Using focus groups for your brand refresh

When refreshing your brand, gathering feedback from your clients or consumers can give you crucial insight and information that will better inform your marketing strategy. A well-organized focus group provides feedback you can use to create a strategy to move forward—building on what’s working well, removing obstacles, and articulating a clear and concise elevator pitch for your brand.

When reworking your brand, outside input is essential — but first, you need to know what you’re doing.

STEP 1: Identify and contact participants

You’ll want a variety of people willing to take the time to offer their take on the Five W’s for your brand. This could include members of your team, colleagues in the community, previous and current customers, and friends and family.

STEP 2: Ask questions

You’ll want to enlist an employee or colleague to capture responses so that you can focus on asking the right questions and building upon them as the conversation flows.

Ask your focus group(s) their perceptions of:

  • Who is your business?
  • What does your business do?
  • What was their experience when they connected with your business (both initially and more substantially)?
  • Where do they see your business activities? (Do they see your product in stores? Do they see you at community events? Have they noticed your advertisements? Where would they like to see you?)
  • Why they care about your business? (Do you meet a need, give them money, make a difference or provide some one-of-a-kind resource?)
  • Anything else they find important or memorable about your business or any suggestions they’d offer for the future.

Most importantly, don’t forget the #1 go-to for keeping a focus group engaged: provide snacks.

STEP 3: Analyze the results

Examine how the focus group responded to the questions. You’ll find their feedback will help you to outline your marketing plan. Ask yourself:

  • How close your Five W’s answers to the perceptions of your focus group?
  • Does your name resonate with your audiences?
  • Is your logo memorable and on point with your identity?
  • Is your brand telling the story you think it is?
  • Is your brand identity being seen the way you’d like?
  • Are you spending your marketing time and money in effective ways and locations?
  • Are you missing connection opportunities?
  • Do your current activities reach the right people?
  • What are the most powerful and effective takeaways each person gave?

Now that you’ve set the baseline (how you’re being perceived) with the help of focus group(s), you should have the basics for your brand refresh. But remember, there are no shortcuts for long-term success. If you don’t have the time to lead a focus group and/or summarize its findings, it may be time to bring in a professional.

This article has been adapted from one we originally published in Comstock’s Magazine.