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Brand Development Step 4 - Ask the Market and Split Test Concepts

Brand Development Step 4 - Ask the Market and Split Test Concepts

The idea here is to form a “focus group” comprised of people who most closely represent your target market. So, if your target market includes 18 – 30-year-old males who own iPhones and live in the United States, then these are the types of people who should be in your focus group.


Naturally, you can do this offline and face to face, which gives you a better opportunity to interact with your market. Not only can you ask follow-up questions, but you can also look at facial expressions. These expressions provide a great clue as to how your market really feels about your branding concepts.


However, in most cases you’ll do this online, such as via a survey. And that’s fine too. Your main goal here is to make sure that you do NOT lead your focus group by asking biased questions.


For example, asking a question like, “Does this bold logo give you a feeling of confidence?” … is a leading question because it predisposes the person to answer yes. That’s because the word “bold” biases the reader.


In most cases, you may find it better to ask open-ended questions, rather than multiple choice or yes/no questions. That’s because people are likely to give you answers you never even thought of.


Examples of open-ended questions you might include…


·         What five descriptive words would you use to describe this logo?


·         What does this logo make you think of?


·         What does his slogan make you think of?


·         How does this logo make you feel?


·         How does this slogan make you feel?


·         Based on this logo, rate your level of trust in this company on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being low trust and 10 being the highest level of trust.


·         Based on this logo and slogan, what kinds of products or services do you think this company provides?


Of course, what people tell you and what they actually do can be two different things. That’s why you also need to split test the different concepts.



Split Test Different Concepts


While asking your market about your branding concepts through focus groups or surveys is part of the process, you need to split-test your concepts in order to let your customers vote with their wallets. It’s the only way to know for sure which branding concepts really motivate your customers to do business with you.


You’ll recall that E. Julius Haldeman made a fortune by perfecting the art of testing, tracking and tweaking. If one of his Little Blue Books didn’t sell well, he simply changed the title. He didn’t change the content of the book or anything else – he just changed the title. And with that simple change, he was able to take poor selling books that only sold a couple thousand copies and turn them into bestsellers that sold tens of thousands of copies.


Another good example of someone who tests concepts is Tim Ferriss, who authored the book, “The 4 Hour Workweek.” He tested several concepts by running Google AdWords campaigns with different book titles.  “The 4 Hour Workweek” won out, even though Ferriss admitted that certainly wasn’t his favorite title.


However, he knows that audience appeal is more important than his own personal feelings, which is why he’s gone on to use that same branding concept across multiple products, such as “The 4-Hour Body” and “The 4-Hour Chef.”


Point is, don’t rely on your intuition or your personal bias when it comes to product titles and overall branding concepts. Instead, test these concepts out. You can easily do this in a short amount of time, even in as little as a couple days, by creating a Google AdWords campaign and tracking to see what gets you the most clickthrough rates and what concepts get you the overall best conversions.


For example, if you’re testing product names, then include the product name in ad headline while keeping the body of the ad the same. The clickthrough rates on that ad will tell you which titles have the most appeal, while the overall conversion rates will further confirm if people will buy the product.


Here’s what to keep in mind as you start testing your product titles, packaging, logos and overall branding concepts…


·         Test one thing at time while holding all other variables constant. For example, if you’re testing a product name, then everything else about your campaign should remain the same… traffic sources, ads, colors, logos, etc.  The only way to tell for sure what is working is to test one element at a time.


·         Get your results quickly. Using an advertising platform like Google AdWords is a great way to drive a lot of targeted traffic to your site for the test.  If you already have a mailing list, then of course you can split test titles and other factors via email.


Once you find a branding concept that’s a winner, then be sure to implement the concept into every facet of your business to build this image and develop brand recognition.  Basically, you’ll want to get your new image to market as quickly as possible… before your competitors beat you to the punch.


Fortunately, the planning sheets that some with this course make it easy for you to develop and refine your branding image, so be sure to make use of them just as soon as you’ve finished with the training.

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