Our clients often ask us to get a market snapshot of their perceived brand before starting process or strategy work. Limited time and budgets make a traditional survey approach impossible. How do we get a "quick and dirty" but still valid brand snapshot?
You certainly have a challenge. In most cases, "quick and dirty" and "valid and complete" are incompatible. The reputation of an institution or the expectations of a diverse marketplace and stakeholders are not easily characterized even over longer times. However, we have a suggestion of how to complete your task.
Surveys are generally a good way to get stakeholders opinions about the brand "promise" they expect from a company. However, a lot of people are "surveyed out" and interpretation of these data may be complex. Since you seem to not have the budget for a market research firm or a lengthy survey process, look at the value of a simple survey, where simple equals one question. Define a few key markets and ask them to give you a single word that defines their experience with your client. This is a quick process, minimally intrusive on respondent's time, easy to tabulate and interpret and relatively unambiguous for your client, and easy to replicate on a regular basis.Tip:
Field a simple web survey (paper if needed but electronic is faster, cheaper, and more efficient) that gives the company logo (best because it does not bias the verbal response) or the client company name with a very brief description of its market (e.g., Wilsons Inc., a Brownsville-based tool and die manufacturer). Tabulate words used to describe the market impression of the company brand and display in a tabular or cloud format. See an example of how this works in Brand Tags
. For a given logo (many popular brands are represented here), you can see how people described it. Alternatively, you can look at the keywords used to describe a company and see if you can figure out what the company is. Your own One-word impression survey will deliver a fairly clear sense of what your client's brand is and in what areas you might need to work on it. © 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA