For many people the word brand is associated with physical representations of the logo, the name, colour schemes and other visible factors which provide a signature that says “this is who I am”. In consumer markets, for example, there is instant recognition of Nike’s swoosh, Shell’s pecten, or Starbuck’s siren.
In business-to-business markets the physical manifestation of the brand is much less important. Possibly less than 15% of the brand image of a business-to-business company is made up of the visible bits of the brand. Of far greater importance are the contributions made by the product performance, the service that supports it, the delivery performance, the price and the promotion. In large companies the financial performance and the general PR the company receives will have a further impact on the brand.
Market research provides the tools to identify which aspects of the brand iceberg need attention. We can determine the impact of the visible brand attributes. We can show the effect of service on the brand. We can measure the importance of all these different contributors to the brand equity and identify which are the levers that will generate the greatest improvement.
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