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Research tips for successful branding

Our experience in helping to develop successful, award-winning brand communications has led to a focus on 3 essential factors:

        1. Assuring 3-second stopping power
        2. Emphasizing behavior impact
        3. Using a consistent, but iterative interview process

Building research around these factors helps ensure a brand campaign that conveys the desired message and motivates the desired behavior.

Assure creative stimuli will immediately communicate the message. Competition for the mind of your target audience is intense. Stimuli must immediately catch the eye and communicate with a unique and ownable message, or be lost in the clutter.

         •   Ensure a 3-second message takeaway. Assessing stopping power can be tricky, but it’s
essential to measure stimuli against a 3-second standard. We assess the ability of concepts
to catch the attention of the audience and to communicate a differentiating message in 3
seconds. By doing so, you can be sure your message includes crucial ingredients for success

Concentrate on behavioral impact. Appeal doesn’t necessarily translate into action. For a campaign to be successful, it must change or reinforce behavior. Testing should assess how your audience will respond behaviorally to stimuli.

         •   Focus on response vs appeal. Respondents may "like" a concept, but an attractive ad is
not necessarily an effective ad. We assess how stimuli move your audience to provide
greater insight for choosing the best creative concept

Balance consistency with an iterative approach. It’s not surprising that reactions to stimuli vary across respondents. Even within an interview, there can be conflicting feedback. A balance of consistent questioning and iterative probing throughout the study, ideally by a single interviewer, is needed to ensure maximum insight.

         •   Consistency with insightful probing. We begin with well-constructed, targeted questions
to evaluate stimuli, asked consistently from interview to interview. Yet we maintain
flexibility to probe deeply as needed, which is just as important


Iterative interview process. Our iterative interviewing clarifies and builds on what is
learned within and across interviews. It involves careful listening, thoughtful probing,
and recognition of consistent vs conflicting evidence so that insights can be developed,
challenged, and refined throughout the research

These tips for evaluating creative stimuli have helped FFR contribute to the development of successful brand communications in a number of therapeutic categories. We’re interested in your feedback. Simply click on the factor that you believe is most essential, and we will share the results on this site.


FFR has been helping to develop successful brand campaigns for over 25 years. Contact Ed Chandler at or 312.294.4085 for more information.

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