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B2B brand perceptions tracking research

Circle is an expert in B2B brand perceptions tracking research. Through a programme of primary research we’ll:

  • Monitor your brand funnel – awareness, consideration and preference
  • Reveal how your brand and competing brands are really perceived
  • Quantify brand performance against the Brand GPS™ framework

Based on these insights we’ll provide a series of brand health KPIs and make clear recommendations on how to improve your position.

Over the last decade we’ve tracked brand perceptions for world-leading B2B companies like Wiley, Microsoft, Vodafone and Ericsson. We couple this extensive experience with a deep understanding of B2B branding and a suite of smart techniques which probe far beyond the superficial.

The result is research which makes a real difference.

Our guiding principles

Our guiding principles

Based on our extensive experience and the self-funded research undertaken by our CircleLabs™ team, our exclusive Brand GPS™ framework guides our approach to brand tracking research. This framework holds that the strongest B2B brands (we call them AlphaBrands™) share nine common attributes:

  1. Prominent – eclipse all other brands in the mind’s eye
  2. Unique – stand firmly apart from competitors
  3. Distinct – associated with one clear anchoring idea
  4. Authentic – their positioning reflects who they truly are
  5. The best – outperform where it matters
  6. The authority – widely respected and a leader in their field
  7. In tune – on the buyer’s wavelength
  8. Self-expressive – a brand the buyer is proud to associate with
  9. Decent – always seen to do the right thing

These attributes have a powerful effect on the target market’s behaviour. AlphaBrands™ are chosen over their weaker counterparts as buyers:

  • See them as an immediate candidate on the short-list (because of prominence)
  • Unconsciously prefer them (we prefer things to be familiar, ‘like us’ and authoritative)
  • Consciously prefer them (our rational mind needs them to performs where it matters)
  • Feel they’re the simple choice (distinctiveness means we know what’s being bought)
  • Feel they’re the safe choice (it’s hard for others to dispute the ‘obvious’ leader)

The result is that strong brands grow faster, inspire greater loyalty and can charge a premium.

Read Case Study


Ericsson, a manufacturer of telecoms infrastructure equipment, had seen its market undergo radical change.  Telecoms used to be about voice calls, but now smart phones meant it was all about data and content.  Mobile operators wanted their customers to be streaming video, downloading music and surfing the internet.  Fixed line operators had reinvented themselves as quadruple-play providers of phone, broadband, internet and TV.

Ericsson needed to ensure that they remained relevant in this new environment.  They took several commercial steps to do so including a number of acquisitions which provided new technological capabilities.  This saw three key brands being added to the Ericsson portfolio – Redback, Tandberg and LHS.

Whilst these acquisitions created a strong proposition, something was missing – a brand to hold it all together.  Not a brand in the sense of a visual identifier.  It had already been decided that the new entity was going to adopt the Ericsson identity.  But a brand as in the associations the ‘new’ Ericsson’ should trigger in the target market’s mind; its meaning.

So Ericsson turned to their long-term research partner Circle Research.

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