No matter the company, industry, product or service offered, it’s safe to say market research is a must. The thing that most people don’t realize is what the process entails. Do you know which method(s) is/are best for you? Budget, timing and resources all play a factor but there are some basics you need to know.

From surveys and focus groups to store walks and industry analysis, how do you know where to start? Here’s Array’s tips on how to gain valuable research for your brand to best market what your company has to offer.

Online Survey 

Online surveys are a great way to find quantitative data that can be used to further support (or disprove!) what you’re already thinking. Offering multiple advantages compared to other methods, online surveys are cost-efficient, able to easily reach thousands of people and the most convenient for respondents. Many online tools for building surveys are available, such as Survey Monkey, that will quickly pull together responses for real-time results.

However, there are a few unforeseen needs of online surveys. If you don’t already have an email list, buying one is crucial for gathering potential respondents. Once you have your list, offering an incentive is a great way to gain the most responses to your survey — this is where Array can help manage it all, from start to finish!

Industry Analysis

As part of the Array process, any project that we undertake includes an industry analysis. By looking at what your brand’s competitors are doing, you can gain valuable insight into what consumers like and what isn’t working. Take note of what your category is doing as a whole. Are there emerging trends your brand could take advantage of? Does your product or service offer a unique benefit that could really resonate with consumers, creating a niche?  

Taking those insights from our analysis is how we determine messaging right for your industry and audience to build a specific strategy targeted to your brand.    

Store Walking 

Exactly what it sounds like, analyzing your product in-store, including evaluating competitors and nearby categories, to see what brands are doing from a retail standpoint. How does your packaging stand up to competitors on the shelf? Does your product grab attention? Array utilizes store walks during any packaging project to gather perspective on designs and colors being used in the category. We do work with many clients that aren’t selling their products/services on shelf. In that case, we also evaluate brands through a digital ‘storefront’. Having photos for reference are a great way to ensure your final design will be unique to your brand.

Focus Group

Focus groups are designed to stimulate a discussion to gather responses to more in-depth questions. Respondents are selected based on specific targeting criteria and are asked prepared questions to gather more qualitative information. Simulated activities such as a shopping experience or a taste-testing can be a great way to grab honest feedback from real consumers. Many times this method goes hand in hand with online surveys — with results from a survey backing conclusions found within focus groups. While they can be more costly and time intensive, focus groups are an opportunity to uncover opinions about your brand and gain clarification on a broader range of information.

Recently, Array conducted a focus group in Pittsburgh for a client to gain valuable insight into their industry and the products they offer. Working with Moore Research, we uncovered consumers’ brand perceptions and conducted an in-store simulated shopping experience for attendees. Check out photos from the focus groups below. 









Whether you need a lot of insight or just a little, there are many varying methods that you can utilize for your brand — ranging in price, time, and effort. Array can help you choose the best method(s) suited to answer your questions and gain accurate results to successfully market your brand. Conducting research at the forefront will be of benefit to your business for long after.  

Sources: Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, Explorance