Once you have determined that an Insight Community is a valuable piece of your research strategy, one of the things you need to consider is what this community will look like to participants and whether it is better to go with a branded or unbranded approach. Here we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both. 

Benefits of a branded Insight Community 

Quite often an organisation’s brand can enable easier recruitment and onboarding of participants. Where people know, use and love brands they are more likely to engage in feedback as it gives them an opportunity to shape the brand and have their voice heard. Where your organisation is looking to get opinions from current customers then it only makes sense to ensure that the branding of the Insight Community and the tone of voice is as close as possible to your own.

A branded Insight Community also allows for greater transparency. As the participants know which brand they are answering questions about, it means that product names, packaging details etc won’t need to be obscured or changed. This enables you to get actionable feedback on real campaign ideas and concepts. 

Downsides of a branded Insight Community 

The very fact that people may already know your brand can be a downside in itself. Where people actively love your brand, it may mean that you miss out on critical feedback which can help you to improve. Those who dislike your brand may also colour results with potential bias. There is also a higher expectation of twoway communication with branded Insight Communities. 

Another point to make on branded Insight Communities is that where the brand or the tone of voice does not match up this can be a jarring, leading to a higher drop out during onboarding. 

Benefits of an unbranded Insight Community 

One of the most common reasons organisations choose an unbranded Insight Community is where they are looking to obtain feedback from the overall market, or perhaps have a group of companies that many not be linked in the public’s eye. 

An unbranded community may also be better where you are seeking an impartial viewpoint, or where you are particularly interested in gathering information from prospective or lapsed customers. As we said earlier a branded community may bias participants and skew data. 

Downsides of an unbranded Insight Community 

People are naturally more sceptical of how their personal data will be used where there isn’t a brand associated. This may make it more difficult to find appropriate respondents, and you may need a larger incentive in order to attract people.  

Whilst having an unbranded Insight Community may make it easier to attract prospective and lapsed customers in many cases this may mean you have to change/hide who the end client is (if for example you were showing a new product design) which can add additional cost. 

Long term engagement can be more difficult where participants don’t feel as though they are affecting change, and this is certainly more difficult with an unbranded community. 

Best of both worlds 

Some organisations aim to ‘hedge their bets’ by having both branded and unbranded communities where the unbranded community is used to explore opinion in the broader market and branded is used to test new products and marketing.  

UX 

Last but not least, regardless of whether your Insight Community is branded or not, it is critical that it is easy to use, works on every device, every browser and can be easily navigated. STRAT7 ResearchBods understand the need to build engaging environments. If you are thinking about starting an insight community or revamping your current one, get in touch with the team today.