Using market research to relaunch a brand
A first direct case study

Page 1: Introduction

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Market research is a systematic process used by a business to find out about its customers and its markets. A company uses market research to ensure that it offers goods and services that customers want to buy. This should be a continuous process. Once a product is launched, it is important to listen to customer feedback. By acting on this feedback, businesses can help to keep customers...
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Page 2: Understanding the market

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A business must understand the market that it operates in. It must understand its customers, so that it can provide the goods and services they want. It must know about its competitors. Businesses that fail to match or better the products, prices and service standards offered by competitors will lose customers. This is what happened to first direct for a period. The bank changed some of its...
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Page 3: The market research process

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Market research is the collection and analysis of information about a business”s markets. This can cover features such as market trends, customer behaviour and opinions and the business strategies of competitors. Its purpose is to help a business decide its marketing mix. This is sometimes known as the four Ps:     Types of research There are different types of market...
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Page 4: Outcomes of the market research

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One insight gained from the market research was that some customers had very different opinions about first direct. There were two key customer segments with very different ideas. The discussions in the focus groups showed that customers wanted first direct to be fair and transparent. They should be able to see what they were getting and there should be no hidden charges. The key brand value...
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Page 5: Revitalising the brand

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This process of brand positioning and product development through a programme of extensive market research enabled first direct to relaunch the brand. In doing so, it made adjustments in its marketing mix. Place is a key component of this mix. When first direct launched it offered banking services to customers who did not want to be tied to visiting a branch during opening hours. It continues...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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first direct has always been a pioneering bank. It creates convenience, setting it apart from competitors. For a short while, first direct lost its way and became more like other banks. Fortunately it understands the importance of market research and marketing. It asked customers what they wanted. The answers were clear and so was the response. first direct is now recapturing its distinctive...
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