To truly unpack your business-to-business (B2B) brand’s market standing, you need to tap into the views and motivations of the decision-makers at the top. Understanding your brand identity, including its ethos, personality, and visual representation, is crucial. And it doesn’t stop there. Not only is it essential to get a hold of brand research that provides a detailed snapshot into what business executives are thinking, it’s essential to also unpack the raw data and utilize it in a well-thought and strategic way to propel your brand forward. Brand insights can be used to improve branding strategy and understand consumer behavior. Consider brand research the competitive advantage you’ll utilize to uncover untapped avenues to forge your brand to new heights.

It’s an oft-repeated truism that knowledge is power. At Beresford Research, we believe that knowledge is your primary strength in uncovering opportunities for growth. We’ve been “Making Smart Companies Smarter since 1991.” It’s all about asking the right questions, capturing perceptive insights, and creating a straightforward roadmap to take you where you want to go.

Key Takeaways

  • Brand research with senior executives in B2B markets is essential for understanding complex purchasing behaviors, requiring quantitative and often complemented by qualitative research to inform strategic business decisions.
  • A brand’s baseline, involving awareness, perception, brand consideration, and loyalty metrics, is vital for tracking progress and understanding why many potential customers are considering purchasing a service or product.
  • Primary market research of top-tier decision-makers, including surveys and in-depth interviews, provides comprehensive insights that inform brand positioning, often guides the development of thought leadership, and introduces new strategic possibilities.

Learn What Top Decision-Makers Are Thinking By Speaking to them Directly 

You can’t know what the top decision-makers are thinking if you don’t speak to them directly. Fortunely, you can come to understand where your products or services fit into your unique and competitive marketplace, and gain valuable insight into customer behaviors through strategically crafted surveys and in-depth interviews with C-level executives.

In addition to hearing from C-Suite business leaders, other executives usually have direct influence over and knowledge of the decision process behind purchasing. Valuable information can come from directors and managers in finance, operations, IT, sustainability, and more. Gaining meaningful insights from these surveys and conversations with the C-Suite and their direct reports enables understanding of complex topics and facilitates successful shifts in brand positioning. But what do these kinds of one-on-one cordial conversations look like and what might they entail?

The Benefits of Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing 

For over 15 years, Beresford Research has been using Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) to both source and survey senior business executives because we discovered that it’s the only way to ensure accurate data collection. With the proliferation of market research fraud, especially with hard-to-reach audiences like senior executives, and more recently, the skyrocketing adoption of AI, the only way to safeguard data integrity is to verify and source all participants through their workplace.

As a methodology, CATI delivers a reliable means to capture data from hard-to-reach senior executives and other hard-to-reach individuals, such as business leaders and high-net-worth individuals. CATI enhances business insights by enabling efficient and structured data collection while minimizing human error and bias. Highly trained interviewers:

  • Schedule calls at the participant’s convenience, including follow-ups if the survey is interrupted and
  • Administer the survey over the telephone by experienced native-speaking interviewers guided by the programmed survey instrument on their computer, and
  • When necessary, share computer screens real-time to give participants visual access to the survey instrument.

The only way to reliably, accurately, and efficiently survey hard-to-reach audiences is with CATI.

Put simply, CATI is the only approach that should be used to survey senior executives. They don’t choose to do online surveys. Those who say they do most often misrepresent their positions and knowledge. Using CATI, Beresford Research reliably identifies executives in their workplaces, ensures that respondents are the decision-makers clients need, and delivers the highest quality data for unequivocal results.

Defining Your B2B Brand’s Baseline and Positioning

Conducting baseline brand research is an essential foundation for developing a sound B2B brand strategy. Baseline brand research involves understanding the foundational elements such as brand awareness, perception, loyalty, and brand associations, including the positive and negative associations people have with the brand. Analyzing these elements provides a comprehensive view of how the company’s brand is positioned in the B2B market.

Measuring brand recall, such as whether buyers and influencers remember a brand after purchase or seeing an advertisement, is also crucial. Establishing an initial reference point for brand research is necessary for monitoring progress and gauging the effectiveness of brand strategies over time. A well-defined baseline serves as a solid foundation for future strategies, effectively guiding the brand toward improved business performance.

The Contrast Between B2B and B2C Brand Research

Four people are sitting at a conference table in an office. One person standing is showing a document to a seated colleague, while the other two people look at their notes.

While both B2B and B2C brand research focuses on understanding buyer behavior, they differ significantly in their methodologies and insights. B2B market research involves smaller sample sizes due to the limited available population. The key is to identify qualified decision makers before they participate. With Computer-Aided Telephone Interviewing, it’s possible to reach top executives and also ensure regional representation.

Researching the perceptions of decision-makers and those who influence them, such as their direct reports and the managers who report to them, may be best served by a mixed-methodological approach to research. Unlike B2C projects that often focus on online survey methodology, B2B market research requires a more nuanced approach to sourcing senior executives, business buyers, and influencers. Understanding where a brand stands relative to competition and customer perception is crucial for effective B2B market research.

Asking the Right Questions: The Key to Strong Brand Research 

Two men in suits stand by a glass window in discussion. One man is facing the other with colorful sticky notes visible on the window. The indoor setting shows a blurred cityscape outside.

The key to powerful brand research lies in asking questions—the right questions. Perceptive inquiries about brand attributes, value, competition and overall image are crucial for uncovering actionable insights that can shape stronger branding strategies and drive market success. Beresford Research routinely surveys C-Suite executives and their direct reports regarding brand awareness, competitive standing, strengths, weaknesses, future plans and more.

Buyer and influencer insights, both quantatative and qualitative, enhance research findings and integrate information for better decision-making, creating real business value.

Assessing Brand Perception

A group of people sitting around a table in a bright office meeting room. One person is holding a document and the others are looking at it attentively.

A distinct approach is required when measuring brand perception among professionals. Speaking the language of the C-Suite is crucial to having the management team engage in the research and share how they view and feel about your brand. B2B reputations rely heavily on fulfilling marketing promises. Learn whether they believe in your products and services, measure and discover how to build trust among professional buyers.

Another key element is maintaining a consistent brand voice, vital for effective communication in the B2B sector. Establish baseline measurements and conduct follow-up studies to track changes in brand perception over time. Consistency shapes professionals’ perception of the brand’s quality and value, ultimately enhancing how the brand is seen in the market.

Beresford Research has been developing and customizing survey questionnaires to drive brand success and reveal opportunities for over 30 years

Why Executive Insights Create More Powerful Brand Studies

Two business professionals, a woman and a man, smiling and looking at a laptop screen. Two more individuals are blurred in the background.

Business executives and those in charge of the company’s strategic direction are best positioned to identify industry knowledge gaps and opportunities.

Understanding the perspectives and strategic thinking of your buyers and potential buyers is essential for aligning your business solutions with their evolving needs. Gathering insights directly from business leaders—engaging with executive decision-makers—provides insightful research that can build and grow brand value.

Assembling insights directly from the top—engaging with executive decision-makers—proves invaluable in understanding what the corporate leadership is thinking. Senior executives live and breathe their company’s business issues and have a depth of knowledge and foresight born of experience. Why not create the most powerful brand study by including the perspectives from those privy to the news at the top?

Insightful B2B brand research captures these high-level viewpoints, clearly showing current and future market trends. By knowing the strategic decisions that prospects are making and understanding the reasons behind changes in their efforts, brands can tailor their offerings more effectively and stay ahead in their market. Evaluating the impact of marketing efforts on brand perception and awareness is crucial in assessing the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Ultimately, brands need to know what strategic decisions their prospects are making now, how those decisions might change in the future, and why. Executive decision-maker insights help to anticipate these potential shifts, craft influential strategies, and make informed decisions that resonate with top-level leaders.

Establishing Thought Leadership Through Strategic Research

Strategic marketing research aids in pinpointing market gaps and uncovering opportunities for a brand to position itself as a thought leader. Brand research illuminates the key brand characteristics that resonate most with customers which can then open the door to build the foundation of a compelling thought leadership strategy by capitalizing on brand messaging tactics.

Establishing thought leadership is tremendously valuable in shaping a brand’s authority and expertise in their market. A brand solidifies its position as a thought leader by:

  • Producing and disseminating informative, research-driven content
  • Adding value to the conversation
  • Enhancing the brand’s reputation and
  • Establishing the brand as a credible and trustworthy source of information.

It’s key to develop programs closely tailored to the strategic requirements of your clients, offering distinct industry insights that enhance credibility. This can be in the discovery of in-depth, adaptable content and narratives from the top, and potentially turning data into marketing possibilities. Beresford Research paves the way with pioneering, opportunity-generating research.

How Beresford Research can help you Turn New Knowledge into Your Greatest Asset 

At Beresford Research, we specialize in transforming executive insights into powerful assets that grow business. We’d like to show you how, as our tagline says, we’ve been Making Smart Companies Smarter since 1991. By accessing the strategic thinking and foresight of top executives, we provide organizations from global Fortune 100 companies to high-growth start-ups and specialty non-profits with a profound understanding of their markets, potential buyers, and target audiences.

This type of high-level knowledge not only keeps you informed about current industry trends but also arms you with the anticipation of future needs and changes. Understanding the elite perspective of senior executives allows your B2B company to adapt more effectively, tailor your offerings to meet high-level expectations, and make strategic moves that position you as a leader in your industry. Contact Beresford Research today to begin leveraging new knowledge directly from the decision-makers to forge a stronger, more competitive business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is brand research important in B2B markets?

Brand research is important in B2B markets because it helps businesses understand purchasing behaviors and decision-making, providing deeper insights into key themes, drivers, and motivations behind brand choice among businesses.

Why is CATI so important to brand research and business insight? 

CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) is crucial to brand research because it allows for direct and interactive communication with respondents. This method ensures higher response rates and more reliable data collection compared to other non-interactive formats. CATI facilitates detailed and nuanced feedback on brand perception, customer satisfaction, and market trends, enabling researchers to capture real-time reactions and more in-depth responses to inform strategic decision making.

How can data from brand research be translated into actionable strategies?

Data from brand research can be transformed into actionable business strategies by distilling key insights about customer behavior and market dynamics. These insights guide the development of targeted strategies such as product innovation and tailored marketing campaigns. The implementation of these strategies should be monitored and refined based on ongoing data analysis, ensuring alignment with business objectives and market demands.

How can brand research help establish thought leadership?

Brand research can help establish thought leadership by identifying market gaps and opportunities for a brand to position itself as a thought leader. Producing and sharing informative, data-driven content can solidify the brand’s position.