Improving Brand Health

Using Research to Improve Brand Health

As an advanced technology company and leading government contractor considered repositioning its brand around global security solutions, the company needed to understand current brand perceptions and position in their market segments, as well the extent to which global security would be a credible and effective umbrella brand position. They also wished to improve messaging and competitive positioning by developing more targeted communications and outreach to each market segment. Targeted segments included U.S. federal civilian and Department of Defense agencies, Congress and international governments, as well as current and potential employees.

Research Approach

At the outset of the engagement, Market Connections conducted quantitative surveys to set a benchmark of the company’s reputation and image relative to competitors in the marketplace. Market Connections worked closely with the client’s advertising and branding agency to structure a survey instrument that would identify key messages and drivers of behavior, assess current brand perceptions, and evaluate brand recognition among the target market segments. Subsequently, Market Connections conducted annual tracking research to test the outcomes of sales and advertising campaigns and their impact on company brand health.


The research revealed lower than expected levels of familiarity with the organization in two of its market segments—a surprise to the client. Familiarity is a key component of brand health: it is the base upon which consideration of use and preferred vendor status is built. The client’s agency applied the research results to shape strategic sales and marketing communications plans and messages, including implementing outreach intended to increase awareness of and familiarity with the company.

The client’s advertising agency applied Market Connections’ research to develop its umbrella positioning of global security as well as specific messages that would resonate most within each target market segment. Research pinpointed areas where the company was not performing as well as its competitors, and the advertising agency tailored marketing and communications to particular segments based on what the targets themselves identified as most important. Survey findings also pointed to the company’s areas of higher perceived performance relative to competitors, thus informing opportunities for differentiation across global markets.

The first annual tracking survey indicated significant increases in familiarity and overall perceptions of the company within the target market segments, particularly those segments in which the advertising agency had implemented the most aggressive outreach. This had a positive impact on the client’s brand health and desired position as a provider of global security solutions.