you have prioritized what you need
to capture, structure the survey accordingly. Adjust your survey so that the
information is easy to share with your Marketing colleagues.
Finally, remember to balance the survey with Open and
While it’s important to gather the hard data, especially
if you’re following up on a previous marketing campaign, use the Open
questions as an opportunity to let the customer speak for themselves.
Once you have completed the survey, gather the data and
start examining it.
- Remove any anomalies that may have crept in.
- Look out for instances when the interviewer may have
influenced the subjects, for example, by placing ‘words in their mouth’.
- Share this data with the Marketing Team.
- See what new data has arisen that needs to be fed
into the Marketing Plan.
- Depending on the feedback, adjust your Marketing Plan
or parts of it that need to be updated, for example, Ad campaigns.
Over to you.
What do you think is the best way to gather information
about your brand? Do you find surveys work best or would you recommend
phone calls, interviews, or focus groups?
Please add your thoughts below.
About the Author: Ivan Walsh is a Marketing Consultant
who develops Market Research Plans. He
also shares Business Planning Strategieson
Follow me on Twitter or Facebook
Research Template Pack
template pack includes:
Plan Template (16 pages) Use this template to capture 1. Why You
Need Research, 2. Who You Wan to Target, 3. How to Plan 4. Collect
Data, 5. Analyze Data, 6. Report Findings, and 7. Make Decisions.
Plan Brief Template (6 pages) Use this document to brief
Consultants on your Market Research requirements.
Templates including Brand Loyalty Survey, Competitor Analysis,
Demographic Comparison, Demographic Profile, Industry Analysis
Checklist, Market Planning Checklist, Cost Analysis, Market
Research Spreadsheet, Market Survey, and a Project Plan.
Instant Download in MS Word
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Table of Contents
The Market Research Plan (MS
Word, 16 pages) contains the following chapters. The other checklists,
questionnaires, surveys and templates are listed below.
1 Executive Summary
1.2 Points Of Contact
2 Market Research Plan
2.1 Stage 1 – Why You Need a Market Research Plan?
2.2 Stage 2 – Who are your Customers?
2.3 Stage 3 - How Are Your Going To Get The Information?
2.4 Stage 4 – Collect Data
2.4.1 Train Your Staff
2.4.2 Make it Sharable
2.4.3 Avoid Corrupt Data
2.4.4 Design Carefully
2.5 Stage 5 – Analyze Data
2.6 Stage 6 – Generate Report Findings
2.6.1 Descriptive Data Analysis
2.6.2 Inferential Data Analysis
2.7 Stage 7 – Choose Best Strategies
3 Market Plan Budget
Why Use a Market
As a small business owner, you're looking for ways understand:
- Who are
your current customers and potential customers?
- What do I
really know about them? Where do they live? Do they prefer to shop
online or offline?
- What do
they want to buy?
- What is
their average income? What’s the disposable income?
- What type
of products do they have (Skoda), like to have (slightly bigger Car),
and aspire to having (BMW)?
- How much
are they willing to pay for my products?
- Can they
find my products where they go shopping? If not, why?
- What do
they think of my business? Do they think we’re reliable, trustworthy,
- How does
my business compare with my competitors?
Marketing Research deals with
moving targets. Last year you couldn’t give away Tablet PCs. Then Apple
launched its iPad. Suddenly everyone wants one.
Marketing research looks at what
makes people choose to buy one product over another. What makes
them suddenly switch brands? What makes them recommend one product over
To do this you need to gather
facts, examine opinions and organize them in a structure manner. This
lets you drill down and see what makes people want to buy - not just
what you want to sell them.
5 Key Areas in Market Research
You can use these twelve
templates (10 Microsoft Word and 2 Excel spreadsheets) to
outline the specific goals for your Market Research Plan and then feed
these results into your Business Plans, Marketing Plans,
and product development strategies.
This Market Research Plan will help you examine five areas:
the Competition - Can you compete
against the incumbent? How many competitors are there in the current
marketplace? Could you partner with other companies and deliver a
superior product offering?
your Target Market – gather information about the age, location and
number of people who’ll be interested in the product. The more you know
about your customers, the more you can tailor your product to their
needs, spending habits and in relation to emerging trend.
the Right Price – how much will the product cost? Will you sell it
as part of a bundle? Do you offer discounts? How about international
customers? Will the price be the same in the US as in Japan? And if
customers find out, what next?
the Best Sales channels - What’s best approach to selling the
products? Over the web, in the high street, through partners, direct
the Number of Customers - How many people are looking for this
product? How confident are you that this figure is correct? Will this
number increase or decrease over the next three years?
As you can see, there are many
factors to consider when launching a product. Interviewing, running
surveys and polls are different ways to get inside the head of your
customers (or prospective customers) and see what they think.
Remember, market research is not an exact science.
What works in one area, may not
work in another. Likewise, you may need to run different surveys or
workshop until you begin to see specific trends emerging, for example,
the price may be too high for customers in different regions or the
user interface may confuse customers and cause them to leave the site.
The over-arching goal is to learn more about your customers and
how their spending habits, preferences and knowledge of
your brand will impact your company's Sales and Marketing strategy.
7 Stages of Successful Market
You can then use these forms,
checklists, surveys, and questionnaires to complete the seven stages in
the Market Research process:
- Stage 1 –
Why You Need a Market Research Plan?
- Stage 2 –
Who are your Target Customers?
- Stage 3 -
How To Get The Information You Need?
- Stage 4 –
How Do You Collect Data
How to Train Your Staff
How to Make it Sharable
How to Avoid Corrupt Data
How to Design Questionnaires, Surveys and Polls
- Stage 5 –
- Stage 6 –
Generate Report Findings
Descriptive Data Analysis
Inferential Data Analysis
- Stage 7 –
Choose Best Strategies
Market Research Budget
You can also use the budget
section and Project Plan (MS Excel template) to capture the
costs associated with the Market Plan. This helps you identify the
budget amount allocated by category (e.g., milestone or cost
Here are screenshots of the
templates you can download by clicking the Click Here to Purchase
Research Template, Stage 3
Research, Excel Template
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What's included in this template
|Brand Loyalty Survey - MS Word
|Competitor Analysis - MS Word
| Demographic Comparison - MS Word
| Demographic Profile - MS Excel
|Industry Analysis Checklist - MS Word
|Market Planning Checklist - MS Word
|Market Research Brief 6 pgs - MS Word
|Market Research Cost Analysis - MS Word
|Market Research Plan Template 16 pgs - MS Word
|Market Research Spreadsheet - MS Excel
|Market Survey - MS Word
|Project Plan - MS Word
Now for only $9.99!