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Successful Brands That Invest in Brand Research

Is brand research really important? It sure is, all successful brands invest in brand research. Find out how they do it.

Nov 08, 2022

No business can run successfully, or for very long, without insight into their target audience. There must be an understanding of the people who support the company, and that is why brand research is vital.

Whether a brand is big or small, it is essential to always know what their audience thinks and feels. This knowledge is especially important when it comes to the brand itself.

Even the most popular company can go down if their brand health is not properly taken care of – just ask any marketer worth their salt.

So how can you ensure that your brand is keeping your audience happy?

There are several ways, fortunately, such as doing a brand audit and constant brand tracking. With the information you gain from these methods, you can practice efficient and effective brand building.

Your brand is what people see when they hear your company name. Building successful brands doesn’t happen overnight, and you’ll spend many days sweating as you try and figure out what your audience is feeling.

You’re not alone – all brands have to go through brand research and build intelligent, relevant strategies. You can learn from others and follow their examples to be successful.

We’ll be looking at FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) brands that nailed their research and not by being fancy. They used surveys to find out what their customers think.

Not all surveys have to be 10 or 15 ‘yes or no’ questionnaires. There are clever ways to ask your audience all the right questions without them feeling like they’re taking a survey.

6 Successful FMCG Brands That Invest in Brand Research

1. Knorr

The popular food brand launched a campaign that was able to help them stay relevant even during changing times. While Knorr used to be all about families coming together after a big day and enjoying a hearty Knorr-based meal together, modern times have changed that image.

Fortunately, they could use consumer insights gained from a massive survey to help them get noticed by the younger generations.

What’s the Problem?

Knorr needed to attract the attention of millennial consumers. The brand risked being forgotten by the younger generations because their marketing wasn’t tailored to them.

What Did the Research Help to Discover?

The company interviewed 12 000 consumers, all of them millennials, to understand how they feel about flavour in their lives. After all, Knorr is focused on adding flavour to food. Twelve countries were targeted to get the most accurate information from the brand’s biggest buyers.

What Was the Solution?

Thanks to the information gained, Knorr was able to launch a campaign, #TastesLikehome, and it resonated with everyone, not just millennials.

Essentially, Knorr showed consumers that they can use flavour to find love because people with the same tastes get along better.

A simple quiz was used to let people discover their favourite flavours, putting them into ‘personality types’. Then, the marketing team kicked off the second part of the strategy – matchmaking by flavour.

An unscripted social experiment followed, and single strangers were paired up over a table with their favourite flavours. The results were filmed and ‘Love at First Taste’ happened.

What’s the Benefit of the Research?

Knorr got what they wanted – the brand got noticed. The resulting video and the campaign were shared on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

The social sharing that came as a result exceeded expectations, actually. The aim was one billion impressions, but Knorr got more than two billion. That’s a definite win!

2. Maggi

Not every brand research campaign needs a huge survey to work. Sometimes just a few questions, or one with different answers, can do the trick.

Maggi needs no introduction, but this popular noodle brand felt it needed some way to remind people how much they love it. Brand awareness was an important goal that would lead to boosted sales and even more brand loyalty.

With the help of a creative video, Maggi asked consumers to vote for their favourite flavour.

What’s the Problem?

Even brands that have been going strong for many years can start to falter if they don’t continuously update their consumer insight.

It is important to know what consumers love about a brand’s products and what they don’t. That way, the brand can constantly improve what they offer and stay a favourite. Maggi knew this and that’s why they launched the ad campaign.

They launched a new range inspired by popular ingredients and needed to know their consumers’ thoughts.

What Did the Research Help to Discover?

Upon launching the ad, Maggi was able to find out which of their flavours appeal the most to their audience. They could then categorise the data and use that information to tailor their future campaigns more accurately.

Once they knew which flavours weren’t as popular, they could also work on improving them for better results next time.

What Was the Solution?

The ad showed a family who enjoys their Maggi, with each of them liking a different flavour. This scenario appealed to everyone and didn’t highlight only one of the flavours.

By showing off the taste of all three flavours – Yummy Capsica, Chatpata Tomato, and Desi Cheesy – Maggi made sure everyone felt included.

What’s the Benefit of the Research?

Maggi was able to determine if their new range of noodles appealed to their buyers. Did people really like the new flavours? Which flavours was most popular and worth keeping?

The brand also gained brand awareness thanks to the new range and new ad campaign.

3. Dove

This personal care brand launched a campaign that skyrocketed sales and helped turn the perception of beauty on its head.

And it all started with a survey of over 3,000 women. Few people don’t know about the ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ ads, and that just goes to show the power of a good survey.

What’s the Problem?

Dove wanted a fresh approach to marketing its products and came up with something award-winning.

Instead of telling people why they should buy Dove products, they shifted the attention to why women feel pressured to look flawless. This, in turn, put a spotlight on Dove, which was the result of clever marketing.

What Did the Research Help to Discover?

The survey was able to help Dove identify the many things that women are self-conscious about. The issues they face in society and how much pressure they’re under to be beautiful was also highlighted.

The marketing team was able to learn that traditional beauty marketing wasn’t making women feel inspired. Instead, it made them feel bad about how they looked.

And that’s why Dove asked women to rethink their ideas of beauty.

What Was the Solution?

The campaign resulted in a very different way of doing marketing. It wasn’t a sales pitch or anything resembling beauty marketing at all.

Dove realised they needed to change and appeal to their consumers’ real needs. Interactive outdoor billboard ads asked people to vote on whether or not the women were beautiful.

Normal women showed off their bodies for the ads, not models, and it didn’t take long for the Campaign for Real Beauty website to have millions of visitors.

In fact, 15 years later, Dove is still inspiring women and other beauty brands to rethink beauty.

What’s the Benefit of the Research?

Dove was able to establish itself as a beauty brand that cares about its consumers. This is not an easy feat to accomplish, especially in the beauty industry. But Dove did it — spectacularly so — and all because the brand took the time to ask their audience how they feel.

4. Coca-Cola

Another giant in the FMCG industry that needs no introduction, Coca-Cola, knows how to do marketing the right way. However, the brand knows the value of staying in touch with its consumers. The company also understand the importance of getting feedback on its products.

Coca-Cola didn’t resort to a massive survey; instead, they kept it short and sweet, and it kept them in the spotlight.

What’s the Problem?

For big brands, and sometimes the smaller ones, there will always be negative attention and publicity. To get the attention back on the product, brands need to get people to talk about the good, not the bad.

That was the aim of a simple but effective Twitter poll (an underrated form of survey) to get consumers to focus on their new Coke with Coffee range.

It’s available in three flavours: Dark Blend, Vanilla and Caramel, and Coca-Cola asked their followers to vote on the one they’ll try first.

By adding the hashtag #cokewithcoffee, they made sure the conversation could be kept going for long.

What Did the Research Help to Discover?

The quick survey was able to determine the flavour that most people were looking forward to – Vanilla.

The brand also learned that Caramel was the second-most anticipated of the flavours. Additionally, they could see that people were excited about it, thanks to the hashtag that everyone started using.

What Was the Solution?

By introducing the new flavours and asking people which one they’d try first, Coca-Cola ensured the focus was on their product. The survey served its purpose of gaining insight into the preferences of consumers.

The positive reaction to the new range and the question also helped Coca-Cola become a talking point on social media, which is good for marketing.

Creating a unique hashtag also helped a lot to get more people involved in talking about the product.

What’s the Benefit of the Research?

Instead of focusing on any bad press that Coca-Cola suffered in recent times, consumers were happy to try out the new flavours.

The range was able to distract many from any negativity swirling around the brand and focus on what they love: Coke.

Of course, since they used social media, it’s hard to avoid unhappy folks from spreading negativity. But judging by the hashtag usage, most people shared how impressed they were with the new flavours. Some even shared videos of them enjoying it.

This also led to increased brand awareness and loyalty, which is always a welcome sight for any brand.

5. Lay’s


As a popular crisps brand, Lay’s has the advantage of being wildly loved by many snack enjoyers. However, it still needs to have good marketing to make sure they entice consumers into buying their products.

Using social media for a quick survey is a great idea to determine whether your brand is still as popular.

What’s the Problem?

Lay’s needed to remind people that their crisps are a must-have snack enjoyed by millions regardless of their taste in food.

It’s not always easy to appeal to everyone, but Lay’s could show off their crisps’ versatility by getting answers from the consumers themselves.

What Did the Research Help to Discover?

The research done here by Lay’s may seem small in comparison to what companies of this size usually do. But it’s just as relevant and useful for marketing purposes because it got responses straight from the target audience.

By asking followers on Instagram what their wackiest Lay’s combo is, the brand was able to get consumers talking.

And talking consumers lead to brand awareness and boosted sales. What better way to get people craving your product than make them think of the unique ways they eat it?

What Was the Solution?

Lay’s kept it simple and straightforward. They called on people to answer a simple but fun question. It didn’t take much thinking from consumers, and the ‘insignificant’ post got thousands of likes and many comments.

People love talking about themselves, especially on social media, and Lay’s used this to get them to talk about their products as well.

What’s the Benefit of the Research?

The benefit of this question was the increased brand awareness that resulted from tasking it.

The post also got people nostalgic by making them remember their favourite combination of the crisps and other snacks.

It’s very possible that many people went out and bought a packet of their favourite flavour not long after reading or responding to the post!

The brand might also have gained insight into which flavours is eaten most with what other snacks. This opens possibilities for experimentation with new flavours in the future.

6. Downy

Downy is a beloved fabric softener that has a loyal following all over the world. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t do with more customers and what better way to get them interested than by seeing five-star reviews?

What’s the Problem?

Getting users to review your products isn’t always easy. Even consumers who love your products are often too busy to care about leaving reviews.

As such, it’s often necessary to find ways to entice folks into reviewing, which is what Downy did by sharing a post on Facebook.

What Did the Research Help to Discover?

In this case, the research results were pretty clear: what do consumers think of Downy?

After clicking on the provided link, people are taken to the brand’s website, where reviews are already praising the product.

It’s clear that people love Downy, and that’s just what they wanted to know. The feedback provided can be used for future marketing strategies.

What Was the Solution?

The brand asked users to share what they think of it. Accompanying the question posted on Facebook was a video with quotes showing off what other users had to say. This makes it seem like Downy would use reviews in future videos – enticing more reviews.

It’s a simple strategy and doesn’t even seem like a survey. But information is being gained through a question directed at the brand’s consumers – it's a survey and a good one.

Not all solutions have to be over-the-top creative, as long as it accomplishes what is needed.

What’s the Benefit of the Research?

Thanks to the feedback and reviews resulting from the Facebook survey, Downy knows that people love and recommend it. They can also see that consumers appreciate the smell and softness of their clothes after using Downy.

Downy can also determine if the products lack anything if they find no good feedback for certain factors such as how long the smell lasts. Much like positive feedback, negative reviews offer a good opportunity for growth.

Watch the video here.

Final Thoughts on Brand Research

There you have it – real-life examples of brands getting valuable consumer insights without making it obvious to them. This kind of research doesn’t have to be fancy. As long as you know the right questions and ask them at the right time in the right place, you’ll get better at understanding consumer needs.

These brands were extraordinarily creative in how they went about doing their research. By using social media to gather information, they encouraged consumers to engage with the brand in the research stage itself.

Doing so helped them get the information they wanted and increase their brand awareness.

Of course, knowing the right questions and finding the right time and place is an important task itself! For that, you’ll need to do consumer research relevant to your brand and goals.

But for now, you have some excellent examples of brand research to learn from and be inspired by. Nothing is stopping you from taking your brand to the same heights as the brands discussed here.


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