Monday, August 11, 2008

Selling Your Brand by Using Your Web Site as a Customer Research Tool

The importance of customer experience research ...

"With companies moving business online, the Internet has become a source of profit for them. We all know how this works. You establish an online presence, sell your brand well—and you make money. Let’s rewind. We are selling our brands online, but doing it well is the challenge. To do it well, keep the following in mind:

* Customer research is an important factor in generating business revenues, so it must be done right—that is, at the right place and at the right time.
* The online medium should not be the only way of gathering customer information.
* Recognizing emerging trends—behavioral, demographic and emotional—helps companies move forward strategically.

What Should a Brand Do?

A brand should exude confidence; it should reflect what it’s selling; it should express the true essence of what it offers to its audience.

A brand is like a persona with a clear function to perform. You build a brand according to what is and what should be. People look to this persona—read brand—to identify and recognize its worth among many others. It is always focused, persistent, persevering toward an intention, and aims to win it all.

Looking at the online world, a brand’s aims are ownership and recognition. A brand used to be merely a symbol to help people recognize and differentiate it among its competitors. But today, a brand does more. It’s a positive force in driving marketing and profits. It is the power that pushes a company to greater heights.

Using Customer Research to Build Your Brand

To build your brand, you can do customer research either offline or online. Offline methods of customer research include:

* interviews
* surveys
* contextual inquiries
* focus groups
* ethnographic studies
* case studies

Online methods of customer research include:

* behavioral advertising
* social networking
* email messages
* mobile advertising
* comments and discussion forums
* quizzes
* surveys

Conducting customer research online is an effective approach that lets you gain knowledge and understand your customers better. If you’re doing it online, get it right."    (Continued via UXmatters)    [Usability Resources]

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