Brandspeak has compiled this market research glossary to provide definitions for some of the most commonly used research terms – we hope you find it useful. If you feel that key words or phrases are missing or in any way incomplete, please let us know so that we can keep evolving these pages.

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There are currently 21 names in this directory beginning with the letter B.
B2B Research
B2B Research is an abbreviated term that stands for Business to Business Research (in contrast to the term B2C research that stands for Business to Consumer research). The term refers to any form of research undertaken with corporate customers (as opposed to consumers). It would apply, for example, to a car rental firm that wishes to conduct research with its corporate customer base or a bank that wishes to gather opinions amongst its small business customers.

B2C Research
B2C Research is an abbreviation that stands for Business to Consumer research (in contrast to the term B2B research that stands for Business to Business research). The term relates to any form of research where a business, company or organisation seeks the views of consumers regarding an aspect of their brand or its delivery.

Behavioural Economics
Sometimes referred to as BE for short, behavioural economics explores what causes people to make decisions that are ‘economically irrational’, thereby undermining the predictions of established economic models. An example is heuristics:; the ‘mental shortcuts’ or rules of thumb that humans use to simplify decision-making.

Bias is a term that applies to both quantitative and qualitative research. In quantitative terms, it relates to a circumstance whereby a particular research finding is seen to deviate unexpectedly from the wider result(s), potentially because of the way in which the question was phrased or because an error in sampling. In qualitative research the matter of bias is inherently more complex due to the human factor. Bias can result from the personal views and preconceptions of the moderator, the inappropriate phrasing of research questions or an unbalanced sample.

Big data
A term for very large, complex data sets (both structured and unstructured) drawn together from a wide variety of sources within an organisation (e.g. market research data and operational data). The insight that can be drawn from big data is unparalleled but there are often significant challenges relating to the associated capture, storage and analysis, transfer and visualisation of the data concerned. The opportunities for Big Data are endless, not just in Marketing but in science, business, the economy, medicine and government.

Big Five Personality Traits or Five Factor Model or OCEAN
The Big Five personality traits are regarded as being the 5 traits that combine to form human personality. Those traits are: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism - or OCEAN.

Biometric marketing research
Biometrics is defined as the measurement and statistical analysis of people's physical and behavioural characteristics and is mainly used for the purpose of identification (e.g. in relation to the security industry). Certain biometrics are highly suitable for market research purposes, due to their ability to capture physiological changes that occur in response to an individual’s exposure to (for example) TV advertising, retail store and shelf layouts, new product concepts and packaging development. These include: Eye-tracking: this allows researchers to determine exactly what an individual is looking at and for how long – thereby helping to determine what succeeds in gaining the individual’s attention – and what doesn’t. It also enables that individual’s ‘viewing journey’ to be captured as their attention moves from one place to another Facial coding: manufacturers claim that facial coding can code up to 2000 different facial expressions, before categorising them in relation to a much smaller and more manageable number of human emotions. Using this technology it is therefore possible to identify the (intensity of-) different emotions aroused at different points within (for example) a TV ad Electroencephalogram (EEG): this technology measures brain activity in response to marketing stimuli like brand communications and visual media. It can be used, for example, to assess depth of engagement and / or storage in long term memory of selective parts of the targeted communications. 

BPTO - Brand Price Trade Off
Brand Price Trade-Off is a pricing research approach that identifies the price consumers are prepared to pay for a specific brand and the effect that different price points will have on levels of brand consumption. Because it effectively assesses the elasticity of brand pricing it can also be used as a measure of brand equity. In Brand Price Trade Off research respondents are required to consider a basket of brands at a number of different price points. At each price point respondents select their preferred brand(s). By repeating the exercise over several price points the brand’s price elasticity can be determined.

A name, term, design, symbol, or set of words, configured to create an image that identifies one seller's product or service as distinct from those of those of the competition. Over time, that image also becomes synonymous with the brand’s features, benefits and other qualities, thereby cementing its position in the consumer’s mind.

Brand Associations
This term refers to the rational and / or emotional associations that consumers hold in relation to the brand, potentially derived from a range of sources including exposure to advertising, word of mouth, packaging, pricing and actual product usage. Using a range of market research techniques these associations can be identified and their relative importance determined. Once the rational and emotional, prompted and unprompted associations have been identified, they can be invaluable in exercises such as brand repositioning, advertising concept development and new product development. They also have a significant role to play in the development of marketing communications and customer experience strategy formulation.

Brand Equity
This term can be used in relation to a brand’s financial worth (e.g. the financial value of the brand to its owner) or to describe the strength of the sum of brand’s positive associations in the mind of the consumer.

Brand Essence
This refers to a distillation of the brand’s intrinsic characteristics into a short statement that encapsulates what the brand stands for. A clearly defined brand essence acts as a template in the development and execution of marketing strategy.

Brand Extension
The development of new products, marketed under an existing brand name.

Brand Image
How the brand is perceived by consumers or portrayed by the brand owners.

Brand Loyalty
The extent of consumer preference for one brand relative to others.

Brand Positioning
There is no single definition of brand positioning, but it can broadly be defined as the distinctive place a brand occupies in the target customer’s mind. In their book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout offer a positioning template comprising of 3 elements: [NAME OF BUSINESS] is [KIND OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE] for [KIND OF PEOPLE] Using this approach, manufacturer of pasta De Cecco developed the following: De Cecco is the premium pasta for serious chefs On the other hand, in his book ZAG, Marty Neumeier suggests a more detailed template, as follows: What: The only [category] How: that [differentiation characteristic] Who: for [customer] Where: in [geographic location] Why: who [need state] When: during [underlying trend] This template resulted in the following positioning statement for the Harley brand: The only motorcycle manufacturer That makes big, loud motorcycles For macho guys (and “macho wannabes”) Mostly in the United States Who want to join a gang of cowboys In an era of decreasing personal freedom. This was then distilled in to the brand tag line: American by birth. Rebel by choice.

Brand Proposition
The brand proposition or value proposition is a distillation of the brand’s most powerful benefits, also including the Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Consider Uber’s proposition: ‘The smartest way to get around’. This is actually a neat encapsulation of a number of tangible benefits that Uber customers feel they enjoy over the customers of more traditional taxis: One tap and a car comes directly to you The driver knows exactly where to go Payment is completely cashless

Brand Pyramid or Brand Iceberg
The Brand Pyramid is a strategic marketing tool used to help identify and visualise the individual components of the strategic brand. Its has a layered construction, reflecting the fact that the brand is built from the bottom up, starting with the foundations, that must be in place before additional layers may be added on top. The foundation layer is made up 'defining' insights relating to the the customer, the competition and the market place. Only when the appropriate insight is in place can the next layer be put in place. This layer typically identifies the brand attributes or features required to address the requirements identified in the foundation layer. In the next layer there is benefits, linking back to the attributes. These are followed by values, personality, promise and essence.

Brand Research
Brand research is a catch-all term describing any sort of research carried out in relation to a brand. It may relate to early qualitative stage research to identify the strategic building blocks of a new brand. Or it could relate to later stage qualitative and / or quantitative research used to flesh out different elements of the marketing mix, including the brand name, packaging alternatives and pricing. Post launch, it may relate to the on-going brand tracking that is used to monitor the brand’s performance against its marketing objectives.

Brand Tracking Research
Brand tracking is a form of continuous research that is carried out for both B2C and B2B brands. Tracking studies are designed to monitor the brand’s performance and health over time and also provide important insight regarding the impact of TV advertising and other forms of marketing activity. Key brand tracking metrics will typically cover awareness, consideration, usage and loyalty, as well as attitudes and perceptions. The outputs enable brand owners to make informed decisions about short term tactics and long term strategy. B2C trackers are typically conducted online. For B2B brands, however, tracking is more usually undertaken by phone or even face to face.

Bulletin Boards
An online form of qualitative research where the group communicates via a message board. A moderator controls the discussion, posting and adding both questions and stimulus for the group to react to and discuss.