Wednesday, 23 November 2016

It’s in the name…

What is Branding Science about? Why is it different and distinctive?

The clue is in the name… Branding Science.

Our approach to research and brand development is grounded in the science of the mind and the science of behaviour.

It informs the way we design research, the methods and techniques we use, the way we analyse the outputs and the way we assess their meaning for your business.

Since the 19th century many eminent scientists have used the principles of the ‘Scientific Method’ - objectivity, theory formulation, hypothesising, experimental observation, openness and critical review – to develop the science of behaviour.

This endeavour has continued for over 150 years, encompassing the ‘traditional’ sciences of the mind and behaviour - psychology, psychoanalysis, classical anthropology, social psychology, phenomenology and sociology… but now also benefiting from the more modern disciplines such as neuroscience, behavioural economics and NLP.

We take the very best from these disciplines and we fuse them into our ‘whole-brain philosophy’ of brands, brand research and brand development, so that our clients get the most impactful and compelling findings possible:

It’s in how we design our research:
  • Because we know and understand ‘human cognition’ we find ways of pre-exposing people to materials before we interview them. This helps respondents assimilate data and messaging from those materials. In turn this gets us closer to a ‘real world’ response, emergent feelings and likely behaviour changes. In short more authentic and actionable recommendations for our clients.
  • This same understanding of ‘cognition’ means that we use follow up interviews to see what thoughts, ideas, feelings and beliefs have remained or emerged with respondents after the event.
It’s in the techniques we employ
  • From ‘cognitive neuroscience’ we see that brands are made up of complex webs of association stored in human memory and that brand relationships develop into visceral emotions [our ‘gut feelings’].
  • We know, from our understanding of how the brain works, that these thoughts, feelings and associations are not readily accessible because they are in the sub-conscious or just taken for granted.
  • So, in our brand research, we design ways of ‘surfacing’ those ‘taken for granted’ memories and associations, enabling us to give ‘dimension’ to and allowing us to take a measure of, brand feeling.
It’s in the way we analyse results
  • Freud and the psychoanalysts articulated a raft of ‘mental mechanisms’ people use to evade awkward truths; by playing mental tricks on themselves.
  • These mechanisms are as valid today as they were a hundred years ago.
  • Applying concepts like ‘denial’, ‘rationalisation’ and ‘projection’ in our analytic processes means that we differentiate between the sometimes valid and sometimes evasive explanations that we hear in interviews.
It’s in the way we address business objectives:
  • One of the biggest challenges in market research is how to link outputs  to your business objectives in practical, actionable ways.
  • Our research design, development and delivery is underpinned by a breadth and depth of scientific knowledge, coupled with a deep understanding of your business needs.
  • We understand the disciplines of objective reasoning and criticism: What do the research outputs really tell us? How do they reflect or impact on the business objectives underlying the research?
  • By truly putting the science back into market research we can and do deliver ‘actionable’ findings and genuine insights that add real value and give our clients and their brands a sustainable competitive edge. That has to be something of interest to any of you reading this blog!
About the author: Jon Chandler has recently joined the Branding Science Group as a senior director.  He brings 30 plus years of market research experience to the Group and is well known in the industry as an innovator, leading edge thinker and highly effective practitioner.  Jon has joined Branding Science with a view to further deepening and broadening the scientific basis of our research approaches. In addition Jon aims to enhance the scope, range, depth of insight, action-ability and value added by our research offerings.