The following post is from an interview with Anne Beall, PhD, Founder of Beall Research in Chicago.
Henke: Anne, let me get this straight… you designed, implemented, managed, measured, reported on and paid for a full-blown research study as a marketing strategy?
Beall: Not quite. It was actually two studies! Seriously… yes, we did create and execute a full study for our own purposes – partially to support our marketing efforts and also to help us study and bring to market a new model around brands and emotions.
Henke: Where does an idea like this come from? Many firms that I’m familiar with would wait to find a paying client to help underwrite something like that.
Beall: We didn’t look at it like that. For us, it was an investment in marketing and product development. We’ve been studying the connection between emotions and brands for some time and believe that consumers don’t think their way through a buying decision, they feel their way through it. So, our goal was to develop a model to explain emotions in the buying process – which emotions lead a consumer to choose a particular brand or recall it in conversation (or not choose or recall it)? How do certain brands make you feel (positive and negative feelings)? What’s the level of intensity of these emotions? And so on.
Henke: OK… but why go down the “project” road? Could you not have created a White Paper or something similar instead?
Beall: It wouldn’t have been the same. By implementing original research, we are able to “claim a space of our own.” To be THE subject matter experts in it. And not just because we wrote a book about it, but because we did the research and have the proof. That’s why we invested.
Henke: OK, then how did you leverage the research findings?
Beall: Two ways. First, we now have a new product – the ‘brand emotions model’ – to take to market. But, more importantly, the findings from the study became a real door-opener for us. Potential buyers will gladly take a meeting with you when you have something of value to share with them. And the findings from the study – understanding how emotions impact the buying decisions of consumers – is hugely important information for brands. Once they see these findings and understand their impact, it opens up a discussion on how we can apply our new model to their brand (for product development, ad testing, packaging, etc.).
Henke: And the results so far?
Beall: Well, I can’t give away too many secrets… but let’s just say that our study – which, by the way – we just completed in Q3 of last year – has gotten us in front of more than a dozen Fortune 1000 brands and resulted in two new clients. So far!
Henke: Thanks for your time, Anne… and continued success.
To learn more about Beall Research, connect with them at http://beallrt.com/.
Dr. Beall has also authored several books, including Strategic Market Research and Cinderella Doesn’t Live Happily Ever After. To learn more about them, Click Here.