Whether you’re an established brand or an emerging one, there’s no such thing as too much information. And, in this rapidly advancing technological and social world, there’s so much data to find that can help your brand thrive. Of course, gathering data can help you make smarter, more impactful marketing campaigns, but it goes much deeper than that.
For example, data can give you answers about how people compare your product with your competitors. That sounds pretty straight forward (and to some people might not be a pleasant idea), but the intent is not just to see whether people prefer your brand to others. The more interesting reason is how consumers actually differentiate your product to theirs. Positive differences between your products and those of your rivals may make a good marketing opportunity that directly uplifts your brand. Negative distinctions, however, are still powerful tools. They’re chances to continuously upgrade your products, or to test the claims that your competitors and ideal consumers make about their products and show your customers how yours may actually fit their needs better. Even better, it might prove that your products fit a tighter niche that you hadn’t discovered before. If you move fast enough, you can claim that sliver of the market as your own. Once that’s done, you’ll have a core group of customers that you can rely on, and discover how to branch out into the larger market with new products and services after.
A thoughtful approach to data can give you an idea of what your customers’ other needs are, in order to help develop new products and services. Let’s say you’re a fashion designer, keeping up with what consumers are saying about the latest fashion trends, and you realize that a lot of working-class women think that your brand is out of their reach. When you dig deeper, it’s actually because they don’t think they can maintain your beautiful, elaborate designs – they assume you can’t just pop it into a washing machine and hope for the best, and they might even be right. You notice that other designers are getting the same comments on their work. Now we have a problem to solve, and you’re just the person to solve it. Whether you create different versions of your designs that are washing machine-safe, or offer dry cleaning services to direct clients, you’ve created an avenue to convert consumers into customers, strengthen their relationship with you, create additional revenue and put yourself ahead of the competition, all by paying attention to what people are saying.
It’s important to note in that previous example that data can be a lot broader than what people are saying about you. It could be what people are saying about your competitors, of course. It can also be what people are saying about brands or issues that are only loosely connected to yours. This is especially important in our current age of sociopolitical awareness, where consumers are more conscious about who they give their money too. And there are loads of positive ways to play in this marketing environment, using data to attach your brand to meaningful causes that your customers already support, or want to.
If you used data on the causes that your customers or target audience donate to or support through Facebook posts and the like, you can get valuable insight on what sorts of causes your brand might want to get involved in as well. That data could guide a campaign where part of every purchase of your products donates to a charity, or a marketing campaign in partnership with that charity encouraging people to directly donate and qualify for discounts of your products. If you primarily provide services, look out for whether your customers are passionate about disabilities or disorders, then think about an opening for your company to offer discounts to people living with them.
Of course, you want to do this after sincerely thinking about your brand’s identity and from a genuine desire to do something good through your brand. It’s not just to get a one-up on your competitors or to make a quick buck. However, data still holds the key to discovering new ways to differentiate your brand in the marketplace and share products and services in ways that others are not.
With the right data, you know that you can make smarter ad campaigns and reach your customers better. But there are so many other things that you can do with data to make sure your products and services are the ones that customers see and trust. These three are maybe just the beginning of how you can turn data into a powerful brand identity. When the information is all in front of your eyes, you may see even more possibilities. Which means the next step is to go get that data and grow your brand!