Make your Brand Work for You: Using Search Data to Deliver Better Brand Experiences
You’ve worked hard to establish your brand’s identity, but you could always do a better job managing it. Search data can be a good tool to help you plan your brand and gain new insights into categories and competitive landscapes. But did you know that it can also be a powerful tool for identifying whether your brand stands for what you think it should?
Search Data Connects the Dots:
If you’re not already doing so, you should research “co-searches” that your target audience is conducting around your brand. These co-searched terms will show you the mental connections your audience is making among topics, products, objectives and so on. They’ll even show you how and when your audience is thinking about your brand. For instance, my friends and I are hosting a baby shower for a one of our coworkers this weekend. To kick off the party planning, we searched for festive decor tips, light brunch recipes, group games, and finally shopping ideas. This trove of co-searched terms gives marketers a snapshot of our objective and intent for the party, and an idea of how each relates to their brand and partnerships with other brands.
Search Data Identifies New Partnerships:
Search data can uncover whether your planned partnerships are panning out the way you intended and alert you if are missing out on organic partnership opportunities that already exist. Your brand might have hidden partnerships with other brands, events and emerging trends. A good example of a brand + event partnership is the Proctor & Gamble Thank You, Mom campaign and the 2014 Winter Olympics. McAfee and The Anti-Bullying Alliance is another good example of a brand + brand partnership. For Anti-Bullying Week, the Anti-Bullying Alliance teamed up with McAfee to produce a series of videos on the topic of cyberbullying. These partnerships align each brand’s market position without having to reinvent the wheel.
Search Data Tests the Strength of Brand Associations:
Do your brand associations line up with the positioning you intended, and is your brand standing out for the what you think it should? To answer this question you should check out certain competitive sets and attributes that you want your brand to show up for. It’s great if you are showing up in competitive markets and for attributes that reflect your brand and offerings. However, not showing up can shed some light on new opportunities to pursue with your marketing, media, and creative.
Search Data Informs Future Brand Positioning:
If your brand associations don’t line up with the positioning you intended, there are several avenues you can go down. First, you could invest some of your marketing dollars in search advertising. This makes it possible to show up for keywords your audience is already searching for. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to be found for keywords that relate to your offerings and that you aren’t appearing for organically. Second, you could use search data to investigate potential partnerships with individuals and other brands. Sometimes, but not always, partnering with prominent brands can improve your own brands positioning, because it signifies that your brand is aligned with the more strongly positioned partner brand. Together, your brand’s positioning grows even stronger in the eyes of your customers.
Google Trends and Trends for Marketers are two Google tools that can shed light on what your customers think about your brand and how you stack up against the competition. With the help of Google, you can discover keywords that are relevant to your brand and analyze brands and attributes you specifically care about. And with all this information you can make the right digital marketing decisions to propel your brand to the right audiences and meet your goals.
*This article recaps Sonia Chung’s “Discovering and Testing Brand Associations” article in Google’s Think Insights. Sonia is on Google’s Agency Business Development team.