Role of Market Research in Brand Development Essay
1.0 Introduction
The concept of marketing research has attracted extensive controversy and confusion from numerous people involved in marketing for the longest time. Nevertheless, market research is a crucial tool that can enable marketers to gain a deep understanding of the consumer trends thus developing strong brands. The frequent misunderstanding and misuse of marketing research has led to the minimal or virtually no recognition of its importance in brand development. Although many marketers undertake marketing research, they end up misusing or wrongly applying the findings by trying to provide an element of certainty about outcomes of the market. The use of marketing research normally exists in bolstering positions of management and selling certain initiatives to the organization. If the application of marketing research findings is undertaken well, there is a likelihood of extensive success in the development of a brand. Marketers are often entangled with the question relating to the importance of market research on successful brand development. Additionally, there are questions on the reliability of such market research.
There have been extensive changes in the manner in which corporate entities perceive intangibles and tangibles. Indeed, the value of intangibles has become of so much importance to corporate in the recent past. The importance of intangibles has particularly become highly applicable in the analysis of a company’s short and long term performances. Brand is such an important intangible that has become important for many corporate entities to consider. In the current business world, professional corporations consider the ability to create, maintain and develop strong brands as the most distinct and essential role. Firms with brands considered superior often enjoy competitive privileges within their target markets. In this report, an analysis of the importance of marketing research for brand building in banks in Australia is made. Based on the perspectives associated with marketing research, the report seeks to utilize both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The two approaches to marketing research are particularly important in that they provide extensive information relating to the real issues affecting the brand. Therefore, this report will establish the value brought about by marketing research in developing a banking brand in Australia qualitatively and quantitatively.
2.0 Brand Evaluation
2.1 Marketing Research Approaches to brand success
Successful brands in any industry do not just happen; successful brands are established over a long period of time. In the highly competitive Australian banking industry, a bank has to put extensive effort and resource investment to be successful. Indeed, the relevance of marketing research cannot be overemphasized for such banks. In gaining an understanding about the importance of qualitative and quantitative data about banking brand in Australia, the diverse aspects of the banking concept are considered. The aspects under consideration are analyzed in quantitative and qualitative aspects. Quantitative marketing research plays an important role in the development of successful banking brands. This is particularly due to the fact that it provides information pertaining to the various aspects of the market such as prediction, confirmation of a given perception about size, representativeness through surveys, scales from questionnaires, responses based on fixed outcomes, statistical numerical tests and scientific and objectively developed quantitative tests. Quantitative approach towards brand development is therefore inclined towards positivist perspective. The use of quantitative research approach is particularly useful while seeking to make generalizations about populations.
On the other hand, the use of qualitative approach in marketing focuses on the interpretive perspective. The interpretive perspective prefers understanding, description, use of non-representative groups, observation of behavior in the natural environment, transcriptions of open ended in nature, images, quotes, probing the sub-conscious and content analysis on a basic form. Nevertheless, qualitative research is subjectively unscientific. The popularity of qualitative research is embedded on the rationale of concept development. Some of the aspects associated with qualitative research development include packaging, advertising, product promotion and many other activities. Marketing research therefore enables a marketer in banking to understand the aspirations, values, and lifestyles sought by the customers through their consumption of the products availed by the bank. Based on the information obtained by marketers about the customers, it is possible to develop adverts that refer to the target groups.
2.2 Quantitative Research Approach
The choice of the quantitative research approach in marketing makes it important for the determination of value estimates for the target group. In the Australian banking industry, the use of quantitative research approach provides quantitative data to demonstrate the progress of the brand. Quantitative data also provides important information about the performance of the brand in the highly competitive Australian banking industry. Quantitative market research outcome from the Australian banking industry provides important insights into the decisions made about the brand. Generally, quantitative data provides facts and figures that give the estimated progress of the brand over a projected period of time. In particular, quantitative research approach utilizes surveys. Surveys on the performance of certain banking brands provides an opportunity for marketers to understand such aspects as customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, brand popularity, brand market size, and many other quantitative outcomes of research. In this report, quantitative research utilizes a survey to determine the market size of the brand in the Australian banking industry as well as the growth rate of the brand.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia is the leading bank in Australia whose brand has gained extreme prominence throughout the Australian banking sector. Through the recent brand survey undertaken by Millward Brown Optimor, Commonwealth Bank was position 48 globally in terms brand size and dominance. From the perspective of the marketing manager for commonwealth bank, quantitative survey on the performance of the brand is an integral part of attaining continued improvement on a global perspective. Commonwealth bank has continuously registered an impressive performance globally over the years. Indeed, commonwealth bank has been at the helm of Australian banking industry with impressive performance over the years. The bank’s brand has grown tremendously over the years to become the leading bank in Australia and among the top corporations in Australia. Commonwealth bank has an impressive track record that has distinguished its brand as highly valuable thus enjoying competitive advantage over other players in the industry. The figure below shows the market capitalization, brand value and enterprise value of commonwealth bank of Australia up to October 2012:
Source: Bloomberg Finance L.P.
The figure demonstrates quantitatively the brand value, market capitalization and enterprise value attributed to commonwealth bank of Australia. The data presented through quantitative analysis is important for understanding about the brand’s strengths and weaknesses as well as the chances available for the bank to grow its brand further. Quantitative data presented in the figure above is obtained through marketing research focusing on quantitative aspects. The information presented provides an opportunity for increased understanding of the performance of the brand. Based on the quantitative data, it is possible for the company to register improvements in its performance by coming up with methods of growing the brand further. Therefore, quantitative research approach creates an opportunity for the commonwealth bank of Australia to establish the exact and average figures through which to expand and grow the brand.
Quantitative research approach also focuses on important aspects of brand development such as cognition/belief, emotion/affect of the brand, and behavior/conation of the brand. The three aspects of quantitative brand market research employ the tri-component framework. Quantitative brand market research can also be based on questionnaire scales. The use of questionnaire survey design to gain data about brand success and development for the commonwealth bank of Australia involves consideration of various aspects of customer and employee perspective. The bank can utilize numerous approaches to gather questionnaire data such as computer assisted telephone interview, online surveys, and face to face questionnaires. The administration of the questionnaires greatly impacts on the results obtained. Random selection of the respondents is to be considered in such surveys to ensure representativeness to the population. For the market research obtained through the face to face and computer assisted interviews to be reliable, supervision is important.
The value of quantitative data obtained through the questionnaire survey is seen in the fact that the commonwealth bank is able to identify the main areas of attention needed to improve its brand. In particular, the quantitative data is useful in providing information relating to the attitude and consumption of the brand. Indeed, commonwealth bank of Australia is a brand that has gained global recognition. Therefore, the quantitative research approach provides an opportunity for an understanding into the usage of the services provided by the brand making it possible to further increase the usefulness of the brand. Scaled questionnaires such as likert scales are also useful in determining the level of attitudes people have about commonwealth bank as a brand.
2.3 Qualitative research approach
Qualitative research is an important another important consideration for commonwealth ban k of Australia. Although the use of quantitative research approach is also considered important for gaining an understanding about the brand in relation to usage and attitude of the users, qualitative research approach is required to establish detailed understanding. The use of qualitative research approach is important in the sense that it helps in ensuring that there is certainty about various factors and processes undertaken in brand development. Concept development is an important of brand success. The use of qualitative research by commonwealth bank of Australia enables appropriate focus on the concept development of the brand. Indeed, qualitative research approach on brand development facilitates various marketing mixes to have a successful interplay to bring about effective combination of factors. Indeed, the current brand success of commonwealth bank of Australia has been brought about by effective combination of marketing mix forces. Therefore, marketing concepts such as packaging, product blending, branding, sorting as well as adverting are important outcomes of qualitative research.
In determining the various market factors affecting commonwealth bank as a brand, qualitative research approach is crucial. For instance, through qualitative research approach, image and brand performance are understood effectively. Consumer behavior can be effectively understood through qualitative research approach thus making it possible to devise methods of understanding the attitudes associated with the brand. Qualitative research approach is therefore useful in clarifying outcomes obtained through quantitative research approach. A depth interview is one important method that can be used by commonwealth bank marketers to gain further knowledge about the brand. Depth interviews can take the form of teleconferencing, online groups, day-long workshops and face to face interactions.
One on one and larger group depth interviews all provide important qualitative research outcomes. However, smaller groups are better as they provide an opportunity for the participants to be involved in the depth interview fully. Participants in the depth interview bring about important knowledge and experience regarding to the perspectives of the brand. The participants in the group depth interview should have ample knowledge about the happenings in the banking industry in Australia and globally. Based on the important resources obtained from depth interviews, it is possible for commonwealth bank of Australia to gain further insights about how to develop its brand. Group and depth interviews are often used to obtain qualitative research. The use of depth and group interviews is often interchangeable. However, marketers find it easy to use group interviews due to their ease in application.
Qualitative research approach is particularly useful for banks as it provides important information to be applied in the gaining adequate understanding about the different promotional approaches. Advertising is one approach that enables a bank to continuously improve on its brand. Advertising is important in causing attention, priming audience, breaking through competitive noise, increasing awareness and knowledge recall. For an established brand like commonwealth bank of Australia, advertising further intensifies the growth of the brand. Advertising brings about a change in attitudes through numerous means such as establishment of familiarity, raising likeability and appeal as well as reinforcing the existing attitude. Promotional objectives are important for the bank as they aid in establishing priorities relating to the growth of the brand. For a bank like commonwealth bank of Australia, the generation of brand awareness in the short term is not enough; therefore, it is imperative that the bank seeks to create the recognition of the brand as well as acquisition of detailed knowledge about it. Obviously, such an undertaking requires so much effort and resource allocation.
2.4 Brand development and promotion
The development of a brand in banking is enhanced through numerous approaches. The banking brand requires high commitment of effort to sustain and uphold success at all times. Therefore, it is appropriate to utilize numerous approaches to ensure that a brand is effectively developed based on the marketing research information obtained through quantitative and qualitative methods. In consideration of the highly competitive banking sector in the Australia, factors such as likeability, prices, location, availability and access need to be integrated into the advertising. The diverse approaches towards brand development and growth ensure that the bank marketers have adequate information about the trends of customer markets. The strengths and weaknesses of a brand can be understood from the information collected through qualitative and quantitative data.
2.5 Output value of quantitative and qualitative approaches
The value and role of the information obtained through quantitative and qualitative methods is important for the brand development in diverse ways. The table below shows the value attributed to outcomes obtained through quantitative and qualitative approach:

Value/Role
Quantitative Research Approach
  • Tracking brand equity components in relation to benchmark and competition
  • Exploring decision options in relation to brand strength
  • Brand awareness level
  • Brand associations of image
  • Differentiating between perceived strength and competing brands
  • Establishment of brand name latitude
Qualitative Research Approach
  • Experience of customer process
  • Feelings and emotions associated with the brand
  • Customer use of the brand
  • Environment and lives of the customers in relation to the brand
  • Prevailing needs and fulfillment methods now and in the future
  • Evidence of advertising and marketing prevailing
  • Customer collaboration for brand improvement
  • Reduction of choice range for further development

Source: Author
2.6 Conclusion
A qualitative and quantitative research approaches are particularly important for the determination of brand strength in an in-depth manner. This, therefore, provides a solid foundation through which crucial decisions can be made. The combined approaches are effective in providing adequate information about the brand thus bringing about important insights into the measures that need to be undertaken to improve the brand. In relation to the numerous information acquired through the two approaches, it is possible to uphold the commonwealth bank of Australia as a successful brand   for the longest period of time.
 
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