Research is a necessary part of the branding process. Well, actually it’s just a good thing to do if you’re in business in general. You need to take a look around and see where your stand amongst your competition. What audience to they serve? Is their marketing geared to the same target audience as yours? How have they positioned themselves in the market place? What colors are they using? What connection do these have with their / your target audience? What size of your desired market do they currently serve? These are just a few of the questions that you need to look at when you are in the research phase of branding your organization.
As you can see, most of these questions are round the target audience and market share – Not the visual aesthetic. Obviously, you’ll want your materials to be distinct and not mistaken for your competition, but understanding your place in the market is about much more than your logo or color selection.