Helping our clients connect with key audiences is the main focus of our work at INNOVATIVE.
How do people feel about your organization?
The choice of the verb ‘feel’ rather than ‘think’ is deliberate. What we know about an organization varies over time as we learn new things and forget old things. What sticks with us is how we feel about what we learn.
INNOVATIVE has conducted our own proprietary research to understand when corporate reputation matters and with whom.
When it comes to your organization, INNOVATIVE’s approach to corporate reputation includes:
- Internal interviews and group sessions to establish the key audiences and the attributes that matter to your organization.
- Exploratory research with your key audiences to identify the organization’s peers as seen by the audiences as well as the attributes those audiences use to assess the organization when comparing it against its peers.
- Surveys among your key audiences to benchmark the organization and its peers on the key attributes.
At the end of the process your organization will not only know how your key audiences evaluate you against your peers, but what you need to move if you want to improve your relative position.
What promise are you making to your customers?
Brands are a special element of an organization’s reputation. While corporate reputation is about the organization, brands are about the customer. Your brand is the promise your organization, product or service makes to your clients (or stakeholders) and what that promise means to them.
In a competitive setting, effective brands need to be comparative. They need to establish a benefit you can deliver that your competitor’s cannot. For instance, at INNOVATIVE, our brand is innovation – a commitment to combine our experience with the latest developments from the academic world to provide you with actionable insights that give you an edge.
While the ‘consumer’ focus is fundamentally different from the ‘organization’ focus, the research process is similar; start internally, move to exploratory research and finish with a comparative benchmark study.
How do you move the numbers?
You may be trying to raise public awareness, change people’s minds or get people to do things they wouldn’t normally do, but whatever number you are trying to move, INNOVATIVE’s strategic communications research will give you the road map you need to get the job done.
Using the right mix of qualitative and survey research to meet your needs, our approach to strategic research is focused on answering five questions:
- Where are you starting from?
- Who are the people you need to move?
- What factors are driving their opinions today?
- What can you do or say to move the numbers with those target audiences?
- How can you best reach your key audiences with the best messages?
Do your communications vehicles deliver the messages they are intended to deliver and are they having the intended affect?
There are two basic ways to test creative among your target audiences – through in-person focus groups or online testing. Whenever possible in our communications testing, we use a quant-qual approach. Quant-qual simply means we use a hard quantifiable test to gauge a communication vehicle’s effectiveness, and then explore the reasons why it works (or doesn’t) through qualitative discussion. Both approaches would include qualitative and quantitative elements but generally the focus groups provide better qualitative feedback and the online provides better quantitative results.
Tracking research aims to answer two critical questions:
- Is your communications campaign working?
- If not, why not?
Depending on the audience, this research can be done online or by telephone.
It’s not the break-in, it’s the cover-up.
INNOVATIVE’s crisis management research focuses on three elements; the reaction to the initial event or controversy, the response to that event or controversy, and the judgment of whether the event or controversy is a unique event or the symptom of more systematic problems.
There is no time to learn in a crisis, you need to know what needs doing and how to get it done quickly. Strikes and lock-outs, constitutional crisis and political scandals – we have seen it all and have the tool kit to get the information you need, when you need it.
Is your organization a good neighbour?
Everyday the headlines remind us that organizations who take their neighbours for granted can lose their permission to stay in the neighbourhood.
INNOVATIVE has been leading the way in understanding how organizations can get along better with their neighbours. Our particular focus has been dealing with the unique challenges in siting Locally Unwanted Land Uses (LULUs). While most people accept the need for hazardous waste storage facilities, electricity generating plants, highways, and landfills, very few want them in their backyards. NIMBY research is essential for communications planning and mitigating the inherent risks associated with siting LULUs.