Brand repositioning and communications
A Philips case study

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Page 1: Research

Market and product research lie at the heart of any successful business. Market research involves talking to customers to find out what they want and then supporting these findings with product research which involves supplying products with the benefits that customers want.

Philips is a global company so the research that it carried out took place on a global scale. Philips involved more than 1650 consumers and 180 customer companies around the world to make sure that it repositioned its brand in an appropriate way. Philips also undertook BEAT (Brand Equity Assessment Tool) research involving 26,000 respondents.

Qualitative research involves working with relatively small focus groups which in this case consisted of Philips' consumers and professionals (trade and opinion leaders, e.g. hospital surgeons who use its scanning equipment). Using qualitative research makes it possible to find out a lot of detailed information e.g. current perceptions of the company and its products, the types of new products and the image that consumers would like to see Philips develop.

Quantitative research typically involves questionnaires and surveys to bigger samples of consumers enabling statistical analysis of the results. The research was designed to:

  • enable Philips to have a better understanding of its existing position in the market
  • identify and test new routes for moving the brand forward
  • check the effectiveness of the chosen route.

Philips' market research was designed to help the organisation to define appropriate brand positioning. A combination of qualitative and quantitative research was carried out in:

  • UK
  • Germany
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Brazil
  • Hong Kong
  • China
  • USA.

The research examined Philips' performance versus average performance in the market. The results showed that, for example:

  • consumers believe that they can 'rely on Philips products'
  • that Philips' products 'make my life better'.

The characteristics that professionals most valued about Philips was the company's 'development of new and exciting products', that 'Philips products are reliable' and that Philips produces 'high quality products/services'. Currently, 80% of the company's total sales are made to a core target group aged 35-55, which consists of affluent, well educated decision makers.

Philips | Brand repositioning and communications