StrategyOne Launches BrandScape to Uncover how Consumers Really Think of Brands

Widening consumer choices and immediate access to information have made brands an even more critical differentiator. How consumers perceive a brand, its promise and its values forms the foundation of their relationship with the company.

Though the link between brand image and purchase behavior is strong, the path that consumers take in making that link is increasingly unclear. Ultimately, brand image and brand associations live in the mind of the consumer, not in boardrooms or business plans.

In an attempt to better understand how brands are organized in the "mental marketplaces" of consumers, we've created BrandScape. Our premise is that consumers don't align brands by verticals, product category or other business parameters. Rather, they think about brands in terms of what these invoke or symbolize in their personal lives.

BrandScape begins to uncover how consumers relate to brands. BrandScape adapts Jennifer Aaker's 42-component Brand Personality Scale to reveal human characteristics associated with brands. It leverages Joel Rubenstein's concept of mental marketplaces, which posits that unrelated brands compete for mindshare in cognitive spaces. With BrandScape, you acquire a unique set of data which deepens your understanding of how consumers think of brands and reveals unlikely competitors as well as meaningful partnerships.

About StrategyOne's BrandScape

BrandScape is StrategyOne's proprietary brand image study. Consumer-focused and forward-looking, BrandScape research uncovers brand essence, personality and potential. It builds on Rubenstein's insight of mental marketplaces -- that competitors can be functionally unrelated. A brand can share real estate in constructs such as affordable or smart with differing brands, and each brand must vie for attention. Drawing on Aaker's Brand Personality Scale, BrandScape explores how consumers categorize brands to uncover meaning and to discern a widening competitive set in consumers' mental marketplaces.

BrandScape's Unique Methodology

BrandScape's research methodology is unique and reveals true mindshare. StrategyOne collected data through unaided, open-ended questions in reverse order. Rather than prompting respondents with a brand to ask about descriptors that come to mind, StrategyOne posed Aaker's attributes of feelings, values and personalities, and then asked which brands occupied those spaces.

The study is essentially a focus group amplified among a nationally-representative sample of 3,000 consumers with respect to five demographic dimensions (gender, age, household income and geographic location). Analysts quantified more than 70,000 unaided associations, resulting in an unprecedented look at brands which turns traditional tracking on its head. As opposed to rating brands, research participants gave us insight into which brands inhabit their mental marketplaces.

Survey Dates: December 29, 2010, to January 7, 2011.
Consumers Polled: 3,000 US Consumers, broken into three cells of n=1,000
Margin of Sampling Error: = +/-3.1%
Data collection: Online

For more information about BrandScape, please visit the StrategyOne website

About StrategyOne

StrategyOne is an insights-driven strategic consulting firm owned by Daniel J. Edelman, the world's largest independent PR company. StrategyOne provides evidence based stakeholder insights, analysis and media measurement, and specializes in reputation, branding and communications research, with international capabilities. StrategyOne has offices located in New York, Washington, Paris, London, Brussels, Chicago, Abu Dhabi, Atlanta and Silicon Valley.

StrategyOne is a recognized firm among the 2010 Honomichl list of top 50 market research firms across the United States. The Honomichl 50 is published in the annual business report of Marketing News, an American Marketing Association publication, and acknowledges the leading 50 research firms based on revenue generated in the US.

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About Edelman

Edelman is the world's largest independent public relations firm, with wholly-owned offices in 53 cities and 3,400 employees worldwide. Edelman was named Advertising Age's top-ranked PR firm of the decade and one of its 2010 Best Places to Work; Adweek's "2009 Agency of the Year"; PRWeek's "2009 Agency of the Year" and "UK Consultancy of the Year"; and Holmes Report's "Agency of the Decade," "2009 Best Large Agency to Work For" and "2009 Asia Pacific Consultancy of the Year." Edelman owns specialty firms Blue (advertising), StrategyOne (research), RUTH (integrated marketing), DJE Science (medical and science communications), and MATTER (sports, sponsorship, and entertainment).

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