It is an exciting time for brands in search of opportunities to grow and evolve because they’re swirling all around us. The big question is, are you waiting for the path forward to appear on its own or are you an active participant in forging it?
When thinking about the future of your brand, any sense of uncertainty is exactly where the opportunities can be found. By embracing the unknown and using it to our advantage we are free to adapt and evolve our value propositions in ways may not have been possible just a few months ago.
Success today isn’t about having all the answers – or even some of the answers. Success today is about taking those initial steps toward establishing a framework and building a foundation based on fact and consumer insight. Then you can strategically shape the future of your brand with confidence knowing the ground is solid and ongoing decisions are informed.
So, where to begin?
Any path forward starts where you currently stand. Examine your current environment by digging into your existing data inventory. Most brands are sitting on a treasure trove of customer and market insights hidden within fragmented, unstructured data.
It’s important to note that your “old” data is still extremely valuable today as market conditions change. Part of understanding where you currently stand is looking back and reflecting on where you were in the past. Using previously collected data to establish a then-to-now series of benchmarks will provide comparative analysis and identify key success metrics to measure the impact of future initiatives.
Sifting through the data clutter to find actionable insights requires a strategic approach and the proper tools; both of which have been at the core of our services for the past 35 years. Here are some of the vaults we open during this initial data inventory phase:
Purchase/sales history, registration forms, contact lists, client account profiles, etc.
Transactional data holds a wealth of information, not only about your customers but also about organizational processes and practices. By digging into these data files, we establish which types of information is currently known and highlight areas to tighten data collection/storage practices.
Brand perception, customer satisfaction, lifestyle preferences, media consumption, etc.
You’ve likely conducted primary research in the past – distributing surveys and analyzing the response data. These survey research projects are often tucked away and forgotten after their initial use, so pulling them back out and revisiting the findings will extract more value from that initial investment and offer guidance for future research.
CRM Systems & Programs
Communication strategies, brand engagement, marketing effectiveness, online activity, etc.
Itemizing touchpoints and mapping them along the customer journey produces an impactful visual representation of how your brand is currently engaging with customers. Through this process we uncover communication gaps and potential drop-off points for reference during future communication strategy development.
By opening the vault and digging into your existing data inventory, we’re applying the information you already have about your brand and customers toward the ultimate goal of brand evolution. Through this approach you’ll be gaining a deeper understanding of your current internal environment and maximizing ROI from past projects.
Our next post along this four-part series will focus on strategic development and future planning:
(THIS POST) PART 1 – Using what you know today to identify what you need to know for tomorrow
(NEXT POST) PART 2 – Developing a customer insight strategy to support business objectives and guide ongoing decision making
(COMING SOON) PART 3 – Engaging customers with the intent of actively listening and authentically responding
(COMING SOON) PART 4 – Applying customer insights to support current processes (Be Relevant) and forward-thinking action plans (Stay Relevant)