Agile online market research revitalises a brand

Background:

The client has been successfully operating in the home loan broking industry for over 2 decades. Due to shifts in the industry, they were looking to increase their market-share in more profitable markets, however, there were concerns that opportunities were being held back due to the current perceived market positioning of the brand.

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Objective

The principal objective of this research was to identify the true perceptions of the brand within the market, establish the current positioning in relation to competitors and provide recommendations on brand ‘renewal’. It had to be done quickly and on a tight budget. Not all participants would be available to travel, so online discussions and focus groups where a perfect match.

Target groups

  1. Clients: past, present and potential clients who have or are looking to refinance, upgrade their home, or buy an investment property.
  2. Partner channels: industry partners such as Solicitors, Accountants, and Real Estate Agents who may refer customers.
  3. Home loan team: current staff who nurture and manage the customer and channel touch points.

Methodology

Clients

Target Audience: Past, present and potential clients who are looking to refinance, upgrade their home, or buy an investment property within the next 12 months.
Method: 5 day online discussion board.
Participants: 15
Objective: To gain feedback on the service offering of the home loan service provider. Including opinions on current branding and marketing, and market position.

Partners

Target Audience: Industry partners, such as Solicitors, Accountants, and Real Estate Agents.
Method: 5 day online discussion board.
Participants: 11
Objective: To gain feedback on the service offering of the home loan service provider. Including opinions on current branding and marketing. To gain insight into feedback that the industry receives about the service experienced by referred customers.

Team

Target Audience: Current staff of the home loan service provider who manage clients and client touch points.
Method: 60 minute online real-time chat focus group.
Participants: 8
Objective: To gain feedback on the service offering of the home loan service provider. Including opinions on current branding and marketing. To gain insight into any feedback staff members receive from dealing with current or potential clients. To understand how staff perceive the current brand position and identify road blocks hindering future business growth.

Outcomes

  • Participants had mixed experiences when dealing directly with banks and mortgage brokers, but on whole the experience with independent mortgage advisors was seen as positive
  • Participants Identified why they would choose a mortgage broker rather than go directly to a bank or lender.
  • Some clarity around service is required around market communication were aware of the services offered.
  • Participants were asked to watch a TV commercial, from within the discussion board, and provide immediate feedback and identify ways it could be improved.
  • We asked what could be done to raise their profile in the mortgage market.
  • We asked participants views of the brand, logo and business name.

Key takeouts

  1. A sluggish economy was seen a major issue, exemplified by fierce competition. Followed by the awareness or value of the mortgage broker’s role in the market.
  2. The challenges that need to be addressed to take advantage of new opportunities were identified.
  3. The teams perceptions of brand and understanding of the position in the marketplace was seen as a driving force moving forward.
  4. It was also revealed that the current brand is positioned better with low income lenders which is holding the business back from appealing to higher income lenders. Our client will use these research findings to employ a targeted multi-channel communication strategy.

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